Are We Moving Towards a Closed-wall Internet?

Misc, Privacy Issues

I once reported on this blog how Sergei Brin, from Google is warning us against the new face of the internet: in this previous article I raised some concern I had whereby I was considering that Sergey Brin may have done that “announcement” because Google’s competition is getting stronger and stronger. Learn about the closed-wall Internet.

The Internet of giants

If we look at how things are moving nowadays, there’s a high chance that the internet (or at least what most people know about the internet) will be limited to some major giants only in the near future. Considering for example how Facebook bought the 50 million user-base Instagr.am for $1 billion; and how Skype, with its hundreds of million user base (sorry, I couldn’t find the latest exact number, but in 2010, Skype announced 560 million users), has been acquired by Microsoft for $8.5 billion – there’s a lot to worry about.

But Google isn’t to be forgotten too: it has recently merged all the policies for all Google products, and given the supremacy of Android in terms of smartphone shipment (in terms of number), the lambda user has almost no way to live “outside” of those “closed wall” internet that those giants are setting up.

Promoting openness, but …

Google is promoting openness, and I’m sure the others will find a way to “mark” theirs offerings so as not to be perceived as “jailing” you in their own “internet ecosystem”. But truth to be told, we, as users, are all “prisoners” of all those systems. In terms of PR, it seems like services are becoming more uniform and consistent, but at the end of the day, we are all shaping our own “internet” around those major platforms. If you think about it, how many of us are “reading the news” from our social media connections instead of going to the original source of information? If you think about it, we clearly have chosen to center our internet around those platforms.

Some curation tools as well as “discovery” tools exist everywhere if we only consider the raise of Pinterest (it won’t surprise me if one of the giants will buy Pinterest in the two years to come), or tools like Last.fm in the music industry – but again, have you noticed how those tools want to leverage on existing platforms for managing the account? How many websites have you seen lately that ask you to connect your Facebook/google account to their authentication system? A lot, I bet.

“Closed-wall internet” becomes more spread

Now let’s add to that the fact that more and more internet services are now only available to some countries. VPN services are there to help overcoming those limitations, but still, this just confirms the fact that this “closed-wall internet” system is becoming more and more spread.

Finally, Sergey Brin’s point isn’t that paranoid at all (even though his company is also playing the game of “who attracts the more users” game). So this leaves me wondering about how we scour the internet nowadays.

I’d be eager to read from how-to-hide-ip users about how you discover new and interesting stuff on the internet nowadays. Do you do it the way most people do now (which is: clicking on a shared link from a social media platform, or finding it via search engines)? Feel free to share your thoughts on the “closed-wall internet” issue.

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