A Speculation on Consumer Privacy and Corporate Control on the Internet


In his article Circuits of Power[1], Ronald Diebert notes that there is an assumption in American society that the society at large is more prone and vulnerable to attack as it becomes increasingly dependent on networked technologies. Simultaneously, there is also a strong disinclination in society to encourage the strengthening of governmental surveillance within networks, as part of an ideological belief that Big Brother should stay out of our individual lives. I argue that surveillance and a new form of restrictive (access enabling or disenabling) Internet architecture will encourage members of the Internet to modify their behavior, ultimately creating a more secure networked information infrastructure. The methods of surveillance will be accepted by society and be increasingly sanctioned by it. Current trends and trajectories in consumption as sociological institutions will aid and abet the advent of this new architecture of access and surveillance. The current industrial environment of structural power as embodied by Wintelism will guide these changes as a natural component to the maintenance of Wintel’s power. Therefore, this change in architecture, privacy, and standards as well as the societal acceptance of them will be accomplished not by the government but by corporate interests (Wintel) with the quiet underlying support of the government.

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