User:Chen Junyu/Reading Writing Research Methodologies/Protocol & Net Delusion-The Dark Side of Internet Freedom

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Aims to flesh out the specificity of this third historical wave by focusing on the controlling computer technologies native to it. THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INTERNET The most extensive “computerized information management” system existing today is the Internet. The Internet is a global distributed computer network. It has its roots in the American academic and military culture of the 1950s and 1960s. ( In response to the Soviet Sputnik lanch and other fears connected to the Cold War)

Baran’s network ----(based on “packet-switching”)---- allows messages to break themselves apart into small fragments. Each fragment,or packet, is able to find its own way to its destination.

In August 1964,Paul Baran of the Rand Corporation published an 11-volume memorandum for the Corporation outlining his research ( to create a computer network that was independent of centralized command and control / be able to withstand a nuclear attack )

In 1969, the Advanced Research Projects Agency started the ARPAnet, the first network to use Baran’s packet-swithcing technology.(only afew hundred participating computers which unnoticed by the outside world ,named “hosts”)

By the late 1970s and early 1980s, personal computers were coming to market and appearing in homes and offices.

By 1984,the network had grown larger. Paul Mockapetris invented a new addressing scheme – the Domain Name System(DNS).

UNIX became the most important computer operating system of 1980s( with the help of BSD)

Protocol--- TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) In the early 1980s, the suit of protocols known as TCP/IP was developed and included with most UNIX servers.

In 1988, the Defense department transferred control of the central “backbone” of the Internet over to the National Science Foundation, who in turn transferredcontrol to commercial telecommunications interests in 1995.

At the core of networked computing is the concept of protocol. A computer protocol is a set of recommendations and rules that outline specific technical standards. The protocols that govern much of the Internet are contained in what are called RFC (Request For Comments) documents. The RFCs are published by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). Now, protocols refer specifically to standards governing the implementation of specific technologies. For usage in computing , protocol referred to any type of correct or proper behavior within a specific system of conventions.

protocol is a distributed management system that allows control to exist within a heterogeneous material milieu.

TCP and IP are the leading protocols for the actual transmission of data from one computer to another over the network. TCP and IP work together to establish connections between computers and move data packets effectively through those connections.

Example: Visit “” -----translate”--------specific address on the physical network(IP address)

Net Delusion

The seemingly inexorable march of freedom that began in the late 1980s has not only come to a halt but may have reversed its course..... Such a laissez-faire approach to democratization has proved rather toothless against resurgent authoritarianism, which has masterfully adapted to this new, highly globalized world.

“Today’s authoritarianism is of the hedonism- and consumerism-friendly variety, with Steve Jobs and Ashton Kutcher commanding far more respect than Mao or Che Guevara.”

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have lost much of their initial emancipatory potential as well, further blurring the line between “regime change” and “democracy promotion.”

by the twenty-first century the case for promoting democracy no longer needs to be made; even the hardest skeptics agree that a world where Russia, China, and Iran adhere to democratic norms is a safer world.----------- there is still very little agreement on the kind of methods and policies the West needs to pursue to be most effective in promoting democracy.

Obama’s silence--- the growing Western fatigue with the project of promoting democracy.

Given that it’s the only ray of light in an otherwise dark intellectual tunnel of democracy promotion, the Internet’s prominence in future policy planning is assured.

After all, Internet users can discover the truth about the horrors of their regimes, about the secret charms of democracy, and about the irresistible appeal of universal human rights on their own, by turning to search engines like Google and by following their more politically savvy friends on social networking sites like Facebook. In other words, let them tweet, and they will tweet their way to freedom. The Freedom Agenda is out; the Twitter Agenda is in.

Once burst, stock bubbles have few lethal consequences; democracy bubbles, on the other hand, could easily lead to carnage.

The idea that the Internet favors the oppressed rather than the oppressor is marred by what I call cyber-utopianism: a naïve belief in the emancipatory nature of online communication that rests on a stubborn refusal to acknowledge its downside.

Failing to anticipate how authoritarian governments would respond to the Internet, cyber-utopians did not predict how useful it would prove for propaganda purposes, how masterfully dictators would learn to use it for surveillance, and how sophisticated modern systems of Internet censorship would become.

How hard is it to imagine a site like Facebook inadvertently disclosing the private information of activists in Iran or China, tipping off governments to secret connections between the activists and their Western funders?

we’ll need to opt for policies informed by a realistic assessment of the risks and dangers posed by the Internet, matched by a highly scrupulous and unbiased assessment of its promises, and a theory of action that is highly sensitive to the local context, that is cognizant of the complex connections between the Internet and the rest of foreign policymaking, and that originates not in what technology allows but in what a certain geopolitical environment requires.