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Homeland Security News Wire: Four Ways Blockchain Could Make Internet Safer, Fairer And More Creative

on July 16, 2019 - 10:01am

Courtesy/TPC Management SRL

HSNW News:

The Internet is unique in that it has no central control, administration or authority, but in recent years Internet services such as search engines and social media platforms have increasingly been provided by a small number of very large tech firms.

The Internet is slowly turning into something like the current financial system, which centrally monitors all transactions and uses that data to predict what people will buy in future. Bitcoin, which surfaced on the Internet in 2008, sought to break the influence that large, private bodies have over what we do online.

The researchers had finally solved one of the biggest concerns with digital currencies – that they need central control by the companies that operate them, in the same way traditional currencies are controlled by a bank. People researching Bitcoin – and blockchains which undergird it — may have overlooked one of its most useful applications – making the Internet better for everyone who uses it.

The Internet is unique in that it has no central control, administration or authority, but in recent years Internet services such as search engines and social media platforms have increasingly been provided by a small number of very large tech firms. They harvest huge amounts of personal data and sell it on to others for profit.

They’re able to do this every time you log into social media, ask a question on a search engine or store files on a cloud service. The Internet is slowly turning into something like the current financial system, which centrally monitors all transactions and uses that data to predict what people will buy in future.

This type of monitoring has huge implications for the privacy of ordinary people around the world. Hitesh Tewari writes in the Conversation that the digital currency Bitcoin, which surfaced on the Internet in 2008, sought to break the influence that large, private bodies have over what we do online.

The researchers had finally solved one of the biggest concerns with digital currencies – that they need central control by the companies that operate them, in the same way traditional currencies are controlled by a bank.

The core idea behind the Bitcoin system is to make all the participants in the system, collectively, the bank. To do this, blockchains are used. Blockchains are distributed, tamper-proof ledgers, which can record every transaction made within a network.

Tewari says that more than a decade since this technology emerged, we’re still only beginning to scratch the surface of its potential. People researching it may have overlooked one of its most useful applications – making the Internet better for everyone who uses it.

The use of verifiable digital certificates for each Internet user will go a long way toward helping stamp out the spreading of hate and fake news on social media; make it unnecessary to remember dozens of user names and passwords; make phone voting secure; and prevent tech companies from selling user’s data.

“Blockchain technology started as a means for making online transactions anonymous, but it would be shame for it to stop there,” Tewari writes. “The more researchers like me think about its potential, the more exciting possibilities emerge.”


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