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19 September 2006

The further balkanization of the Parallel World

The legal structures of the nation state are increasingly attempt to exert themselves in the Parallel World, as are those who would leverage these structures in order to functionally redistribute the wealth in this new world for their own gain.

Google, of course, having emerged for the time being as one of the most critical of the new webstates, has long been a target for entities ranging from the PRC’s censors to the cults of the rich and powerful here in the United States.

The latest legal skirmish, fought out in the narrow confines of a small and provincal European court, is all the more ironic in that it features the members of the now declining nobility of the Fourth Estate. But each tribe and interest will seek to carve the Parallel World to its own desire, whether through efforts in law where business practice has failed; or through the law of code, as thinker Larry Lessig has postulated.

The end result, of course, will have little to do with the actual redistribution of wealth such as those engaged at the tactical level may desire. Rather, it is much more likely that the once unfettered boundaries of opportunity in the Parallel World will be Balkanized in such a manner as to be entirely schizophrenic. That the users of future services in such an environment will come to accept this will be a measure of just how different the next generation of intelligence analysts and collectors will have to be. This is especially important when one examines the impact of this Balkanization on the open source efforts of the future, as policymaker attention to these resources continues to grow and outpace the time and effort those consumers are willing to exert to be informed by any less commonly available service, no matter what the mystique.