A few days ago, I made a social media post about Google vs. the Open Web. It received some responses, so I’ll reproduce it below with some additional comments. Figure: “Open Web - Gnomedex 2008” by Randy Stewart is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 Google is trying to kill the Open Web. Using the proposed “Web Environment Integrity” means websites can select on which devices (browsers) they wish to be displayed, and can refuse service to other devices.
Figure: “Bucket & spade” by Dale Gillard is licensed under CC BY 2.0 The other day, I was asked by a friend what it is I’m doing with this project. He’s very much into following technological trends, but not a deeply technical person himself. That drove home yet again how hard it is to provide an “elevator pitch” summary of our work. When I speak about a “human centric” internet, what I mean is a digital place where human rights are protected, and human needs are met.
A few days ago, I found myself attending a pitch by the Consumer Reports Digital Lab for their Data Rights Protocol. At first glance, it’s a great idea! Give organizations a standardized interface for exercising your data rights, which means you can use a simple app to request what data is collected about you, have it deleted, etc. What’s not to love? Turns out, there are some immediate concerns, and some longer-term, more vague issues that need addressing.
There is an ongoing discussion on human rights on the Internet on the IRTF HRPC mailing list that I want to express an opinion on. I would also like to stress that this is not an official position of the Interpeer Project. Although we are yet small, there exists already a variety of positions amongst contributors on all kinds of topics. No, this is a purely personal opinion. For context, the Internet Research Task Force (IRTF) is a sibling to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) that does not get a lot of publicity.