The Internet’s Tipping Point?

I just read this mini interview of Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, who says that malware will be the end of the internet as we know it. With the proliferation of spam, malware, phishing, and general crap out there, people will drift away from the internet to use only their blackberrys, phones, iPods, etc, because they are tightly controlled. Sure, it could happen, like he says, one virus that wipes out 50% of a corporations hard drives, will give them serious reason to pause, and wonder, if the Internet is really worth it. Let?s take all of these communications lines and close off our networks from the public.

Spam, spyware, and viruses can already get in the way of good, clean computing fun. But what happens when malicious code becomes apocalyptic? According to Jonathan Zittrain, professor of Internet governance and regulation at Oxford University, these software saboteurs will drive smart users to dumber appliances like BlackBerrys, iPods, and Xboxes. In his upcoming book, Zittrain writes that the migration to closed systems will end innovation on the Internet. We asked the veteran info-freedom fighter why he?s wearing such gloom-colored glasses. Source: End-Time for the Internet

But are we at that point now? I don’t think so, but I know how to handle my computer and the Internet, the average user will be discouraged a lot quicker than I would, and could move on to a proprietary solution, without all of the hastle. According to a story from InformationWeek, spam sky rocketed in December, it was 94% of all email! That is incredible and an example of what Mr. Zittrain is talking about, add in a spyware infection that can take weeks to get rid of because it’s so new, and you have one very bad experience for anyone.

“This continued rise in spam levels is threatening the viability of e-mail for businesses and is sapping the productivity of hundreds of millions of workers around the world,” said Daniel Druker, Postini’s executive VP of marketing, in a statement.

The portion of e-mail that Postini pegged as spam reached 94% in December, an all-time record. The company blocked 25 billion spam messages aimed at 36,000 clients that month, an increase of 144% over the same month in 2005. Source: Spam Sets Record, Accounts For 94% Of E-mail

It is up to the people who are spending all of the money to figure out who their partners are and how they are being promoted, if you take away the spammers and cyber-criminals means to earn money, they will have to move on. As users, it is up to us to stop using brands that advertise, or end up in advertisements, in spam, and let them know we are and why. It’s all about the Benjamin?s, in one way or another, the sooner someone stops the money flow, the sooner this crap will go away. If not, we could be approaching the Internet’s Tipping Point, but, at least, we’ll all have lots more time!