A New HoloNet on the Horizon

January 3, 2012 at 10:00 am | Posted in Science News | Leave a comment

In space, no one can censor your Youtube.

If you haven’t heard about SOPA yet, you really owe it to yourself to do a web search and start reading up. The Stop Online Piracy Act is a very controversial piece of legislation that would allow entities to shut down websites they claim are violating their copyrighted material. The scope and wording of the act is vague and allows a lot of room for misuse. It’s also being backed by some very powerful players such as the Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, Sony, Time Warner, The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Viacom, etc.

Regardless of where you stand on the bill, it’s providing an interesting incentive for a new internet, one free of legal restrictions. With SOPA promising doom and gloom, hackers are looking to the sky and envisioning a new frontier of freedom. They could escape the legal boundaries by establishing their own satellite network in space providing an alternative internet to those on Earth. It’s a bold idea but not one without limitations.

According to BBC News, the Hackerspace Global Grid would be limited by signal delay. Satellite internet is not as fast as ground based internet providers using microwave and fiber optic transmissions. Also there is the associated equipment costs with designing, creating, and maintaining the satellites and ground based stations. However, the payoff would be a censor free internet allowing complete freedom of communication.

Another interesting hurdle for the Hackerspace Global Grid is one of authority. As is, no one on Earth has any claim on space. It’s a completely open ground. While this may seem like territory up for grabs, it also means that anyone can define their own terms of justice. The final frontier is a lot like Hollywood’s version of the wild west. If hackers put up a system of satellites, countries like the United States and China, could decide to gun them down. Hypothetically, such a confrontation could lead to a satellite war with the different factions vying for control of space. With the Hackerspace Global Grid setting sights on the moon, it’s conceivable that a whole new battlefield could be opened up if a moonbase were to appear.

One small step for blogs, one giant leap for blogkind.

Of course, such wild sci-fi fantasies wouldn’t happen for some time. Nonetheless it’s intriguing to speculate about the possibilities. SOPA might have a lot more implications that what people are prepared to think about. By securing the internet and preventing the illegal distribution of certain materials, individuals will be forced not to stop, but to find new ways to continue. By lopping off, or in this case censoring one head of the hydra, you end up with another. An independent satellite internet is but one avenue, and who knows how many other internets could pop up using alternate technologies?  Soon the hydra could have over a dozen heads. A plethora of internets would increase the difficulty of monitoring such traffic for illegal activities, not to mention making it impossible to enforce any sort of censorship. It’s very possible that rather than making the internet safer, SOPA could make the internet far worse.

The last thing we need is a hundred headed monster. Like the saying goes, better the devil you know than the one you don’t.

Posted By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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