The Internet is preparing to return to anarchism
Material posted: Publication date: 03-10-2018
According to the "founding fathers" of the Internet, to the present day, his idea was corrupted by dependence on corporations and the States which impose censorship and collect user data. So they are launching an alternative project of "anarchist". The problem is that it can be not only good but also a public threat. However, Russia has a response to it.

The project "alternative" decentralized Internet codenamed DWeb is now occupied by someone, and the command of the Creator of the world wide web Tim Berners-Lee. It is already clear that the funds for him there, and his approach to "freedom from oppression" on the part of corporations and States in theory it is viable.

The Internet, which we lost

The idea of a decentralized Internet is not new. You could even say that it is not the Internet began, because it was conceived as a universal neutral network, where everyone can contribute equally to creating content and thus serve the information society. In the first years of the world wide web, its users have practiced direct communication with each other via their desktop computers, but after 2000, with the advent of Web 2.0, the situation has changed dramatically. A large part of the most popular resources were concentrated in the hands of corporations that control who, when and what information to share. They accumulate the contact and billing information, and lobbying for the enactment of laws imposing strict censorship.

"The Internet has failed instead of serve humanity as it was meant to be, said Tim Berners-Lee in an interview with Vanity Fair in August of this year. The man was incredibly great opportunity. All of this was based on the absence of a Central authority which had to apply for permission. A sense of personal control, empowerment is what we have lost... the Power of the Internet has not been rated or stolen. We, and we are billions, they gave her... Facebook, Google and Amazon now monopolizing almost everything that happens on the Internet – from what we buy to the news that we would like to read."

That is why the group of web developers headed by the "father of the Internet" and thought about the project a new network DWeb, or Web 3.0. It is assumed that it is based on the principle of collective responsibility: all information will be transmitted over the network, bypassing the servers and thus large corporations and the state.

Means that the information will be posted in the General access by normal users, use as storage hard drives of their computers. This type of network is known as P2P (peer-to-peer – equal to equal): each device is both a client and server, the websites and files are transferred from computer to computer. While DWeb is not going to use links of type http and https, looking for the location of information, and will immediately look for the content.

"In a traditional network, we're pointing to this place and pretend that the information only exists in one place. And from this follows all of this monopolization, because whoever controls location controls access to information," explained The Guardian project Manager organization Protocol Labs Matt Zumwalt.

The main event of the adherents of the "new Internet" – a Decentralized web summit this summer, was held in San Francisco for the third time, having collected about 800 professionals. It Berners-Lee presented a project to create a decentralized social applications Solid (social linked data), developed at the Massachusetts Institute of technology. While project development is moving slowly, but the authors argue that it is slowly gaining popularity. "Every few days there is a new man. Some of them heard about the potential of Solid and wanted to turn the world upside down. The people working in the lab, trying to imagine what could be another Internet. The Internet may be another society, if we give people anonymity and give them control over their data. We are building a whole ecosystem," says Berners-Lee.

It is emphasized that the enterprise is doomed to success thanks to its "anarchist spirit". "Decentralized network can win in the third era of the Internet for the same reason they won in the first: winning the hearts and minds of entrepreneurs and developers, writes in his blog, investor and web developer Chris Dixon. – A textbook example of this could be the rivalry in the 2000s, the years between Wikipedia and its centralized competitor to Encarta. If you compare this two products in the early 2000's, even Encarta would have seemed better in coverage and accuracy. But Wikipedia has moved forward much faster because it had an active community of volunteers who were attracted by the decentralized spirit. By 2005, Wikipedia became the most popular reference website on the Internet, and Encarta was closed in 2009".

Cryptocurrency trap

We cannot say that the declared principles of the "alternative Internet" is not used in practice now. For example, for 15 years successfully operates a relatively decentralized BitTorrent Protocol, which is built on the principle of downloading and uploading information from personal devices, it is now one of the main ways of distribution of "pirated content" (movies, music, software).

In 2014, a network called SAFE, which uses the existing Internet but not store data in large servers. The developers saw it as "superstructure" over the Internet, which uses a decentralized principle: everyone who joins the network, had to turn your computer into part of it.

There are even decentralized counterparts search engines like YaCy (Yet another Cyberspace). It works on the principle of peer-to-peer P2P network: each computer on which you installed the main software module, scans the Internet on their own, that is, is analogous to a search robot. Then the obtained results are collected in a common database, which was used by all participants in YaCy.

But one of the most famous examples of the decentralized Internet technology, the blockchain. Its principle of operation is based on the dissemination and storage of data between the chains of blocks without using a single server. Each block contains a link to the previous one, and users can change only those parts of the chain, from which they have the private keys. That is, any file that contains any values that can be sent anywhere in the world, and access (key) to it to transfer to a third party.

In practice, these keys are crypto-currencies led by bitcoin. Already there are some of them that allow you to monetize the use of decentralized Internet – people are making on the provision of space for storage on your device. Last year on a similar project called Filecoin the developers managed to collect nearly 205 million dollars.

Marked on the flags of the struggle for fully free Internet and our countrymen. Company Creator network "Vkontakte" Pavel Durov this year began testing a draft Telegram Passport virtual passport used to authenticate users in Telegram Open Network (TON). In fact, it is a decentralized alternative to the existing network that allegedly complete anonymity and freedom to its users. In addition to the Telegram messenger, TON Gram includes cryptocurrency, the payment system Storage TON and TON of DNS.

Another thing is that the blockchain, providing project funds may ultimately make it difficult to achieve the ultimate goal of the founders DWeb – freedom from corporations.

"Cryptocurrencies can be one of the ways to monetize this project. But if he has the monetization, it will sooner or later cease to be free of the corporations, – commented the newspaper VIEW chief editor of the portal SONAR-2050 Ivan Lizan. Advertising on the Internet is not always controlled by the it corporations like Google, Facebook and Yandex. There were dozens of small offices, but they died when Brin and page thought to create a system of AdWords, AdSense and PageRank. After that, the monopolization of the advertising market became inevitable. So maybe with the Internet, where advertising is the engine is the engine of cryptocurrency. Just if we are funding Corporation, looking at them, in the alternative the Internet in your browser will be embedded miner cryptocurrency – now the sites with them browsers and search engines blocked".

Interestingly, the development of the ideas of the decentralized Internet has made hand, and the most notorious of the Corporation. Another thing is that they are often offered the wrong way. In 2013, technical Director of Google, Eric Schmidt released the book "New digital world", where a proposal was made to develop a P2P network to bypass the censorship on the basis of powerful mobile devices.

"The idea was that your smartphone and sends requests, and serves as the staging server so that others through you can communicate, – said the newspaper VIEW it-expert Vladislav Samoylik. But once there is a lot of nuances, because most likely it will be a network of "melee", dependent on the presence of nearby wi-fi or Bluetooth. If you imagine that it will be done otherwise, for example, based on operators, which will provide a network, then another problem arises: in the case of wireless connections, IP address is generated dynamically, so you cannot connect to any user. So if you want to go somewhere far away, for example, from Russia to America, then you first need to log in to a certain point routing, where your IP address will be replaced with public using NAT (network address translation). To obtain this address still correct servers that go through all the traffic, and, ultimately, the issue of decentralization will be removed".

Therefore, says Samoilyk, a decentralized Internet can be realized only in local networks, and mainly in large cities, where there is a lot of devices included in the network. How it will work in remote areas where there are just a few of the available wi-fi hotspots, it is not clear.

Russia is not lost

Opponents of the development of the decentralized Internet talking about a number of significant risks of networks such as DWeb. Chief among them – the uncontrolled spread of dangerous content. The same principle that precludes the collection of personal data, keeps the anonymity of pornographers, drug dealers and terrorists. The copyright laws or the removal of false information simply will not be able to be fulfilled.

However, according to experts, the state can still find ways to control the content. "This will not be an ordinary wire, but the two most logical way is obvious, – said Samoilyk. The first is banal registration of bots: people working for the state, will write the program who will view this "alternative Internet" and to gather the necessary information. The second follows from the first: based on this information will identify the major users and take action against them.

In Russia I see no problem to identify such users."

Simply put, get rid of the state does not – it is the guardian of their interests. "It is important to ensure security and observance of balance between the interests of right holders and users – recalls Ivan Lizan. – The Internet is not immediately overregulated – first, before him nobody cared. About the same story was with the aircraft: the air code of the state was taken much later of their appearance. The Internet has entered a period of maturity when the state has need of its regulation. To date, it learned to regulate processes in the network, so that at least Internet 2.0, at least 3.0 of the Internet – it doesn't matter".

In General, the need for some control over the Internet challenge very few specialists. "In any society there will always be crazy people. But control does not necessarily mean that the state uses organized violence to all violators of the norms. The control could be a kind of social structure that more or less humane. In any case, to do without control is impossible, no matter what the apologists of the free market. Uncontrolled Internet is very useful for information. What if in a decentralised system some part fail? Who will support the entire system?" – rhetorically asked the newspaper OPINION editor of the telegram-channel Politeconomics Khazbi of Budanov.

There is also a purely technical problem of the expansion of networks such as DWeb. For example, existing smartphones are not ready for such a high load. P2P system underlying the decentralized Internet can function only if sufficient memory and battery power. Given that, according to research company Mediascope, about 60% of Russians access the Internet through a smartphone, the scale of the problem obvious. To compete with the "traditional" Internet, the new network should have advantages in speed and availability, which is not. Hence the skeptical attitude to such projects. "I do not see an alternative to the existing ideology of the Network. In any case, rolling is such a huge array of social practices, which already exists in the Network, it is not easy," says well-known media theorist Andrey Miroshnichenko.

"At first, something new really can be free, – sums up Ivan Lizan. But then in this new inevitable concentration of capital, and the conditional market of perfect competition goes first to the oligopoly and then monopoly. So it was with the usual Internet, a network, free from any corporations. Capitalism simply can not be undone – it is what it is, and socialism is in sight".

Sofia Nezvanova


Tags: information war , information Society