Educational CyberPlayGround ®

What is the Future of the Internet?


How Society Will Be Transformed By CryptoEconomics
Thoughts by Noah Thorp from his work @CitizenCode

The future we want to create: David Nordfors, chair of the Innovation For Jobs Summit says “If we care more about tasks than about people, then tech will replace people. If we care more about people than about tasks, then tech will leverage people.” There are many ways in which technological innovation can disrupt unemployment and machines can work for society rather than society for machines — but we have to want that.

A new legal and technological entity called a Distributed Collaborative Organization represents a new way of organizing multi-stakeholder cooperatives at scale. Could the difference between dystopia and protopia pivot on the structure of ownership?
As an estimated 40-50% of the US workforce will be freelance by 2020, new models of ownership must emerge to fit new ways of working. The shift of individual relationships with single organizations to an ecosystem of collaborators interacting with many organizations requires a shift in ownership and decision making.

Dyson, Gilder, Keyworth, Toffler's 1994 manifesto: Cyberspace and the American Dream: A Magna Carta for the Knowledge Age.
The longish 7000+ word essay anticipates the disruptions of the present moment to an amazing extent. The Internet remained a government project in 1994 and the web included all of 3000 or so websites. The futurist group identifies the regulatory risk to computer networks as the primary threat to the benefits of the Knowledge Age. The past provided plenty of evidence to doubt the benefits of industrial policy in the domain computer networks. The FCC's implementations of telephone network industrial policy in the Telecom Act of 1996 failed without exception otherwise known as the telecom crash. The steady stream of public interest benefits generated by the information technology sector left computer networks classified as non-regulated information services. The group did not predict the Commission would vote to impose telephone network industrial policy on the Internet after 20 years of successful non-regulation (and failed regulation of the telephone network)." ~ Daniel Berninger

Future Insight Release 1.2 n August 1994
The central event of the 20th century is the overthrow of matter. In technology, economics, and the politics of nations, wealth -- in the form of physical resources -- has been losing value and significance. The powers of mind are everywhere ascendant over the brute force of things.


2015 Internet as failed state
"...the Internet might soon look less like 1970s New York and more like 1990s Mogadishu: warring factions destroying the most fundamental of services, 'security zones' reducing or eliminating free movement, and security costs making it prohibitive for anyone but the most well-funded operations to do business without becoming a 'soft target' for political or economic gain."

Why does the NSA's boss care so much about backdoors when he can just steal all our encryption keys? Bruce Schneier, who literally wrote the book on cryptography and was present at the discussion, had to point out that insisting on backdoors in encryption - such as skeleton keys that can decrypt any message - will weaken Americans' security. The NSA and Britain's GCHQ had into the world's largest SIM card manufacturer to steal phone call encryption keys, and Kaspersky Lab's on NSA malware hidden in hard drive firmware. The answer to the headline's question is perfect forward secrecy: as more communications software uses PFS to keep chatter encrypted even if keys are obtained by agents and miscreants, the Feds need other means to tap our chats.

2014 The Open Internet paper
This paper is almost 4 years old, and a bit behind the times. But it is still well worth reading. We argue that rather than impose potentially costly NN conditions, the FCC should increase competition by putting lots more spectrum into the market so 4G can provide BB competition. That story is still correct, even more so today now that 4G is really out there (which is wasn't quite yet in 2010).

The Open Internet: A Customer-Centric Framework
Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and Penn Law School

Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science and Engineering Public Policy

Date submitted: 2010-01-17
The Federal Communications Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, “Preserving the Open Internet,” is the most significant reach of regulatory power over the Internet in U.S. history. The NPRM proposes a set of regulations for broadband ISPs corresponding to the four principles previously adopted by the Commission, plus two new ones: nondiscrimination and transparency. We strongly support customer-focused transparency by all Internet firms, not just broadband ISPs. We oppose, however, the remaining five proposals to implement network neutrality for broadband ISPs as both unnecessary and harmful. We find that there is nothing here to be fixed, and that there is no market failure. The regulations are not only unnecessary; they would impose significant costs on broadband customers. We find that the costs that would be imposed on wireless broadband would be particularly punishing, and likely to permanently harm that industry.
We instead propose that the FCC focus its energies on bringing more competition to the already rivalrous broadband marketplace, a goal which is within reach. Over a dozen wireless carriers now provide 3G service, and 4G service, which can substitute even more effectively for many Internet uses that were previously confined to wireline, is imminent. It is essential that the FCC release substantial amounts of licensed spectrum into the marketplace so that this additional competition can emerge quickly. The FCC should not waste its time with pointless, costly regulation; it should facilitate competition so that customers can choose for themselves if and how much network neutrality they want. Let the customers decide; not regulators, not pundits, not advocates.


"According to a new Cisco forecast, in just four years two-thirds of the world's mobile data traffic will be video."

Google Director of Search Peter Norvig on Google's aggregation and multiplication of intelligence.



AT&T was saying that their DSL superiority made bandwidth caps unnecessary, to wit:

Some AT&T customers use disproportionately high amounts of Internet capacity, "but we figure that's why they buy the service," said Michael Coe, a spokesman for the company. -- September 7, 2007 - Washington Post

"Much of the talk re caps has less to do with traffic management and maybe more to do with competing with TV delivered via the net. Caps structured "correctly" will surcharge TV delivery over the net so much as to make it non competative with the cable (and fios} TV delivery systems. So we will continue with hundreds of channels and nothing to watch." ~ djf

The Internet And The Neutrality Question -- A Conversation With David Farber - This video interview was produced as part of the 37th kmb video journal. Conference, March 8, 9, &10, 2006 held at St. Pete's Beach FL.

This page contains a Flash video. To view it requires that the Flash plugin is installed and Javascript enabled.

Upgrade your Flash Player

Law Professor: Counter Terrorism Czar Told Me There Is Going To Be An i-9/11 And An i-Patriot Act. Stanford Law professor Lawrence Lessig details government plans to overhaul and restrict the Internet.

During a group panel segment titled "2018: Life on the Net", Lessig stated:

There's going to be an i-9/11 event. Which doesn't necessarily mean an Al Qaeda attack, it means an event where the instability or the insecurity of the internet becomes manifest during a malicious event which then inspires the government into a response. You've got to remember that after 9/11 the government drew up the Patriot Act within 20 days and it was passed.
The Patriot Act is huge and I remember someone asking a Justice Department official how did they write such a large statute so quickly, and of course the answer was that it has been sitting in the drawers of the Justice Department for the last 20 years waiting for the event where they would pull it out.
Of course, the Patriot Act is filled with all sorts of insanity about changing the way civil rights are protected, or not protected in this instance. So I was having dinner with Richard Clarke and I asked him if there is an equivalent, is there an i-Patriot Act just sitting waiting for some substantial event as an excuse to radically change the way the internet works. He said "of course there is".

Lessig is the founder of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society. He is founding board member of Creative Commons and is a board member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and of the Software Freedom Law Center. He is best known as a proponent of reduced legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and radio frequency spectrum, particularly in technology applications.
The Patriot Act, as well as its lesser known follow up the Domestic Security Enhancement Act 2003, also known as USA Patriot Act II, have been universally decried by civil libertarians and Constitutional scholars from across the political spectrum. They have stripped back basic rights and handed what have been described by even the most moderate critics as "dictatorial control" over to the president and the federal government.
Many believed that the legislation was a response to the attacks of 9/11, but the reality was that the Patriot Act was prepared way in advance of 9/11 and it sat dormant, awaiting an event to justify its implementation.
In the days after the attacks it was passed in the House by a majority of 357 to 66. It passed the Senate by 98 to 1. Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex) told the Washington Times that no member of Congress was even allowed to read the legislation.
Now we discover that exactly the same freedom restricting legislation has already been prepared for the cyber world.
An i-9/11, as described by Lawrence Lessig, would provide the perfect pretext to implement such restrictions in one swift motion, as well as provide the justification for relegating and eliminating specific content and information on the web.
Such an event could come in the form of a major viral attack, the hacking of a major city's security or transport systems, or some other vital systems, or a combination of all of these things. Considering the amount of unanswered questions regarding 9/11 and all the indications that it was a covert false flag operation, it isn't hard to imagine such an event being played out in the cyber world.
However, regardless of any i-9/11 or i-Patriot Act, there is already a coordinated effort to stem the reach and influence of the internet. Read More


Despite all of our high-tech stuff, some basic truths remain unchanged. Control over the access to information, whether on scrolls, in books, or flashing onto computer screens, is power. And those persons and organizations who would restrict such access are always the first to realize and manipulate this fact -- to the detriment of society at large. This has been true all throughout human history, and our fancy machines and networks have not made us immune to the same dark traps. ~ Lauren Weinstein




The Internet is Growing at an annualized rate of 18% and now has one billion users. A second billion users will follow in the next ten years, bringing a dramatic change in worldwide usability needs.36% of Internet users are now in Asia and 24% are in Europe. Only 23% of users are in North America, where it all started in 1969 when two computers -- one in Los Angeles, the other in Palo Alto -- were networked together. It took 36 years for the Internet to get its first billion users. The second billion will probably be added by 2015; most of these new users will be in Asia. The third billion will be harder, and might not be reached until 2040. Now, learn a little about something called bandwidth.

The Computer Age Arrives, civilization as we've known it is over.


  • "Rethinking the design of the Internet: The end to end arguments vs. the brave new world".
  • The Future of Security
  • F*ck Big Media: Rolling Your Own Network

Telcos hurting national interest says Vint Cerf
We have too many Telcos, Verisigns, and Googles. What we need are not so many rules that say "no" but more rules that say "yes" to new investment by new competitors. We need to open the doors so that new players will provide alternatives to the existing telco and cable TV local copper.

Finally! an Energy Policy the world can get behind and a new business model to replace the TELCO's dead industry model.


"Power electrons are the mother's milk of the information age and power distribution is a lot more fragile than we imagine," said Paul Saffo, director of the Institute for the Future. Carry spare batteries."