Could the Internet Have Stopped Hitler?

After that, it would have been too late. Once the Nazis took over the chancellory, the party would have censored the Web in Germany – and eventually all the countries it occupied – subverting it to its own ends as a propaganda organ and a tool for surveillance of dissidents. The Third Reich Web would have been, like the Nazis themselves, a dangerous institution.

With one exception. I think the Internet might have stopped – or at least forestalled long enough for an Allied victory – the Holocaust. I can imagine fuzzy cell phone pictures of the ovens at Auschwitz, or videos of the Warsaw ghetto, or train schedules across Poland, somehow making their way to Allied servers and from there by-passing the mainstream media to explode on the pages of blogs and web sites all over the world. Secrecy – and Allied indifference – were crucial to the Final Solution. The Internet, even an underground one, would have made both impossible.

History Changed?

So even if the Internet, had it existed, would likely have failed to stop World War II, it might well have stopped the worst government-sanctioned mass murder in history. And that's enough to say there may be something to Jean-Marie Le Clezio's remarks after all.

TAD'S TAB: Thatwasepic.com is something you can find yourself browsing for hours. The Web site is simply a list of video comments from the Web taken out of context, and let stand on their own as strange, eerily poetic, statements. The collection is seemingly endless, and the comments make an interesting statement on the anonymity – and hidden artfulness -- of the Internet.

This is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.

Michael S. Malone is one of the nation's best-known technology writers. He has covered Silicon Valley and high-tech for more than 25 years, beginning with the San Jose Mercury News as the nation's first daily high-tech reporter. His articles and editorials have appeared in such publications as The Wall Street Journal, The Economist and Fortune, and for two years he was a columnist for The New York Times. He was editor of Forbes ASAP, the world's largest-circulation business-tech magazine, at the height of the dot-com boom. Malone is the author or co-author of a dozen books, notably the best-selling "Virtual Corporation." Malone has also hosted three public television interview series, and most recently co-produced the celebrated PBS miniseries on social entrepreneurs, "The New Heroes." He has been the ABCNews.com "Silicon Insider" columnist since 2000.

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