Violation of privacy and spying .. Will the third generation of the web eliminate the current Internet problems?

Since its emergence, the Internet has opened up great prospects for its users, but it has gradually turned into a tool of surveillance and control in the hands of authoritarian regimes by stealing personal data, violating individual privacy, and spreading propaganda and misinformation.

In a report published by the “Washington Post” (Washington PostThe American writers, Anthony Vinci and Nadia Schadlow, believe that the scale will tilt again in favor of the average user in the face of tyrannical forces, with the approach of the emergence of the third generation of the Web, known for short as “Web3”.

According to the authors, the United States can make a big leap forward in its battle with authoritarian countries, especially China, if it decides to adopt the third generation of the Web.

What is “Web 3” exactly?

In order to understand this term, we must go back. The first generation of the web in the 1990s was static sites made up of one-way pages, coupled with the widespread use of email.

Later, the second generation of the web emerged when the Internet became interactive, where the user could log in and create his own content, and Google, Facebook and other major companies provided “free” services in exchange for user data.

Over the subsequent decades, the Internet continued to develop and grow in more complex forms, but it remained within the scope of the second generation.

The third generation of the web is still under development, and it offers a decentralized version of the internet (social networking sites)

Currently, the world of the Internet is witnessing the rise of the third generation, which is based mainly on “blockchain” technology, a technology that allows the transmission of data in complete security, and the conclusion of what is known as smart contracts that do not need intermediaries, and in which funds are paid using cryptocurrency without the need to deal with banks.

According to the authors, the third generation of the web is still under development, and it does not have a specific definition yet, but what is clear is that it provides a decentralized version of the Internet.

New platforms are being created daily that break the dominance of centralized systems, including video sharing platforms that do not need a central database, unlike YouTube or Tiktok, and other platforms that offer decentralized options for shared storage, different About central cloud services.

These new services address several existing problems, as they would improve the level of information and data security due to the absence of a central database that can be hacked, and the user can directly control his data.

new revolution

The authors believe that the Internet has revolutionized people’s lives during the past years, as no one had imagined before its spread that a teenager could accumulate a fortune by posting entertaining videos on the network, and similarly the third generation of the web could make a similar revolution and again favor the user the individual, which would be beneficial to democracy and the United States, for two reasons:

First, authoritarian states cannot infringe on individuals’ personal lives, because the Internet is the place that incubates anti-government activities.

Some countries such as China and Russia have set up mechanisms to spy on the infrastructure of the second generation Internet, and they control it through protection and censorship programs on technology platforms, and the application of these authoritarian mechanisms on the third generation Internet will be more difficult.

Second, although the United States still dominates the second generation in many ways, the current web framework allows China to sweep large swaths of data to power AI systems in the political and military realms. The third generation, through its decentralization options and information protection capabilities, would break the Chinese dominance over data, according to the authors.

Risks and rewards

The authors stress that there are risks to the third generation of the Web, as law enforcement will face unregulated websites, companies, and CEOs, and intelligence agencies will need new ways to monitor terrorists.

However, according to the authors, the United States should not fear the emergence of the third generation of the Web, but rather it should adapt, invest in and promote it, because it will be beneficial for Western countries that value democracy and personal privacy.

The authors conclude that “Web 3” can restore leadership to the West and force China and other authoritarian countries to confront their weaknesses and change their behavior or be left behind.

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