I notice that the Internet Governance Forum is happening and they always put out very short videos on what are the greatest hopes and fears for the internet.
What are my hopes and fears for the internet?
There have been some studies on the consolidation of power on the internet. In the mid 2000s MySpace was considered to be very large and yet even at its peak it only had a small percentage of all internet users. The biggest internet companies today are in far more of a monopoly position and my fear is that we are on a very clear trajectory which ends with full centralization and one company or institution running the whole internet. If the internet becomes fully centralized and administered from a few giant data centers then the limited communications freedoms which still exist today will vanish.
My hope is that it's still possible for the centralization trend to be reversed. In the last couple of years I've seen the monopolists losing mindshare together with internal dissent within companies like Google. At the same time it's getting easier and cheaper for internet systems to be run in a decentralized way. Facebook still has billions of users but in terms of mindshare among hackers - the raw material which they need to keep their business going - that's declining fast.