In this opinion piece, Ali discusses how a play on Google’s signature catch-phrase illustrates both the facility of blockchain technology and the way it could come to impact society.
On the web , we trust the “good guys.”
The companies who store our data, who host our domains, who serve our content. Companies like Google, Cloudflare and GoDaddy have the facility to pack up websites or block specific users, but they don’t flex that muscle. Until they are doing .
Cloudflare recently made the extremely tough decision to terminate the account of a neo-Nazi website. the corporate remained content neutral for years before this incident, and it realizes why this decision is dangerous – yet it still made the decision to terminate the account.
The point here isn’t to question if it had been the proper call to form given things , it’s that nobody or company should have the facility to form such calls to start with.
The Cloudflare incident isn’t alone. DreamHost is fighting a Department of Justice demand handy out all IP addresses of tourists to an anti-Trump website. The central content providers and hosts have this power and may be forced into using it in ways in which they are doing not accept as true with .
Google features a famous motto “Don’t be evil.” But maybe it should be “Can’t be evil.”
No company on the web should have such a lot power that they get to debate if they ought to be evil today or not.
In a “can’t be evil” model, trusting “good guys” is replaced by cryptographic ownership of digital assets and mathematical proofs of security.
A ‘can’t be evil’ internet
A truly open and free internet isn’t just a theoretical concept. There are technologies available today which will make it happen.
Decentralized name systems like BNS (used by Blockstack), Namecoin, ENS (used by ethereum) et al. are already available. they typically use blockchains to create a worldwide DNS-like system during a fully decentralized manner; no single company can censor an internet site or forcefully deduct the ownership of a website .
Decentralized storage systems like Gaia (used by Blockstack), Swarm (used by ethereum), IPFS, Storj et al. distribute data on many peer nodes and take away the reliance on any single company for serving content.
Some systems, like Gaia, repurpose existing cloud storage providers and may give comparable performance to existing services.
Applied cryptography has been around for several years and forms the idea for many secure, decentralized systems. The technology is seeing a renewed interest and is getting easier to use with friendly interfaces for managing private keys and better-designed software.
New browsers with blockchain support like Brave, the Blockstack browser, Mist et al. are already available and support blockchains in various ways. Brave enables blockchain-based payments.
The Blockstack browser connects to a replacement decentralized internet.
“The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed,” — William Gibson (1993)
Censoring offensive content
An open decentralized internet doesn’t mean that users cannot censor offensive content. within the new model, users run blacklists on their browsers or clients, and may opt-in to blocking offensive content.
No single company should be ready to enforce its version of morality on the whole internet or to trace users. That’s not how freedom works.
The users themselves can choose what should and what shouldn’t be censored for them. rather than counting on promises made by the “good guys,” the “can;t be evil” internet protects this throughout code and arithmetic .
Author’s note: The phrase “Can’t be evil” was employed by Austin Hill and Adam Beck in November 2014.
Disclosure: CoinDesk may be a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Blockstack.