It's amazing that technology both crippled and aided an entire population all at once, which is what happened when Egypt blocked Internet access among its citizens. For the first time, the Internet media and business in America saw for the first time what our invention can do. It's surprising that more weren't aware -- the Internet's ability to do such a thing is in part what makes it so unique as a platform and always has.
It's certainly not the first time a government has shut down the communications and information delivery platforms of its people, and likely won't be the last. But, what's unique about the Internet is that it has the power to do so much more than just feed information and enable communications -- and is well on its way. In the future it will be in everything -- powering things in our homes, like utilities, our money, cars, phones, television, the media we read, and access to things like our identity and medical records. The early workings of this are already well underway. What's more is that the platform is very acutely skilled at tracking people's every move. Most may not realize it today, but its so clever at surveillance, it will be likely very difficult to avoid it recognizing you in the future, particularly as things like the U.S. government's digital ID push come into effect.
Which is why I cringe sometimes as I watch innovators here creating tools that for our country might be intended to move us ahead, much like our invention of the internet itself has done here. The other day, a media site had an article about someone creating a "personal digital locker" that not only tagged your identity, but tightly followed you and all of your interests, spending, etc. Of course, being opt in. However, take that exact application and attach it to a people or person in a hostile country that not only builds its own Internet platform as many are starting to consider doing, but also requires such a thing of its citizens. You can be sure information and communications will be the least of things that people need to worry about losing access to.
This isn't something that is popular to think about in today's market, but it doesn't change the platform's power or the likely future of such things ahead. Let's hope as our great engineers and entrepreneurs are innovating and playing in the arena that they're making lots of back doors and exits. In the future, we'll likely need it.
This article was originally posted at DailyPatricia.com