The Internet Society: Big Tech, Government, and Future of Web Governance
In today’s episode of Tech Talks Daily, I, Neil, am thrilled to welcome Andrew Sullivan, President and CEO of the Internet Society, for a thought-provoking conversation on the future of Internet governance, regulation, and the ongoing battle to keep the Internet open and accessible for everyone.
The internet, a marvel of the modern world, stands at a crossroads. Originally conceived as a decentralized “network of networks,” it’s now facing challenges that could reshape its very essence. Andrew Sullivan, with his wealth of experience in the Internet Society, brings a deep understanding of these issues to the table. We delve into how large corporations increasingly try to “enclose” the internet, shifting the paradigm from an open web system to a more controlled application-based environment. This conversation takes us through the nuances of technical proposals like Web Environment Integrity, “NewIP,” and Private Access Tokens and what they mean for the future of the internet.
Our discussion also turns to the role of governments in this evolving landscape. With initiatives like Canada’s Online News Act and the EU’s Digital Markets Act, we explore the intention behind these regulations and their potential unintended consequences. Andrew offers a unique perspective on how these well-meaning laws might inadvertently reshape the Internet, often at the expense of smaller entities and the general public.
Much of our conversation revolves around the complex issue of misinformation and social problems in the digital age. We explore how these challenges, while amplified by the internet, are not necessarily of its own making. Andrew provides insights into how the internet reflects societal divisions rather than creates them and how regulations aimed at big tech might not address the root causes of these issues.
In this episode, we also focus on solutions and the way forward. We discuss the importance of remembering the benefits of connectivity and ensuring that regulations do not stifle these advantages. Andrew highlights initiatives like encryption, Internet Impact Assessments, and the involvement of civil society as crucial steps in protecting the open Internet.