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The New Internet We can Expect, Not the One We Want

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2022-05-14 15:00:08

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I think many who are aware of the massive problems with today's Internet have unrealistic expectations for potential replacements. First, they expect a single new network to completely replace the current Internet. Second, they expect to continue engaging in the same activities on this "new Internet", including watching hours of YouTube videos and Netflix movies every day. They also expect this new Internet to be faster, have little or no intrusive advertisements but more privacy, anonymity, security, and free speech. And, they believe this new Internet will be free--both free, as in free beer, and free, as in freedom. Unless some unforeseen technology suddenly appears, I think they are on a train headed for the land of disappointment.

According to some estimates, over the last twenty years, public use of alternative Internet networks, technically known as Internet overlay networks, has grown to include millions of users world wide. After three years of investigating alternative networks like Aether, Gemini, Gopher, I2P, IPFS, Secure Scuttlebutt, Lokinet, Tor, and ZeroNet and using ZeroNet on a daily basis, I have come to some realizations about the new Internet that we are likely to see over the next decade or two. I strongly believe that alternative networks will feature prominently, but not in the way many expect.

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