Re: Political Organization of the 'Net

Luana Lisandro (
7 Apr 1995 01:33:17 GMT

Anna Mazzoldi ( wrote:

: Anarchy, I believe. Which does not mean there are no rules, it only
: means there are no rulers.

mmm... really? In Australia, AARNet controls the Australian backbone to
the internet.... and they have introduced 'volume charging' at the beginning
of the year for received international traffic... this includes email,
ftping and packets etc... this was all done *without* consulting
anyone, except the AVCC (Australian Vice Channeleors Committee) who own
AARNet... you see... AARNet/AVCC have 'control' over their high speed
link to the net, not the users/providers... this measure of charging
for international traffic has forced some providers to downgrade
bandwidth to the net, in an attempt to decrease the amount of
international traffic by their users... now... tell me no-one is a
'ruler'... btw, the above is a 'monopoly'...

Just to clarify something... 'electronic democracy' is a myth... the
net is subject to human cultures and is not a separate entity that exists
outside it... even though the net is a global phenomenon... it is not
representative of the 'globe', as it is not truely international... you
may be thinking why? because not everyone has the same technological
capabitities to join the 'net' club... there is a stratification in
economic, intellectual and technological inferstructure (and others)... and
there are definitely the 'haves' and 'have nots'... this happens on a local and
international level... the net is subject to 'rules' or norms...
for example... put the wrong type of message/post in a newsgroup in USENET
and be prepared to be 'flamed' (a sanction)... the term 'net etiquette'
is used by many people as a measure/control of 'appropriate' behaviour
(this term will often be mentioned in a flame)...

Finally, the reified concept of the net is not static... the term means
different things to people at different points in time... there is a
division between the sentiments of people using the net 10 years ago to
people using it today...


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Luana Lisandro ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
University of Western Australia | "There is no system that has not
email:| another system concealed within it."
| "Art & Lies" by Jeanette Winterson