A study conducted by the Pew Research Center indicates that “experts” believe the whole world will be on the Internet by 2025, reports the Mirror. But all of the results from that study aren’t so rosy, as these experts also think people will be less able to share information freely over the Internet.
More or less freedom on the Internet?
Researchers polled over 1,400 experts about the Internet’s future in the next ten years. The results indicate that 65% of those who responded said that in the future, the Internet would be more open. However, a large portion of them said the Web will be so open and powerful that the world’s governments would threaten the freedom of sharing information.
Indeed, when NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the agency’s data spying programs, a firestorm of controversy regarding online privacy erupted. But these sorts of programs aren’t only going on in the U.S. The U.K. and other countries have also been found to be digitally spying on ordinary citizens. As the Internet expands further and further around the globe, the world’s governments are trying to get a handle on its power. Today it’s intruding on people’s online privacy, but already we’re seeing it extend to online censorship.
There are reports that some governments are blocking websites they don’t like. Countries in the Middle East have especially gotten flak for doing this, but recently it was discovered that Internet service providers in the U.K. block websites the government deems as dangerous in some way like being connected to terrorism. The experts polled by researchers think this will increase as the decade goes on. They also believe that there will be ways for people to get behind the governments’ firewalls, just as there are now, but that most average citizens just won’t bother doing it.
A recent court order in Europe also ordered Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) and other search engines to “forget” about people if they request that certain links about them be removed from search results. The ruling applies to outdated or information that is otherwise deemed to be invalid.