The Internet Age represents an era of unprecedented freedom in both communication and culture. However each major new medium, from telephone to satellite television, has crested a wave of similar idealistic optimism, before succumbing to the inevitable undertow of industrial consolidation. Every once free and open technology has, in time, become centralised and closed; a huge corporate power taking control of the ‘master switch’.
Today, as a similar struggle looms over the Internet, increasingly the pipeline of all other media, the stakes have never been higher. At this joint OII/RISJ seminar, Tim Wu speaks to John Lloyd and Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger about information technology history and shares his unique insight into the next chapter of global communication as he launches his new book ‘The Master Switch’ in the UK.
About the speakers
Tim Wu is a Columbia Law professor, author and policy advocate, and the first to coin the phrase ‘net neutrality’. In February 2011 he was appointed as senior advisor to the Federal Trade Commission for consumer protection and competition issues that affect the Internet and mobile markets.