Freedom and the Internet

It has recently surfaced that an Israely company sold Internet control software to Iran. While the story has an ironic twist, it goes on to highlight some problems with the current trend to "manage" the Internet, detailing the possible adverse effects of such technology on Internet users (like facilitating their arrest and torture). Unfortunately, the article refrains from presenting the facts in a neutral way, but instead points fingers at supposedly rogue states while conveniently ignoring the fact that such technology would work just as well against citizens of Western countries, acting up on their respective governments. They might wake up to quite similar fates when eg. their governments become discontent with the Occupy movement gaining more traction (whatever you might think of that movement in the first place) - and you had your first impressions on that. See for example here, here, or here if you missed it so far. Instead of calling for more vendor-control over such software, the emphasis should be placed on generally banning such software in the first place.

As a techie, I can safely say that often, not having such controls to "monitor" and "manage" usage, but simply using larger, dumber pipes, would probably be equally cost effective, or even cheaper. The only adverse side effect, from the perspective of the carriers and the government, will be that they would have to loosen their grip on the populace (ie, you and me).

Which is basically a good thing, isn't it?