Summary of How To Break Open The Web

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People have come to accept that they must trade elements of privacy for permission to access the Internet. But many in the tech world see this exchange as a betrayal of the web’s original promise of freedom for all. Digital media professor Dan Gillmor and software engineer Kevin Marks explore how the present, centralized web emerged; why the limitations that the centralized system imposes deserve critique; and how alternative, decentralized systems might offer a counterbalance to governmental and corporate control of the Internet. getAbstract recommends this article to tech trend watchers and all those interested in Internet freedom.

About the Author

Dan Gillmor authored the book Mediactive and teaches digital media at Arizona State University. Kevin Marks is a software engineer who believes “human problems are the most interesting to solve.”



When the World Wide Web was born in 1989, it existed as a “decentralized network of networks.” Today, however, most users access the Internet by means of privately or governmentally controlled, centralized entry points. True, giants like Google and Facebook offer an ease-of-use factor which never existed in the Internet’s early days, but at what cost? Accepting the centralized web means accepting corporate and governmental control of user privacy and of users’ capacity to “participate fully in society, politics, commerce, and more.” It means asking permission...

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