The Aging of the Internet

Technology > IT

Photo By stevepb  via Pixabay


The internet can be likened to pipes where information passes through going to their destinations. Or we can picture it to be as a system of roadways where an enormous number of vehicles numbering in the trillions split and arrive at their destinations where they are put back in order and become that cat gif, movie, or photo that you upload. They are the series of zeros and ones, some 60 GB of data every second flowing through the internet every second which are then converted on the phone, laptop and whatever gadget one has.

The internet, however, has recorded a spike in cybercrime and fake news. This has also spawned monopolies contrasting with the founders' utopian dream of "a level playing field where everyone's voice would be heard, ungoverned by national laws and free from the need to make money,” as WIRED writes describing the vision of the Electronic Frontier Foundation's John Perry Barlow in “A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace." Now, online platforms are being used and weaponized by various political persuasions like the neo-Nazis and even terrorists.

Today's big data has also become the primary product of every tech business and is used as a surveillance tool. Anonymity is challenged by trolls and hackers of every kind victimizing vulnerable domains and people. Creativity has been enhanced but it also threatens the creative industries and the value of artistic work.

Today the internet comprises billions of devices that are more powerful than those on which the internet was built upon, with the internet also being built on decades-old technology. It used to be that data went only through undersea cables but now, they are going through the atmosphere with satellites as relay stations. Storage has become not only smaller but also cheaper. We scan our fingerprints and faces to make payments secure using our mobile phones. There are new models for file sharing and value exchanges like blockchain technology.

The internet is aging and maybe if it is shut down and reset, something better can be designed to replace it and things may look different.