An entire article from the BBC about empowering individuals to both publish and find local, niche and eccentric information that doesn’t even mention the technology and movement that has been doing just that for several years now – astonishing:
- By the year 2010, file-sharers could be swapping news rather than music, eliminating censorship of any kind.
This is the view of the man who helped kickstart the concept of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing, Cambridge University’s Professor Ross Anderson.
In his vision, people around the world would post stories via anonymous P2P services like those used to swap songs.
They would cover issues currently ignored by the major news services, said Prof Anderson.
“Currently, only news that’s reckoned to be of interest to Americans and Western Europeans will be syndicated because that’s where the money is,” he told the BBC World Service programme, Go Digital.
“But if something happens in Peru that’s of interest to viewers in China and Japan, it won’t get anything like the priority for syndication.
“If you can break the grip of the news syndication services and allow the news collector to talk to the radio station or local newspaper then you can have much more efficient communications.”
….Commenting on Prof Anderson’s ideas, technology analyst Bill Thompson welcomed the idea of new publishing tools that will weaken the grip on news of major news organisations.
Such P2P systems, he said, would give everybody a voice and allow personal testimonies to come out.
But the technology that makes those publishing tools accessible to everyone and sufficiently user-friendly will take longer to develop than Prof Anderson thinks, added Mr Thompson.
Prof Anderson’s vision underestimates the political obstacles in the way of such developments, he said, and the question of censorship had not been clearly thought through.
“Once you build the technology to break censorship, you’ve broken censorship – even of the things you want censored,” said Mr Thompson.
“Saying you can then control some parts of it, like images of child abuse, is being wilfully optimistic. And that’s something that peer to peer advocates have to face.”
They are talking now about the private exchange of such information, which is something different from public posting on the Internet, to mention “the idea of new publishing tools that will weaken the grip on news of major news organisations” and NOT TO MENTION BLOGS is unbelieveable. Everyday bloggers are publishing the equivalent of “something happens in Peru that’s of interest to viewers in China and Japan” and the search engines turn this up (you may have problems in China, where the Internet is censored). Once you have found a site that overs an area if interest via the search engines or links from other sites, then an RSS feed can keep you abreast of that site. That the article doesn’t even mention these things – which are fully operational now – is poor reporting.