What's next for the Internet?

Posted on October 12, 2006

It's startling to see what you can find on the Internet these days. Of course, I don't need to tell you this ... you're reading this article as it is. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or not to be sitting at work and have to shield your computer immediately due to something that just popped up on your screen. In any case, it's anyone's guess as to how long the Internet will stand as it is.

Recent news shows that the Internet Governance Forum thinks that someday in the future, the Super Information Highway may be broken into separate networks around the world. Maybe this doesn't seem like a big issue, but imagine if you were driving along the highway but we're able to travel cross-country anymore. So instead of pulling up mind-boggling pages and videos, you'd have to settle for a 404 File Not Found message.

One of the main concerns is China. The Chinese government, as the article suggests, is concerned that users must now type Latin characters for domain names, even if the webpages contain only Chinese characters. One way to rectify this would be to allow character-based domain names, but the current setup would not allow this. Besides, China is already under fire for controlling much of the content on the Net. That's right, they don't have to worry too much about closing windows in fear that the boss might see. They never have the opportunity to get there in the first place.

The good thing is that the people in charge of many web-based governing bodies are examining these things and trying to consider solutions. As important as the Internet has become globally, it will be critical to see just if the Internet can be kept together. That way, we can keep finding things online that are education and interesting ... and many times, things that it probably would have been better not to have seen.