Although the web has created boundless opportunity and made the sum of human knowledge available to anyone with a connection, it has also created its fair share of problems, many of which seem impossible to solve.
Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man behind the World Wide Web, believes that the way his creation works in the present day “completely undermines the spirit of helping people create.”
Head of the Internet Archive, Brewster Kahle agrees with Berners-Lee, adding: “Edward Snowden showed we’ve inadvertently built the world’s largest surveillance network with the web.
“Governments across the globe keep an eye on what their citizens are accessing online and some censor content in an effort to control what they think.”
To combat this, Berners-Lee, Kahle and other pioneers of the modern web are keen to begin brainstorming ideas for a new kind of information network that can’t be controlled by governments or powered by conglomerates like Amazon and Google.
Along with other digital luminaries, like TCP/IP protcol co-creator, Vint Cerf, Mozilla’s Project Leader, Mitchell Baker and Electronic Frontier Foundation Special Advisor Cory Doctorow, the pair will gather in the coming weeks to discuss exactly how this new kind of internet can be created and sustained.
Participants will also mull over the use of increased encryption methods to bring more accountability, as well as to reduce content creators’ and publishers’ dependence on ad revenue by developing secure, direct cryptocurrency-based payment methods for subscribers.
Whilst it is comforting to know that great minds are coming together to address the issues that impact every user, it’s scary to think that it was us that polluted the internet and turned it into what it is today – and in all probability, will ruin the next creation too.