Who controls the information highway?

November 18th, 2010

The subject of net neutrality, the idea that everyone should have the same access to the web, is certainly the subject of much debate. But that debate, begs the larger issue. That is, that the history of innovation is the history of the concentration of power and control in the hands of a few. Sometimes even government has been complicit in that effort. From the printing press to the telephone to radio & television, individuals and monolithic enterprises have exercised central control. With the Internet and its lower barriers to entry, how will this historical economic and capitalistic trend play out? This is the central focus of the work of Tim Wu, the man who coined the term "net neutrality," and whose new book The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires, could well be the tabula rasa of our digital future. My conversation with Tim Wu: