Fragmento de “Internet Freedom”: Digital Empire?
Schiller carefully documents how code words such as “freedom of access” and “freedom of speech” are used to justify and promote policies that in fact merely serve the interests of major US companies and, at the same time, the interests of the US surveillance apparatus, which morphed from a cottage industry into a major component of the military-industrial complex thanks to the Internet. He shows how the supposed open participation in key bodies (such as the Internet Engineering Task Force) is actually a screen to mask the fact that decisions are heavily influenced by insiders affiliated with US companies and/or the US government, and by agencies bound to the US as a state.
As Schiller explains, this increasing dominance of US business and US political imperialism have not gone unchallenged, even if the challenges to date have mostly been rhetorical (again, except for China). Conflicts over Internet governance are related to rivalries between competing geo-political and geo-economic blocks, rivalries which will likely increase if economic growth continues to be weak. The rivalries are both between nations and within nations, and some are only emerging right now (for example, how to tax the digital economy, or the apparent emerging divergence of views between key US companies and the US government regarding mass surveillance).
Indeed, the book explains how the challenges to US dominance have become more serious in the wake of the Snowden revelations, which have resulted in a significant loss of market share for some of the key US players, in particular with respect to cloud computing services. Those losses may have begun to drive the tip of a wedge between the so-far congruent goals of US companies and the US government
In a nutshell, one can sum up what Schiller describes by paraphrasing Marx: “Capitalists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but the chains of government regulation.”