Noam Chomsky on Microsoft and Corporate Control of the Internet.
An interview by Corporate Watch.
As long as the Internet was under control of the Pentagon, it was free. People could use it freely [for] information sharing. That remained true when it stayed within the state sector of the National Science Foundation. As late as about 1994, people like say, Bill Gates, had no interest in the Internet. He wouldn’t even go to conferences about it, because he didn’t see a way to make a profit from it. Now it’s being handed over to private corporations, and they tell you pretty much what they want to do. They want to take large parts of the Internet and cut it out of the public domain altogether, turn it into intranets, which are fenced off with firewalls, and used simply for internal corporate operations.
“They want to control access, and that’s a large part of Microsoft’s efforts: control access in such a way that people who access the Internet will be guided to things that *they* want, like home marketing service, or diversion, or something or other. If you really know exactly what you want to find, and have enough information and energy, you may be able to find what you want. But they want to make that as difficult as possible. And that’s perfectly natural. If you were on the board of directors of Microsoft, sure, that’s what you’d try to do.
“Well, you know, these things don’t *have* to happen. The public institution created a public entity which can be kept under public control. But that’s going to mean a lot of hard work at every level, from Congress down to local organizations, unions, other citizens’ groups which will struggle against it in all the usual ways.” — Noam Chomsky