How the Hippies Destroyed the Internet

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Hans Akkermans ( Hans Akkermans) and Moshe Y. Vardi ( Moshe Vardi/Rice Univers

Hans Akkermans ( Hans Akkermans) and Moshe Y. Vardi ( Moshe Vardi/Rice University)

"The system is failing," Tim Berners-Lee and Tim Cook testify to the Internet, pointing to worrying developments such as the weakening of net neutrality, the emergence of fake news and an omnipresent surveillance.

In his vigorously discussed editorial "How the Hippies Destroyed the Internet" (CACM July 102, Vol. 61, No. 7) , Moshe Y. Vardi connects the "anti-establishment" movement of the 1960s and 1970s with today’s mantra of information freedom. He argues for ditching the ad-based business model that has mutated into a surveillance machine and to build a better Internet.

Is information freedom good for society? Does information as an unregulated, shared and public resource contribute to the positive development of society, or does it not lead to individual users behaving contrary to the common good by independently acting in their own self-interest?

On 8 November, Hans Akkermans will talk with Moshe Y. Vardi (both members of the Faculty’s International Advisory Board) about these and other questions his editorial has raised at the Faculty on Informatics.

Moshe Y. Vardi
Karen Ostrum George Distinguished Service Processor in Computational Engineering
Director of the Ken Kennedy Institute for Information Technology, Rice University (Houston)

Hans Akkermans
Professor in Business Informatics
Free University Amsterdam

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