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posted by martyb on Wednesday October 12 2016, @01:42PM   Printer-friendly
from the just-run-your-OWN-facebook-at-home dept.

The original purpose of the web and internet, if you recall, was to build a common neutral network which everyone can participate in equally for the betterment of humanity. Fortunately, there is an emerging movement to bring the web back to this vision and it even involves some of the key figures from the birth of the web. It's called the Decentralised Web or Web 3.0, and it describes an emerging trend to build services on the internet which do not depend on any single "central" organisation to function.

So what happened to the initial dream of the web? Much of the altruism faded during the first dot-com bubble, as people realised that an easy way to create value on top of this neutral fabric was to build centralised services which gather, trap and monetise information.

[...] There are three fundamental areas that the Decentralised Web necessarily champions: privacy, data portability and security.

Privacy: Decentralisation forces an increased focus on data privacy. Data is distributed across the network and end-to-end encryption technologies are critical for ensuring that only authorized users can read and write. Access to the data itself is entirely controlled algorithmically by the network as opposed to more centralized networks where typically the owner of that network has full access to data, facilitating customer profiling and ad targeting.
Data Portability: In a decentralized environment, users own their data and choose with whom they share this data. Moreover they retain control of it when they leave a given service provider (assuming the service even has the concept of service providers). This is important. If I want to move from General Motors to BMW today, why should I not be able to take my driving records with me? The same applies to chat platform history or health records.
Security: Finally, we live in a world of increased security threats. In a centralized environment, the bigger the silo, the bigger the honeypot is to attract bad actors. Decentralized environments are safer by their general nature against being hacked, infiltrated, acquired, bankrupted or otherwise compromised as they have been built to exist under public scrutiny from the outset.

In the Web 3.0 I want a markup tag that delivers a nasty shock to cyber-spies...

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12 2016, @08:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 12 2016, @08:11PM (#413619)

    Email(SMTP/POP3/IMAP) - Still aruond, but many hosts filtered completely by big email providers. Some even lagging messages by hours or days.
    Usenet(NNTP) - The original web forums as well as bittorrent. Pushed to closure between the 90s and early '00s as part of both the crackdown on pirated (insert item here) as well as excessive bandwidth usage by people abusing usenet messages to send ascii encoded binary files as 'attachments' taking up more bandwidth than most ISPs had allocated for their USERs. Resulted in first the dropping of usenet binary groups, then an ever increasing number of non-binary groups (when those users migrated), and eventually cumulating in ISPs dropping it as a pro-bono service.
    Jabber (XMPP) - The 'future' of IMing. Google, Facebook, others all hopped on the bandwagon. For a while it seems like it was poised to take over the IM industry and provide for it what SMTP and company provided for email. It had email-like addresses, virtual business cards, directory services for corporate prescences, etc. Destroyed thanks to sheeple joining proprietary services instead (Kik, originally XMPP moved proprietary protocol, GTalk and Facebook Messenger as well, which migrated away from XMPP access and federation.) Blamable on user apathy and spam (Which should have been simple enough to fix by requiring authorization before messages could be send.)
    Diaspora, Friendica, others: Distributed facebook/myspace/livejourhal alternatives. These particular implementations were late to the party, however allowed moving your profile data between services. Problems? Issues with sccraping, but moreover everyone already tied to their current social network presence and unwilling to move. Same issue affected Google's facebook clone.

    Gnutella/eDonkey/Torrents/etc: Lack of anonymity, new alternatives for users (mostly proprietary.)

    I am sure there are other examples, but the gist from this is user apathy, spam/excessive traffic, and legal hurdles have all conspired to kill open technologies, and instead see proprietary solutions continue to dominate. It is also to a certain degree proprietary tribalism, same as all the people continuing to use windows or osx when free alternatives that COULD offer them choice are available.