Historians generally agree that 1890 marked the end of the American frontier – the age of the Wild West was over. There was nowhere to go where somebody had not gone before.
2019 will go down as the year the internet frontier ended. Corporate and government entities have now taken over complete control of the internet. It really was inevitable, just a matter of when.
In the early days, people scoffed at the potential power of the internet to change society and culture. Now the internet is a tool to gather information on six billion people and modify their behavior and control public opinion and sell them things they didn’t know they needed.
This website has been in anachronism. There’s no profit motive, and no corporate entity wanting to monetize your eyeballs. There is no venture capital fund hoping to launch an IPO – just one person spending 15 years of his life creating something that other people might find useful.
I indicated a while back that the EU’s GDPR could spell the end of this website, and possibly much more than that. Undoubtedly you’re noticing an increased insistence that websites must ask you for your consent before adding tracking information in a cookie.
Linode, my web hosting company, really has no alternative but to comply with these laws. They have set up a website with page after page the legal isms and the sample documents to comply with the European data privacy rights law.
But that is not the end of it. They also informed me that California is also implementing privacy laws similar to the gdpr then apply to servers located in California, and visitors from California. LINode offers the advice that one way to deal with this is to block IP addresses in California from accessing your website. I have no idea how one could possibly do that.
It is probable that this will trigger a growth industry of consulting firms who will test your website for compliance, and threaten you with punishment unless you hire them to conform to these regulations – kind of like when law firms hire people in wheelchairs to go test retail stores for compliance with the Americans with disability act, then file a lawsuit if they find some aisle that is too narrow for the wheelchair.
Given the decrease in interest in the directory, and my declining personal situation, this is no longer a battle I’m willing to fight. I should probably arrange a final download of the website, and stop the web server before December 31st. Everything is virtual anyhow, so it can continue to exist offline in the cloud until I decide a more permanent fate for it.