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[–] 4EnglandJames 0 points 5 points (+5|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Here's how I get to sleep at night:

I think global information networks will begin to fragment (to an extent they already have), leaving the "old" internet to media conglomerates with expensive curated drivel and a user base with zero privacy (and one-click purchases!). Some may choose to use multiple networks, but I definitely see viable open alternative networks gaining momentum and the proliferation of cheap or even disposable technology will make current anti-privacy measures obsolete.

I'm thinking at some point in the near future, we'll have the equivalent of the "burner phone" for most internet connected devices (something like ultra cheap Raspberry Pi terminals but in cost and volume similar to business cards). There are already systems in place for incentivizing users to act as a mesh node (probably through Tor) that can be connected to and paid for with bitcoin micro payments.

There are government funded organizations actively working against this outcome (NIST) through projects like Internet2 under the guise of "security" or something, but if alternatives are available I think people will use them. In fact, a private automated taxi service might be a great business if you use similar "trust" systems as some of the bitcoin markets. As soon as RealID or something similar is a requirement for internet usage, I could see enough people jumping ship to form a new web.

Granted, people like my parents would line up for a bar code tattooed on their forehead if the government told them it was to stop terrorists, and I think there will always be that segment of the population. Again though, they might use multiple networks if they could only access their shitty entertainment through official channels.

Additionally, I think the internet as we currently know it is falling victim to Borges' Library of Babel. There are sites that publish huge lists of fake contact information and the like for the explicit purpose of protecting other peoples' identities. Hell, I made a few fake Google accounts just today.