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posted by janrinok on Sunday April 13 2014, @03:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the a-better-world? dept.

The Pew Research Center asked a set of professors, businessmen, and readers of "technology-oriented listservs" to imagine the Internet of 2025. (Source in PDF and HTML.)

Some respondents speculated that there would be amplification of known trends: "ambient" networks (sensors, cameras, phones/tracking devices) that are increasingly integrated into work and social life, ongoing disruption of traditional "content" industries, and the continued growth of analytics/surveillance ("tagging, databasing, and intelligent analytical mapping of the physical and social realms.") Of course, networks "accurately predict[ing] our interests and weaknesses" implies the loss of personal privacy, first to governments and corporations, but eventually to any interested party or social engineer.

Others predicted decentralization and fragmentation self-forming mesh networks, darknets, and proliferating incompatible national/corporate algorithms. Your freedom would be circumscribed by the ideology of your network's owner.

I put the question to you, O People of Soylent. What futures do you foresee? What trends or pathologies does the Pew report minimize or neglect? How can or should *we* influence the Internet's direction in the next decade?

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Sunday April 13 2014, @05:05AM

    by c0lo (156) on Sunday April 13 2014, @05:05AM (#30697) Journal

    I suspect that the vast majority of people will either not be concerned about the increasing loss of digital privacy or they won't understand it, and that those in business and governments who benefit from that apathy with take advantage of it.

    My only question is what will spark the revolt, and when will it happen?

    It won't be a revolt, but means to maintain a level of digital privacy will still exists.

    1. interest in privacy (or lack of it) might not be the same for all geos, e.g. I feel that the EU users may be better prepared in regards with privacy (letting aside the NSA recent debacle, don't forget ACTA failed in EU [] in part due to street protests)
    2. distributed-trust protocols will start to be more common - e.g. the bitcoin horse bolted and is out of the barn already; if needed, a distributed DNS will be adopted by those who know how. Byzantine fault tolerance [] is at the start, but many researchers are already looking into the problem... same as cryptography technology around 1995
      Darknets will be easier possible in the future, will start to exists and be used
    3. I predict an uniform globalisation as dreamt cca AD 2000 won't be possible - just look at China (or the BRICS members). While the free-flow trade of gadgets is likely to go ahead, there won't be an uniform anti-hacking legislation (a global DCMA-like act)
      What follows: if the control is taken from them, there will be geeks to jail-break other gadgets (like cyanogen_mod) or will develop their own (by a RasPi-like process) and subvert them into gateways to darknets

    Using the background noise generated by the Internet of things, at least some of the geeks will be able to evade surveillance and maintain a level of privacy in what would be important to them (sure, maybe not a full privacy). The rest won't care.

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