“I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us,” he wrote. “You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.”
Barlow, who died last year
, was more prone to flowery prose than many of his contemporaries, but his declaration was reflective of a widespread belief that the internet was a thing apart, where traditional rules and regulations did not — and could not — apply.
For years, this libertarian thinking was the guiding philosophy of Silicon Valley as tech firms aggressively pushed back at any attempt to regulate them or control how people behaved online. Conveniently, this lack of regulation allowed them to build massive monopolies and make huge profits.
Today, Silicon Valley is facing the backlash. Amid widespread concerns over fake news, influence campaigns, cybersecurity and the sharing of violent and extremist content, more and more countries are pushing to rein in big tech.
Read more of this CNN article by James Griffiths by clicking here.