The future of the open Internet is decentralized

Joseph Cox, May 12, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Many of the recent problems being seen in digital communications - from the cost of acess to the widespread spying to the blocking of services like YouTube and Twitter to the commodification of commercialization of services that used to be free - have resulted from the ongoing re-centralization of the internet, where one or a few services are able to monopolize discourse. This has not resulted (as they say) naturally, but as the result of the deliberate intervention by corporations and governments to make the internet manageable. As a consequence, though, of this clampdown we are seeing the rise of genuinely distributed networks that circumvent attempts at control - things like BitTorrent, Bitcoin, DarkMarket, and now, MaidSafe, which allows users to share bandwidth and processing power to support a distributed and very underground applications network.

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