"What you represent is not a parallel universe, freed from rules of law... The Internet is now part of the life of many. It would be a contradiction to dismiss the governments of this huge forum. Nobody can or should forget that governments are in our democracies the legitimate representatives of the general will. To forget that is to risk democratic chaos and anarchy. To forget this would confuse populism with democracy of conscience." -- Nicolas Sarkozy, eG8, May 2011 (translated)
What does history tell us about attacks on the internet by governments? Will they succeed?
The internet of course has only been in existence for about four decades. You can, as Timothy Wu does, consider the fate of the internet at the hands of governments and oligopolists in the context of the broader regulation of communications since the late 19th century. He warns that there’s no particular reason why the cycle of innovation, commercialisation and government-approved oligopolist control that has applied to every new medium since the telegraph shouldn’t overtake the internet as well unless we act.