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Internet structure #midtermmakeup

Since its creation, the internet has evolved a lot and has suffered multiple improvements. Starting as a decentralized network, the internet helped people to get in touch with each other, as groups that were not able to talk to each other started coming online. However, the internet kept evolving, and it reached a centralized system.

In his article The present and future of a centralized internet, Juan Ortiz Freuler defines centralization as “the process through which intermediaries reshape the architecture of the web, increasing their gatekeeping power over the information that circulates through it”. What this means is that all the power of the internet comes from one source. As a result, in case of failure of that source, there can be terrible consequences. This problem did not exist with decentralized network, since problems only had local impact and could be easily solved. Freuler already argued this problem in his article Who’s to blame? The internet on the defendant’s bench, as he recognized this “single-point of failure” in the centralized network.

Both of these articles invite the reader to reconsider their opinions. As the network evolves, it is capable of gathering more information about users, leading to not “facing random or unanticipated encounters with information […] that might allow people to connect and empathize with others in ways that are relevant for social movements”. To conclude, this means that those people in control of communications gain power over regular internet users, which will put them in a higher position. Also, if the internet was compromised, all our data would also be, as everything is stored in the same place now.

Works cited

Freuler, Juan Ortiz. “Who’s to blame? The internet on the defendant’s bench”. OpenDemocracy, 6 December 2017, https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/digitaliberties/who-s-to-blame-internet-on-defendants-bench/

Freuler, Juan Ortiz. “The Present and Future of a Centralized Internet”. OpenDemocracy, 13 March 2018, www.opendemocracy.net/en/digitaliberties/present-and-future-of-centralized-internet/.

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