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The Liquefaction of Publicness: Communication, Democracy and the Public Sphere in the Internet Age, Vol. 25 - 2018, No. 1

A Critical Perspective on the Post-Internet World

, pages: 210-217

This article addresses the transformation of the Internet from a loosely organised, decentralised and pluralistic system to a tightly controlled, centralised and commodified system under corporate and government control. Drawing on a political economy perspective, it begins by addressing key technical systems, including cloud computing, big data analytics and the Internet of Things. The paper explores how their convergence raises significant military, environmental, economic, privacy and labour issues. It concludes by considering the challenge of governing the Next Internet as a public utility like water and electricity, available to all as a citizenship right, rather than continuing to treat this vital resource as a commercial commodity, governed by private corporations driven to maximise profit.

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