Peter Trepan asks: "The Internet is the best thing to happen to the free exchange of ideas since... well... maybe ever. But it can also be used as a tool for media control and universal surveillance, perhaps turning that benefit into a liability. Imagine, for instance, if Senator McCarthy had been able to steam open every letter in the United States. In the age of ubiquitous e-mail and filtering software, budding McCarthys are able and willing to do so. I Am Not A Network Professional, but it seems like all this potential for abuse depends upon bottlenecks at the level of ISPs and backbone providers. Is it possible to create an internet that relies instead on peer-to-peer connectivity? How would the hardware work? How would the information be passed? What would be the incentive for average people to buy into it if it meant they'd have to host someone else's packets on their hard drive? In short, what would have to be done to ensure that at least one internet remains completely free, anonymous, and democratized?"
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