It’s been a tough week the defenders of liberty on planet internet. The announcement that The Verge and The Daily Dot have suspended commenting, gives pause to those of us who dreamt that Tim Berners-Lee’s TCP/IP brain-wave would lead to some kind of Elysian universe where we were finally freed from the bondage of censorship, patrician medalling and nanny-knows-best interference.
And then the Impact Team smashed open the infidelity site Ashley Madison. Whilst there may have been some brief hilarity as those fingered (ahem) by the de facto internet plod rushed to defend themselves, there was an uneasy feeling amongst net-liberty watchers that we were seeing here, and in the ending of comments on The Verge and The Daily Dot, the signs of a disturbing trend. The ultimate ice bucket challenge, if you will, on the heads of those who might have thought that they had found the answer to JJ Rousseau’s chains.