VC: The Internet is threatened by governments that want to control content and use of the network. All of us have gotten accustomed to freedom of expression and freedom of access to content on the net, but we have also gotten accustomed to something called permissionless innovation, which is a phrase I use to explain why it’s so important to keep the network relatively open and freely accessible. It’s so that anyone who wants to try a new application out can just do so.
We all have to appreciate that there are harms that occur on the net, no one who tells you otherwise should be believed, there’s viruses, worms, trojan horses and other kinds of technical attacks on the net turning your machine into a member of a botnet that generates spam or generates denial of service attacks or directly goes after content on your machine, there’s key loggers that go looking for passwords and account numbers. Those are bad.
The problem is that sometimes the proposed cure is worse than the disease, and in some cases it is to shut down the Internet or block websites or to interfere with our ability to make use of the system, and these harms and their remedies are used as an excuse to prevent political speech, to prevent people from sharing information from knowing what is going on, it’s to obscure transparent visibility of what the government is doing. Governments that are authoritarian are feeling threatened by the freedom and openness of expression and discovery of information on the Internet so they will use any excuse they can find to shut that network down. That’s what you’re seeing right now.
Governments "Threatened by Freedom and Openness of Expression" on Internet
From an interview with Vint Cerf in the Financial Post: