The internet is such a great space for collaboration and open communication. Revolutions and ideas are exchanged with ease and you can communicate with people from across the globe in an instant. However, with all these freedoms comes grey responsibly and the possibility of immense issues building, now and in the future.
In this article we’ll cover the top five political concerns of the internet. The politics of the internet will shape the dissemination of information and the future of communication. It’s important to know these issues so you can be on the right side of the debate.
1. Maintaining privacy
Today we share our data and personal information more than anytime in history. Our notion of privacy has almost dissolved as we allow large tech giants to hold our data. We’ve already seen breaches of this data from the NSA and this will only continue to grow as a concern into the future. Our privacy is important so we will need to set global standards that preach transparency of those holding our data and information as well as educating those using the latest web technologies as to how their information will be stored and used.
2. Copyrights and file sharing
Copyright laws are outdated and way behind the technology curve. It’s hard to keep up with ownership when it’s so easy to clone a product, or a book or a course and push it out to the web. A whole generation of web users are used to searching and finding things for free as well. As copyright laws continue to evolve, they will hopefully keep up with the fast paced growth of the web. Copyright laws need to mimic creative exchange, while still allowing credit and ownership where it is due.
3. Net Neutrality
Basically, all internet traffic should be regarded as the same and treated as such. Internet service providers must not be allowed to discriminate, according to principles of net neutrality. Net neutrality seeks to promote innovation and competition by keeping everything open.
4. Internet Security
From cloud storage, to online banking, to our social media accounts, we store massive amounts of data online. As easy as this is, the security of all that precious information comes into question. Individuals must worry about the safety of their data, as large companies worry about their infrastructure being hacked. It’s a constant battle to remain a step ahead of those trying to steal data and other protected information. The security of the web falls on the shoulders of everyone who uses it, best practices must be cultivated and upheld.
5. Keeping the web open
By keeping the web open, the goal is to keep an open network. Meaning, the internet as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. An interconnected internet is greater than an internet that is broken down into individual sectors and networks. As more and more devices are constructed with their own infrastructure and ability to communicate we are in danger of losing this connectedness in the favor of fragmented communication. It will be a constant struggle to maintain this openness as the internet and personal devices continue to evolve.
I hope this article has been a valuable tool for you in your understanding of the future political issues facing the internet. Overall, it’s a body that is tremendously hard to govern, so naturally issues will arise with time. Keep an eye out for these concerns in the future and see how they’ll pan out. It’s important to know where you stand on these issues as the internet becomes more and more of a force in our lives.
Zane Schwarzlose is an SEO at Fahrenheit Marketing, an Austin web design company. Zane thinks the Internet is far from apolitical.