Richard Hendricks and his team at Pied Piper (from HBO’s Silicon Valley) in their latest pivot had promised to change the world by creating a new internet that cuts out intermediaries like Facebook, Google and the fictional Hooli. Their idea is to create a decentralized internet, using peer-t0-peer network built atop every smartphone on the platform—this effectively renders huge data centers full of servers unnecessary. How soon can we have this happen?
The inventor of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee heightened the conversation recently when he posted on his blog last week Saturday, his vision to create a new, decentralized web. He explains that the move is to give users more personal control over their data and apps, using his new platform, Solid. The announcement is coming on the heels of the news of a massive data breach at Facebook which affected over 50 million users.
“I’ve always believed the web is for everyone. That’s why I and others fight fiercely to protect it. The changes we’ve managed to bring have created a better and more connected world. But for all the good we’ve achieved, the web has evolved into an engine of inequity and division; swayed by powerful forces who use it for their own agendas”, he explained.
Berners-Lee who has been a vocal opponent of big tech companies abusing user data, calling for more regulation explained that he hopes to put the genie back in the bottle using his open-source project—Solid—which he has been working in the last few years. “Solid changes the current model where users have to hand over personal data to digital giants in exchange for perceived value. As we’ve all discovered, this hasn’t been in our best interests. Solid is how we evolve the web in order to restore balance — by giving every one of us complete control over data, personal or not, in a revolutionary way”, he said.
He has taken a sabbatical from MIT, reduced day-to-day involvement with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and founded a company called inrupt where he would be guiding the next stage of the web in a very direct way using Solid.
“If we could do it, we could build a completely decentralized version of our current internet…With no firewalls, no tolls, no government regulation, no spying. The information would be totally free in every sense of the word- Richard Hendricks (Pied Piper)
With more discussions around the possibilities of a new internet and the disruptive tendencies of block chain technology, how soon would we be able to have a decentralized internet? Are there disadvantages? How soon could we have a system that is usable & tested on a world scale? Many questions yet unanswered but one thing is sure, in the words of Berners-Lee the future is still so much bigger than the past…