Last year, as the debates over SOPA and PIPA raged, Joshua Kopstein at Motherboard wrote a post entitled “Dear Congress, It’s No Longer OK to Not KNow How the Internet Works“. In the post, he blasted Congress for joking about how little they understood about the Internet while, at the same time, attempting to legislate it.
A year later, it’s time to revisit that message, but in a different context.
With the recent NSA scandals, the attack on Tor network (widely suspected to be orchestrated by the U.S. government), and deep concerns about how government and private entities are cooperating to share user data, it’s clear isn’t just the government that needs a primer on how the Internet works.
The everyday user that does as well.
For most people, including many who grew up with the Internet, the Web seems almost magical. They click to visit a site or send an email and they get content or data from half a world away, nearly instantly.
But where most people take the time to understand at least the basics of how their car works, far fewer have taken the time to understand how the Internet works, even as they depend upon it more and more as part of their daily lives.
But like not knowing how a car works, ignorance can be dangerous and, also like a car, a little bit of understanding can go a long, long way. [Read more…]