Libraries Will Save the Internet
June 10, 2016
Libraries are more than place to check out free DVDs and books and use a computer. Most people do not believe this and if you try to tell them otherwise, their eyes glaze offer and they start chanting “obsolete” under their breath. BoingBoing, however, agrees that “How Libraries Can Save The Internet Of Things From The Web’s Centralized Fate”. For the past twenty years, the Internet has become more centralized and content is increasingly reliant on proprietary sites, such as social media, Amazon, and Google.
Back in the old days, the greatest fear was that the government would take control of the Internet. The opposite has happened with corporations consolidating the Internet. Decentralization is taking place, mostly to keep the Internet anonymous. Usually, these are tied to the Dark Web. The next big thing in the Internet is “the Internet of things,” which will be mostly decentralized and that can be protected if the groundwork is laid now. Libraries can protect decentralized systems, because
“Libraries can support a decentralized system with both computing power and lobbying muscle. The fights libraries have pursued for a free, fair and open Internet infrastructure show that we’re players in the political arena, which is every bit as important as servers and bandwidth. What would services built with library ethics and values look like? They’d look like libraries: Universal access to knowledge. Anonymity of information inquiry. A focus on literacy and on quality of information. A strong service commitment to ensure that they are available at every level of power and privilege.”
Libraries can teach people how to access services like Tor and disseminate the information to a greater extent than many other institutes within the community. While this is possible, in many ways it is not realistic due to many factors. Many of the decentralized factors are associated with the Dark Web, which is held in a negative light. Libraries also have limited budgets and trying to install a program like this will need finances, which the library board might not want to invest in. Also comes the problem of locating someone to teach these services. Many libraries are staffed by librarians that are limited in their knowledge, although they can learn.
It is possible, it would just be hard.