Reply to post: Muddled reasoning

Big Tech shrank the internet while growing its own power

doublelayer Silver badge

Muddled reasoning

In general, we do have a lot of negative effects of big tech on our infrastructure and standards. This article appears to be hitting that drum, but from a drummer who just whacks the thing with a stick at random, only landing on the right surface by chance. This starts right from the beginning. The first example to be used to demonstrate that we have a control problem is Apple's Private Relay. This is a VPN. A completely normal VPN. It works like the VPNs we have had. It's also completely within our control, as a user can turn it on and off at will (and it's turned off by default). It takes some information away from the local ISP, which is in fact probably a good thing given what some ISPs like to do with those records. I don't use it because I'm using my own VPN, set up and managed with standards and software that I have complete access to and denying exactly the same information to the ISP. This is not an issue of over-control by big tech.

The same is true of the caching. The article correctly points out all the performance and efficiency benefits of using local caching, then somehow paints it as bad anyway. No, it's not. Once again, it's a thing that can be circumvented if you want extra latency. The systems that implement a CDN are almost always using open standards and quite frequently open source. I can rent someone else's or set up my own. The existence of those networks does not create a barrier to entry. If I choose not to have one, the internet still routes people to my systems. No company locks me out of using or refusing to use CDNs. Once again, this fails to demonstrate any control by big tech.

The sad part of this is that there are a lot of areas where tech companies have major and deleterious effects on important standards and this article had the opportunity to cover many of them. Tech companies have cornered the markets for browsers, mobile OSes, software distribution (in many cases), and membership on a lot of standards bodies. Any of those could have gotten a few paragraphs of legitimate complaint. None of that is something I can opt out of. As this stands, the best example in the article is the complaint about IPV6 which, while accurate, is not the most concerning problem out there.

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