Rory Solomon on Mon, 7 Feb 2011 20:28:54 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> A DIY Data Manifesto by Scott Gilbertson

Thank you, Geert, for sharing this important article.

I have one question in response which is: Why should we think that Amazon's EC2 is necessarily any "better" than Facebook or Twitter? After all, in the case of Wikileaks, it was Amazon that fell like a house of cards at the slightest political blustering, while, actually, Facebook and Twitter seemed to hold their ground. Actually, as was previously discussed here, Twitter even seemed to put their neck on the line a bit in support of Wikileaks members.

Now I'm not saying Facebook or Twitter in any way provide any sort of way forward to Dave Winer's goal of a "distributed web", but rather just that neither does Amazon EC2, as far as I can tell.

Of course, the truly distributed system that we really need may never be realized. But I believe be a huge step forward would be some truly public space on the Internet ("public" as in non-commercial and accountable, at least in some sense, to the people). As far as I know, no such thing exists -- at least not in the US. Is anyone aware of any such examples in the US or elsewhere?

I suspect that if Wikileaks had been hosting their server on some truly public Internet space (if we can even imagine such a thing), we would've seen some very interesting legal action, instead of the tired argument about "well, Amazon is a commercial enterprise, so they are free to do with their customers whatever they chose."


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