The Decentralized Web Is Coming


Google and Facebook topping the global
digital advertising market last year. You’re seeing this incredibly large company getting involved in almost every area of commerce. The big tech media companies they’re
actively silencing conservatives. What I’m saying is we gotta break these guys apart. You want to run a platform? That’s fine. You don’t get to run a whole bunch of the businesses as well. Google handles 88% of search traffic in America. Facebook has more than 2.4 billion active monthly users, and it’s projected that half of U.S. online retail will go through Amazon by 2020. There are calls from both sides of the aisle to break up the tech giants, to strip them of liability protections for what others say on their platforms, and to impose new regulations that would stop them from misusing the personal information of their customers. But there’s also a growing movement among some of the web’s pioneering thinkers and software developers to come up with technological solutions to countering the growing power of Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and Google. The goal is to build a new decentralized web. There are so many different possible ways of decentralizing the internet and what’s lacking is the legal right to interoperate, and the legal support to stop dirty tricks from preventing you from exercising that legal right. Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author and tech journalist at Boing Boing, who’s been thinking and writing about the web since it was introduced by Tim Berners-Lee in the early 1990s. Berners-Lee and other web pioneers, Doctorow points out, intended for their creation to be decentralized, and open source. The cyber utopian view was not merely that seizing the means of information would make you free, but that failing to do so would put you in perpetual chains. Well there are a lot of reasons to want a more decentralized, diffused, pluralistic, Internet. It’s hard to imagine that anyone is competent to make great decisions for two and a half billion people. Is there any reason to seriously doubt that this will just take care of itself? That more people will do what you have done and log off Facebook? The collective-action problem of everyone deciding that it’s time to leave Facebook, is a really hard one, and as we see it’s not getting easier because even when you do leave Facebook, by and large, you end up on a service that’s owned by Facebook. There are many theories about why the web became centralized. Doctorow largely blames the abuse of intellectual property law to defeat the decentralized free software movement, which was championed by the activist and programmer Richard Stallman, who helped create the popular open-source operating system Linux. But today hackers are divided between the old values and the new. Imagine if you bought a house, and the basement was locked and only the original building contractor had the key. If you needed to make any change, repair, anything, you have to go to him. And if he was too busy doing something else, he’d tell you to get lost and you’d be stuck. When Richard Stallman walked into a lab at MIT and found that someone had put a lock on the drawer where they kept the paper tapes for the computer and he was like what do you mean, I can’t take that paper tape out and change the holes punched in it? I’m a computer scientist, I’m gonna recreate all of the holes in that paper tape and make a clone of Unix. Passed in 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act became an impediment to the open and permissionless approach to software development. The law was intended to prevent duplication of Hollywood movies but it was eventually applied to all software. Breaking digital locks to learn from and approve upon the code of dominant web platforms became a federal crime. Today’s tech companies use IP to shield their proprietary code from would-be competitors. And so this thicket of exclusive rights around products that can be invoked to prevent new entrants from making add-ons, compatible products, or even competing products, has made it very hard for new entrants to emerge and I think is in large part responsible for the concentration in the industry and all of that thicket exists today because people who made their money as insurgents, spent that money to keep their newfound power. Despite the legal and political challenges, Doctorow outlines, there are innovators attempting to create new decentralized ecosystems of web services. This former Christian Science church in
San Francisco houses the Internet Archive, a digital repository of more than 50 petabytes of images movies and texts. The organization has also archived more than 330 billion web pages. The archives mission is to make all of mankind’s knowledge available online forever, to everyone, for free. Which is a pretty big vision, right? Mitra Arden, who’s the internet archives head of decentralization, says the history of the web is too important to be held in custody by a single organization. He’s overseeing a plan to migrate the internet archives more than 50 million gigabytes of data to a distributed network in which the information is spread out among a storage network maintained by users. The decentralized web now is in the state that the early web was back in the early 90s, right so, there’s a lot of things that work on a small scale don’t walk on a large scale. We’re a large-scale site but we’re also
cite that if we put up decentralized web and it breaks, we don’t have our whole business model contingent upon it. A beta version of this peer-to-peer network is already operating and publicly accessible. I think what it would look like is a world where servers were everywhere. That your internet router at home would also be a server, and those servers would talk to each other, and the interface may look very similar to what it is now except you wouldn’t be controlled by the branding, so the user interface and the data would be separate, now the user interface and the data are inextricably tied together. But Cory Doctorow doesn’t think the decentralized web can take off without government intervention. He agrees with Elizabeth Warren that the Federal Trade Commission should break up the tech giants. If you had your way, Facebook would have to sell off Instagram, Amazon would have to sell off all those little businesses that they’re running, competing businesses, yep. Who is federal government to tell these companies they have to do that? Uh, there’s antitrust law, it’s been around for more than a hundred years. If you have a bunch of tech companies that got giant by doing exactly the same things that all the other companies through history that got giant doing, that we used to ban, and that we stop banning right when the tech industry started, maybe we could just try enforcing those rules again. Why would the focus be on antitrust and not on, you know, reforming intellectual property laws? So I think you’ve got a logical or, or you want a logical and. We do need structural separation, we do need to break Facebook up so that it can no longer engage in this anti-competitive behavior, but that’s just part of a set of reasons to do both. I guess the part that I am a little bit confused about is the sense in which these companies are monopolies. Because yes Google dominates search, Amazon dominates online shopping, but of course, there are competitors they’re buying up potential competitors all the time, and adding new technologies to their portfolio, but what sense does that make them a monopoly? It may not make them a monopoly but it makes them monopolistic. Okay. Right in the history of antitrust, a monopoly is not the only game in town, a monopoly exerts so much gravity that it distorts the market. Are there any promising technological solutions to this decentralizing the web? I think we have all the tech, I mean it’ll need constant evolution and maintenance but like it’s all out there. Web 3.0 has this wonderful set of trust baked into the internet itself. Molly McKinley is a former Google programmer and current project lead of IPFS, the Interplanetary File system. A communications protocol that’s meant to replace the system by which most of us access the web now, through Hypertext Transfer Protocol, that is, the HTTP you see in your web browser. While HTTP connects your computer to a particular server, IPFS scours the network for a piece of content and connects you to whomever happens to be hosting it. The video you want to watch, the document you want to load, the website you want to go to, by what it is that you’re trying to view, not who you’re trying to get it from. And that that change, that, kind of, simple seeming switch in how you organize things makes huge ripple effects and differences in what sort of tools you’re empowered to build. Think of natural disasters, or censorship, or other cases like that where people lose access to content on the internet today, you want them to continue being able to collaborate and organize with each other, and communicate and rely on these sorts of technologies and tools. Why would people host contents? Right now obviously the answer is you make money by having the computer that hosts the content and serves it to people. Many people will join that cause because they believe in that cause and help make sure that Wikipedia, or other data sets like that that we really care about, continue to be backed up purely altruistically, but you can also end up in models tit for tat for lack of a better word, where like okay, you host my photo content and I’ll host yours, and this way both of us have backup, so if either one of our machines goes down there’s a backup of content and we can, you know, do that with a whole group of friends and you are providing me a really useful service, and I’m participating in that Network. And then finally you can end up in models of like storage for hire. So file point which is in development is an incentivized storage network, by serving data, by storing people’s data you can earn a cryptographic token. McKinley sees the decentralized web as a way to sidestep the dangers of government regulation and even authoritarian control. A decentralized framework where there isn’t that middleman, that can be manipulated or coerced or regulated into exposing your data that’s a better, safer, more resilient world which doesn’t end up in this case where it’s susceptible to an authoritarian manipulation control. We didn’t take a broad enough view of our responsibilities and that was a big mistake, and it was my mistake, and I’m sorry. These two almost contradictory narratives that I see and one is that the web is too centralized, there are these big companies controlling everything, and then especially out of Congress you hear that it’s too anarchic too decentralized, trolls, hateful people, disinformation, and we need to be able to control it, and there’s a certain convenience to being able to call Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress. Absolutely. So we get a choice now whether we’re gonna fix big tech or fix the internet, but we don’t get to do both. If we decide that we’re going to give Big Tech state-like duties to prevent bad action on their platforms, we require them to be
big enough to do so. And we put a floor under how small we can allow them to become. If you make tech smaller, it’s harder to suborn them to act as arms of the state. I think that’s a feature, not a bug. We don’t want to allow one person’s judgment to be the be-all and end-all of how the rest of us have to conduct our lives. We want to have checks on their authority and one of the ways that you get checks on someone’s authority is by allowing the people who live under that authority to go somewhere else.

100 thoughts on “The Decentralized Web Is Coming”

  1. A problem with a decentralized web is that it doesn't necessarily have an order that it follows. Also, is that, if the "decentralization" was about the "web"'s ability to be accessed, then a "decentralized" web is possibly not as able to be accessed. Given "web hosters" are possibly "decentralized", and the sites that can be accessed may not be the same among "hosts", the situation allows much less "speed of data sharing", and also, may cost more money. "Decentralization" may also situate to wealth gaps, and other social, and political issues, if "webs" were "needed"/"used" the same, andor were "needed"/"used" moreso than before. With a decentralized web, it may be much greater to have a larger access to books, including what I was aware of as "encyclopedias" (though truly may be called "en-cyclo-pedias" to sabotage language to have "word cycles" and not freely-chosen words to possibly "speed" not freely-chosen actions, possibly "signalers" of pooulations, this "signaling" not freely-chosen), and other factual data.

    Also what may be affected are Political Groups, Free of Speech, Political Self-Grouping (and Grouping by groups seeking to gain "votes" andor "help"), Occurring "Social Groups", the time, place, and actions (and, possibly greater conclusion(s) about the actions occurring) that occur/are occurring. Also, wealth may be affected, with less using some Financial Institutions like Banks. Also, access to "online shopping" may be lessened, andor, because the "web" would be "more decentralized" the products available may possibly be more, because some may sell/trade/buy more because of the "decentralization". Politically, there may be less access to Political Parties naturally occurring, andor also, access to different groups than before, if this "decentralization" includes

    Legally, however there are some issues. Given the possible lessening availability of books, and a continuing/andor greater "demand" for "web use" to be "aware about" basic facts about Politics, Society, Law, Money, and other topics, a "decentralization of "the web"" may situate in less awareness of Politics, Society, Law, Money, andor others. Because of any "decentralization(s)", andor less awareness of Politics, Society, Law, Money andor others, greater crime possibly may occur, and, also, more actions may occur that are possibly more Inferior, including not truthful (possibly false), not fair, and not just actions, given any lessened (andor more) access to "web(s)" if "decentralization". Some groups may use "decentralization" to also lessen group's access to their money, and also to lessen possible financial actions, both of a/the group(s) and also of a/the singular. A more "decentralized" "web" is also possibly a "decentralized" "Financial Politics", if there is such a thing (many argue that there shouldn't be "Financial Politics", at least not for individuals not affecting many andor "few" andor qualitiatively "little"). Of Society, because of all "decentralization", and possibly the choice of the "decentralization" itself, may be done to favor group(s) andor singulars andor to also "decentralize" the group(s)/singulars themselves. Legally, any "decentralization" also is possibly done to lessen any, and possibly all, "Order", and the lessening of any "Order" is possibly done by Foriegn andor anti-national groups andor singulars, also with unequal affect(s)/effect(s) ("affects"; usually chosen, but one/some/it may not be fully aware of all possible "affect(s)" (not "affected", like "impression")/effect(s); indirect, but not exclusively so).

  2. You lost me at Decentralized Web. It makes no sense, the internet is decentralized, that's why they call it the world wide web. because it's a series of interconnected networks.

  3. About the copyright and coding, it wasn't facebooks amazing code that made it popular, so legally remixing its code isn't the way to make a new popular app.

  4. "RIchard Stallman who helped to create a popular open source operating system Linux" OH BOY you must have made him very angry.

    #1 you called it Open source instead of Free or Libre
    #2 He didn't create Linux but GNU, the combo GNU/Linux is commonly referred as Linux. (And that makes him mad)

  5. It's been coming for past 15 years or so. Only that most of "decentralized" solutions are either unwieldy (zeronet), require sites to look like 90s, js-less crap (Freenet) or are barely functional (lbry, ipfs).

    The decentralized web will be coming for a long time. I bet it still will be coming on Half-Life 3's release day.

  6. I think Amazon is different. It actually has real products and a service infrastructure like Sears in the days of mail order. A Montgomery Ward equivalent will come along. Maybe Walmart online. Google, Twitter and Facebook, on the other hand, are trying to control the flow of information based on personal world views. They seek the power of Big Brother. Such is the dark side of human nature and the power that corrupts absolutely.

  7. I sent nude photo (it was a meme) to a friend on facebook chat and they blocked my profile until I send them picture of my ID/Passport,like WTF why do they have right to control what can or can't send from my own profile…

  8. What happened to the time when monopolies were illegal?

    We know since TARP no corporation is too big too fall, but now a company like Amazon will easily take the people down with them!

  9. I don't think calling any one tech giant a monopoly is accurate, calling Big Tech a oligopoly is more accurate. Big Tech is a Rex Lex situation which is bad.
    Side note: I noticed that Microsoft is missing from the Tech Giants list. They must have some really effective lobbyists in Washington DC. Windows 10 is spyware after all.

  10. The other issue with decentralization, is that disparate standards, platforms, and protocols creates a fragmentation that would increase costs for users. If you want information on the "Widget Company", is it available in http, or ifps? Do you have the system needed to access it? Standards are a good thing when it comes to keeping costs low, just ask any owner of an all electric vehicle! (You'll only find them on the coasts because those are the only places that have invested in the charging infrastructure) You won't find a public electric car charging station in downtown Detroit, or in Youngstown Ohio. Teslas don't get ICED in the Midwest!

  11. The good companies are against conservatives because they are promoting hate and stepping on anyone who isn't rich enough to partake in the spoils. The bad tech companies want conservatives because lying, theft and abuse are encouraged if it increases the bottom line. Corporations should have a very small role in politics anyway. If money is your guiding principle you are misguided. Humanity should be your major guiding principle.

  12. What I don’t get is how this guy does not understand Ant-Trust. It’s a basic concept. Is this a common problem with younger people. Duh History. That’s why.

  13. It will never actually take off because all anyone really cares about is convenience, If you really cared about freedom of information nobody would be using Windows and iPhone

  14. elizabeth warren? really? she may agree with the problem, but i know damned sure she isnt going to come up with a viable solution

  15. Its a simple fix. Any data captured cannot be sold or used to sell products for any company that did not originally collect the data. Add in mandatory jail time for anyone that had a fingerprint on violations. The court case will still happen but they will be talking about how many years you get and not if you get probation.

  16. I dont agree with breaking the google or facebook. We should focus on deregulation, which would allow new companies the ground to operate. If we break google, we decide for the people what is best for them. Who would we then throw away from their platforms? Do we want government to do that? Do we trust that government would do good job? Can it do a good job?
    I dont think so. Lower barriers and let new companies rise.

  17. Free Americans don't need anyone to ban "hateful people" for them. Move to China if you want totalitarian control of everything. If you don't then vote Republican in 2020.

  18. Incoming Ancaps who are going to defend the MegaCorps. Corps need to abide by the same laws and the constitution as us, if not then they must be terminated.

  19. The internet was invented with control and indoctrination in mind so was radio and tv next will be the RFID chips

  20. I have never heard in person anyone mentioning giving any kind of a fuck about Twatter. Who the fuck looks at Twatter?

  21. Only a few things that involve extension and intrusion in lives of people need to be prevented by the law. There is an entire Act in India dedicated to this. Needs improvement.
    There's no Monopoly. You can't tear down Giants to see if you can make a place for you. Somebody else's failure may not always result in success of others. You can only move forward.
    These ideas of reducing power through decentralization are promoted by those who are unable to keep up with the present state or tech and stay competitive.
    Real tech solutions can either compete in open market or follow the so called blue ocean strategy.

  22. You will never get the legal right and you will never stop the legal tricks to decentralize the web. There is to much money and ideological political power to lose. Especially with how the left has gained the power to #CANCEL people from tech, banking, process payment services, etc.These established global tech oligarchs, who have their own agenda, are in control and they will fight to the bitter end to maintain their power. If that means buying politicians and judges then this is what they will do. If this means giving access to intelligence services at home or aboard then so be it. In the end the complex beast of government (which globalist billionaires want to centralize globally) and the massive globalist corporations are both interested in a global centralization of the web In fact they drool over what China has right now with its own closed off government run intra-web and social credit system that globalist corporate companies like Google helped to develop.

  23. that sounds good and all but it'll still be in san francisco and next to silicon valley.we need to get it away from all the hippies and out of california all together bcuz it's been ruined since the 60's by sf's hippies

  24. The more decentralized it can be the better off we will be. Because as you so clearly pointed out a handful of people cannot hope to represent billions of other people. You will inevitably run into the anti-trust issues as we see today. This is the largest, most significant factor in our modern lives. If we succumb to the same centralized bureaucracy we've succumbed to before the internet will be no different than your local newspaper or your television media.

  25. The primary reason that we have a centralized web is that the intelligentsia systematically destroyed every way that small businesses can make money delivery content on the internet.
    Revitalize the ability of people to make money through producing content and we will get our decentralized net back.

  26. The net will never ever truly be free or decentralized it was made by the CIA …..they still illegally record every single digital communication that there is … literally every single one they will never let that illegally gained corruption of power go laws mean nothing to them think they literally control the web they control what you see and think

  27. We had decentralized internet… Pedophiles and hard drug dealers ruined that. Now we will always have big brother over the net. You want your freedom? Destroy those who actively break the law that forces people to elect centralization in replace of freedom.

  28. Video deserves a dislike just for having clips of Warren. Using a "victim" is pathetic. Warren only hates Social media because she was unmasked and ridiculed by the social media platforms she supported her whole life. While these platforms are obviously overreaching Warrens purpose is purely a butthurt attack.

  29. 6:10 – F**K WARREN! She is a corporate controlled pawn!! She will make the internet whatever her corporate donors want it to be. She will profit from her corporate donors, and the people will be left wondering what happened.

  30. They'll never do it, they need to be able to ban anyone who disagrees with them and call them an evil Nazi white supreeeeemist

  31. I have always believed in an intranet for high security organizations. For example, a military base. Only the IT director would be able to pull useful information into the self-contained net.

  32. Wrong stock photo of a young Richard Stallman 😀

    Just do an image search for “young Richard Stallman” and you’ll see one of the photos is not like the others…

  33. 2:40–2:47 I am pretty sure that is not an image of Richard Stallman and Linux is not an operating system and he mainly focused on GNU which is the operating system most people would call Linux as it can run on the Linux kernel, hence GNU/Linux. Though much less common, GNU can run on other kernels such as their own kernel called Hurd.

  34. Government no longer represents the people; it represents small pockets of loud special interest groups.

    Offend the government in any noticeable way and watch the mobilization of force that will be rained down on the helpless individual.

    With decentralization, there is an implicit hope that the people will regain some negotiative power with the government as equals.
    (ie: the web is a type 1 communication system. therefore a decentralized web can be utilized as our democratic voice separate from manipulative authoritarian government)

  35. 4min in. This is how society has always went, law and order. The Wild West was conquered so will the net. It will come down to which form of internet government we want and the laws that best serve everybody. The world will start looking no different no matter where you go.

  36. rms created gnu utilities (We don't talk about Hurd) which are commonly used with operating systems that use the linux kernel.
    Saying rms "helped create the popular operating system linux" is both inaccurate and downplays his other work.
    Also there is some controversy with rms right now but you should come to your own conclusions on that.
    You can't see what actually makes those platforms work, he was talking about regular programs not websites unless he was talking about the api.
    please use the si units 50 PB not 50 million GB.

  37. I don't think anything is going to change. Also when you're trying to decentralize web servers it becomes difficult to physically maintain those servers. It's also energy inefficient when you don't have a server farm.

  38. If government can force restaurants to serve all who walk through their doors,why do they allow websites to ban people?

  39. When you watch zukerberg testifying before congress around 10:15 in, he looks and speaks like Data from star trek, the next generation. I think with all his billions he became a cyborg at some point.

  40. i dont understand how protecting your program by law and by coding is preventing new programs from entering the market? it makes no sense.
    and is decentralizing the internet proposing a sort of wild west of code breaking? where you can just make programs like facebook into whatever you what it to be whenever you want?
    i dont really understand the argument being made here for decentralization and against the current policies we have today. if anyone wants to explain to me feel free. but to me it just sounds like confusing arguments that dont actually make sense.

  41. That isn't Richard Stallman in the picture.

    I really hate to mention it again for the nth time, but Richard didn't help create Linux. He founded the GNU Project which created a complete operating system. At the time, Linux was in dire need of an operating system, and so they adopted the gnu tool set.

  42. just use bitchute smh. alternatives do exist it's just not convenient to change to them. Remember what happened to vidme? If you really want to break up these tech giants, stop giving them your dam money.

  43. Isn't the web basically decentralized already?

    I can register any domain I want, and display whatever content I want with my host of choice.
    Furthermore, if I want my site to be separated from the meta web, I can register a .onion domain and get a spot on the tor network.

  44. Grow tf up. Until you remove capitalism you will not be progressing towards a damn thing but a collar around your necks.

  45. THe only way it would take off is if the government got out of the way. I thought a libertarian think tank would know that already….weird.

  46. Having been involved in the web since the 80s I can say that the web has 'always' been decentralized. It's the nature of it's architecture. It's true that google has control over your search results, but no one HAS to use google. There are other search engines, and google cannot block access between you and a web resource you would like to access. I realized that for many the web means 'google', 'amazon', and 'facebook'.. Ok, those are resources controlled by companies, but that does not make control of the web centralized. It's only means those are the most popular places people visit on the web.

  47. The people who want to spilt up these companies have no understanding of the drawbacks this will have. Amazon has a ton of competition, both domestically and abroad. Facebook doesn't have as much competition per say but it's a social platform. Ofcourse over time one will take over. If you split Facebook up it would just happen again. Google also has competition from Microsoft, Yahoo and etc. There is nothing stopping anyone from not using Google's search engine or OS and so on

  48. These giant tech companies are located in California and for good reason. Obama decided it would be a good idea to remove control of our internet to a private company.

  49. Ive been hearing about Sir Tim Berner Lee And decentralization for years…Hurry up! Youtube is censoring dissenting voices

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