In a recent canvassing of experts by the Pew Research Internet Project, some scary results were revealed. Across the world, the Internet is under attack by governments and nation-states trying to filter and halt information to citizens under their control.
Of the more than 1,400 experts interviewed, 65 percent of them reported that they are optimistic for the future. But there are four main threats to the Internet as it currently stands, these experts report.
- Actions by nation-states to maintain security and political control will lead to more blocking, filtering, segmentation and balkanization of the Internet.
- Trust will evaporate in the wake of revelations about government and corporate surveillance and likely greater surveillance in the future.
- Commercial pressures affecting everything from Internet architecture to the flow of information will endanger the open structure of online life.
- Efforts to fix the TMI (too much information) problem might over-compensate and actually thwart content sharing.
Many of these threats are very real dangers. In the wake of the Edward Snowden file leaks in the U.S., there has been a national outcry and huge distrust of the government and the NSA as a whole.
And the governments of Turkey, Pakistan, Egypt and China have all forced content like Twitter and other social media to be blocked or filtered so that citizens only see what the government wants them to see. Especially when the content criticized or seemed to threaten the current power structure in any way.