Talk: The Open Internet Under Threat

I’ll be giving a talk to the Internet Society (ISOC) Switzerland Chapter at a meeting in Bern, at 18:30 on Tuesday 27 November, entitled “The Open Internet under Threat”. After my talk, Green National Councillor Balthasar Glättli will speak on Internet-related topics in Swiss national politics, so it promises to be a really interesting evening for Internet geeks and policy wonks alike! 

The Internet has been marked by its openness since its earliest days. Expanding the end-to-end principle into a philosophy of operation led to the construction of a network that was open, neutral, and stateless, allowing a boom in innovation that has allowed the Internet to largely replace the public switched telephone network as “The Network”.

Today, this openness is under threat on economic, sociopolitical, and technical fronts. Closed platforms can be more easily monetized than open ones. As the Internet becomes a public utility, governments demand more control over it. Network address exhaustion, translation, and transition challenge the end-to-end nature of the network. This talk discusses these threats, as posed by current applications and services as well as situations beyond the network. It’s intended as the starting point for a discussion about what ISOC local chapters can do to ameliorate this situation, but should be interesting for anyone concerned about the intersection between the technical side of the Internet and the realities of policy and economics.

The location is to be determined, but will be near the main railway station in Bern. Details here. The talk will be open to non-members, but since membership in the Switzerland chapter is open to any member of the Internet Society with some connection to Switzerland, and ISOC Global Membership is free, if you’re interested in the open development of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world, please sign up.

Brian Trammell
Temporarily Shiftless Layabout