In 2015 We Fix the Internet

Eli
Eli
Jan 1, 2015 · 5 min read

The internet as we know it exists for more than 20 years. In this short period the internet has changed our lives completely — although not everyone on the planet has access to the internet, those who do cannot imagine life without it.

The internet serves as the ethos of our modern society with all of its amazing features, applications capabilities, and even tragedies.

Like everything else, the internet began very optimistically — we imagined a truly free method of communications that is not censored or corrupted by the whims of the few and as a liberator for the human condition.

The internet has brought many great things to our society, but it’s inherent structure is being used to control and manipulate us. Rather than being a tool of free speech it is being used to control what information we see and to collect everything we do.

The old infrastructure that grew to become the internet of today is no longer reliable, it is being used by oppressive regimes across the planet to spy on citizens and governments decide what is legal for us to access and publish and what is not.

Add to those facts the idea that we the people who create the internet at large, the users, the writers, the content creators, are not enjoying the fruits of our labors because of the way the internet is built. Content websites like YouTube are enjoying an unending feed of content that we are creating but contributes nothing back to us except for the ability to access that content, disregarding the few superstars who get paid peanuts for having millions of monthly viewers.

Another worthy mention is the fact that due to the topography of the web we are essentially using an outdated technology that is prone to DDoS attacks and service outages when we could easily update our entire internet infrastructure to be thousands of times faster and infinitely more resilient.

Technologies evolve at an extreme speeds when they are allowed to, when the playing field is large enough to experiment and open enough to bring in new ideas. Although our internet today has created many great things, we are only on the cusp of possibilities limited by old systems such as politics, old ideas such as copyright that create bottlenecks when there should be none.

We have the technology to build a better internet. Recent technologies like BitTorrent and Bitcoin are proving that decentralization is trumping centralization by any measure feasible. Bitcoin is a network that no single entity controls and yet we all decide its fate, BitTorrent is a network that brings us content disregarding the ephemeral laws and bylaws of one state or culture or another.

In 2015, we will build the internet that will serve us for the next century, that will allow us to express ourselves without the fear of retribution, without central servers that control what content goes in or out, without the limitations of centralized networks.

We will build an internet that reduces the cost of transferring information across the planet to minuscule amounts, an internet that pays back to the users that help to create and maintain it and all that is within it, a decentralized network that is unbreakable and unstoppable that no government or business man on the planet could control.

We will liberate ourselves from the faults of our own biology and upgrade our society to be truly free.


The Practical Plan

Although I have a clear vision of this technology and I believe that it can be built within a year or two of hard-core research and development, eventually things change rapidly and ideas evolve.

I believe in the open-source movement and as a result this entire project from start to finish will be open-sourced. The technologies, ideas, prototypes and everything else that this project will produce will be available to everyone.

The system that we will build is an evolution of the systems that we have today, taking the best ideas of the previous centuries to combine them into this new globally connected network.

I am just one person, and this idea has been burning in my body and soul for the past four-or-so years, but one person cannot take such a herculean undertaking on his own, to make this happen we will need the best minds available.

My personal vision for the road-map is as follows:

  1. 3–6 months — Releasing a whitepaper that will outline the new network and all of its components available for review and comments
  2. 6–12 months — Creating and releasing the first prototype to the general public aimed at developers and early adopters
  3. 12–24 months — Releasing a full-fledged device that will be able to begin systematic replacement of the existing internet infrastructure at large
  4. 3–6 years — Deprecating the existing infrastructure of the internet moving from the centralized topography that exists today to a fully decentralized and distrusted network

The project will consist of two main aspects:

A device that is capable of discovering and connecting to other similar devices — this basically replaces the ISPs and telecom companies. The device will be fully open-sourced including its software and hardware.

A protocol that these devices will be using to communicate with that will provide a financial incentive for users to use those devices instead of the existing infrastructure.

It is important to note that the vision here does not simply leaps from a centralized to a decentralized network overnight, but instead it takes into account the transition period and at its early stages will provide a bridge between the existing internet network to the new network. Users of the new network will always have access to the old network, even users in areas where the old network is crippled or limited, while users of the old network might have problems accessing the new network depending on their internet providers and local rules and regulations.

It’s also worth noting that the users of the new network will have access to most of the existing network regardless of their physical location or limitations set by the local regulators thanks to the way the new network will work that is incapable of blocking a specific user from access to specific domain or information, in the new network it simply impossible the same way it is impossible for the BitTorrent network to decide what content may or may not be used with it, or the Bitcoin network that cannot distinguish between it’s users or their purposes.

A Call to Arms and Brains

In the next couple of months, until the end of February, we will build the team that will take this undertaking.

We will need the following roles in the project:

  1. Project coordinator
  2. Software and hardware engineers with background in:
    - Networking
    - Distributed networks
    - Embedded technology
    - TOR network
    - Bitcoin network
    - BitTorrent network
    - Financial networks
    - WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, or RFID experience
    - Device-to-device communications
    - Web Technologies (Server-side and Client-side)
  3. Economist
  4. Social networks / PR coordinator
  5. Biz-dev

Once the initial phase of creating the team and releasing the whitepaper (3–6 months hence) is finished, the project will launch a crowd-funding campaign to fund the research and development that will be required — my belief is that this project will need to be publicly funded only for the first two years and once the public prototype is released the project will be able to fund itself from the sales of the device.


The internet is ours, we are the internet, no one should be able to stop us from accessing or publishing any type of information as these actions always lead to oppression and inequality.

We have the power to change this, and you can help.

Contact us via: http://goo.gl/forms/7OWv6Nt7IS

Twitter: @FixOurInternet

    Eli

    Written by

    Eli

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