The Internet is naturally decentralized, but it's distorted by business considerations.
I’m sure it was a Wired editor, and not the author Steven Levy, who assigned the title “How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet” to yesterday’s fine article about the pressures on large social networking sites. Whoever chose the title, it’s justifiably grandiose because to many people, yes, companies such as Facebook and Google constitute what they know as the Internet. (The article also discusses threats to divide the Internet infrastructure into national segments, which I’ll touch on later.)
So my question today is: How did we get such industry concentration? Why is a network famously based on distributed processing, routing, and peer connections characterized now by a few choke points that the NSA can skim at its leisure?