Last night I saw “the hidden Internet” on Belgian TV. The news-anchor announced the “Tor”-network, and gave it that subtitle, because police and government had to admit that they had no tools to fight the treat.
I laughed. The item was broadcasted, just one day after I wrote my last column in this sequel. “The hidden Internet”, how wrong can people be...?
There is no “hidden” Internet, because the whole system in itself is hidden. It is a false believe that we-see-what-we-get. Most people are not aware of what they load into their lives, just by surfing the Net. They simply do not understand that they are down-loading all the time, just by switching on their computer.
“Tor” is one of many illustrations of what the back-alleys of the glorified electronic highway have to offer. One of the connections which are difficult to trace, if one hasn’t sufficient knowledge, and most people don’t even understand that they can’t access their email when the Internet-connection is down…
We all surf the “hidden” paths, because we cannot actually see them. Even the best informed Nerd can be hacked, or thrown out of an established connection, because we don’t really see, are not aware until, or after it happens.
Like all techniques mankind develops, systems like “Tor” will evolve. They will always be a step ahead of who is chasing or trying to break into the underlying canals. “Used by criminals and pederasts”, the news-anchor informed, because official institutions are unable to interfere. The awakening of fear of what we don’t understand, or cannot see. Electronic-wise mankind entered the middle ages, and the threatening devil is summarized as “the hidden Internet”.
What we have to understand is that the Net is just a next step in our evolution, like fire, or the invention of the wheel was. It enlarges our possibilities, and it will shake up our systems as we know them. People have to learn to think like their daily used digital highway, if they don’t want to be accidentally killed by it. This change of thinking is the most difficult for the so-called establishment. They didn’t become established because of it, not even companies like Microsoft (think of the free development of an OS like Linux), and establishment is in itself conservative, because it wants to keep what it gathered by the means of what they know and understand.
Conservatism is outdated very fast since the introduction of Internet. Nothing lost so many believers in such a short time as the Gods, most people still worshipped about 50 years ago. The new generation is divided. The majority does not take the religions serious anymore, and a small part tries to stop this evolution with bombs and guns, using the Internet to spread their word, and don’t understand that they use a tool which will wipe them out eventually. The power of Internet is still mainly information, and informed people were always the downfall of established conservatism!
…to be continued…