The past 20 years the integrity of the internet has been bargained away by the unscrupulous big tech firms. With recent attention on the dark side of surveillance capitalism and data extractivism it has become inevitable to invest in open, fair and inclusive internet. On every level of the ‘digital stack’, alternatives are more needed than ever. From hardware to firmware, operating systems to applications, identity design to sensors: the internet needs to be fixed.
'The internet needs to be fixed'
The task might seem ambitious or even impossible. But pioneers are working on alternatives. And society and politicians are more awake. With the vitality and creativity that is typical for hackers, designers and activists we can rebuild a public and civic internet.
An internet where the technology is open, accountable, distributed, encrypted and privacy by design, the business model is based on the commons. No data extraction and monetisation, no capital investments that force exponential growth. The design is excellent, user friendly and accessible for everyone and the governance structure is accountable with democratic control.
Protocols and architectures like ActivityPub and Decode are promising. DuckDuckGo, ProtonMail, Signal, Ubuntu and Arduino show that it is possible. But how do these work together? What are the strategies, solutions and connections? What are the missing layers of the stack?
This public summit was organized by DECODE and Waag. DECODE is a European funded research project, to design an internet that respects the data sovereignty of all European citizens.
Some attendees of the public stack summit:
- Marleen Stikker - founder/director at Waag
- Francesca Bria - CTO Barcelona & Project Lead DECODE
- Evgeny Morozov - Writer & publicist
- Aral Balkan – Cyborg rights activist
- Laura Kalbag – Designer & writer
- Todd Weaver - Founder & CEO at Purism
- Ahmed Aarad – Writer & privacy expert
- Jaromil – Researcher & developer at Dyne
- Julie Dawson – Director of regulatory & policy at Yoti
- Douwe Schmidt - Privacy Officer Fairphone
- Geert Lovink - Institute of Network Cultures
- Sophie Bloemen - Commons Network
Read DECODE team member Gijs Boerwinkel's blog about the Public Stack Summit