When: Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Where: Georgetown University Law Center
600 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Washington, DC
To Enter the Law Center, please use the Tower Green/F Street Entrance, or the 2nd Street Entrance
The IGF-USA is a multi-stakeholder national event to bring together business, civil society, government, technologists/researchers, and academia in discussions about topics that are being deliberated at a global level regarding governance of the Internet, including management of critical Internet resources, privacy, cyber-security, access, openness/freedom of expression, child online safety, capacity building and development. The IGF USA will also provide a report to the global IGF, being held in Vilnius, Lithuania, in September.
8:15 Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00-9:45 Opening Ceremony
Marilyn Cade, ICT Strategies, Moderator
9:45 -10:00 Coffee Break
10:15-11:45 Workshops and Scenario Breakout Sessions:
Cyber security is a multi-faceted issue and requires attention to both strategic and operational efforts to make progress. Five overarching areas for focus include (1) development of a national strategy; (2) collaboration between government and industry; (3) combating cyber crime; (4) incident response; and (5) building a culture of cyber security/awareness.
This session will explore how the U.S. is addressing each of the areas, where there are opportunities for improvement and obstacles to progress, where we need to work with international partners, and how cyber security contributes to Internet Governance globally. The panelists will share their initiatives, successes and observations in these five areas, followed by interactive engagement with the session participants.
Moderators: Liesyl Franz, Vice President, Information Security and Global Public Policy, TechAmerica; and Audrey Plonk, Global Security and Internet Policy Specialist, Intel Corporation
Scenario Breakout Sessions:
Scenarios are a way of examining trends and possible futures that recognizes drivers and external activities that affect outcomes, in our case, of Internet governance. These sessions will use an adaptation of scenario thinking to examine and discuss three possible futures for Internet Governance by the year 2020. The discussion from the breakouts will form the basis of a plenary session later in the afternoon, and contribute to input into the IGF 2010 in Vilnius from the IGF USA.
Facilitators: Garland McCoy, Andrew Mack, Iren Borissova
It’s the year 2010. Government, businesses, civil society and citizens everywhere have recognized the transformational power of the Internet as it creates a new world that is connected as never before. However, by 2020 the unitary Internet as we know it is no more. Concerns over national security and cybercrime concerns lead to calls for “safe zones” on the net. Governments tax e-commerce as a way to address budget deficits and trade barriers are constructed, closing off markets for goods and information. Mega-companies construct their own walls to keep criminals out and customers in. At the same time the digital divide grows quickly as poorer nations and smaller companies cannot afford to keep up with the new security requirements and the entry fees needed to gain entry to the secure parts of the web. Large parts of the world find themselves “outside the wall” and are left to fend for themselves, facing a combination of rapacious criminals, radical groups and bottom-feeding enterprises selling high cost security services.
For those on an Internet Island, life goes on, albeit in a more limited way than before. Those without access are literally adrift, as advances in finance, education, healthcare and transportation – all dependent on the free moving data – are cut off.
Facilitators: Steve DelBianco; Walda Roseman; Janice LeChance
Most of us assume that the ICT industry, media companies, and NGOs will continue to be the leading players on the Internet stage, with governments playing just a supporting role. This scenario describes an alternate future, where citizens and industry worldwide demand that their governments take center stage to clean up an Internet that had become infected with dangerous content and criminal conduct.
Facilitators: Jonathan Godfrey, Dan O’Neill; Pablo Molina
Social networks and online applications ‘in the clouds are far advanced by 2020; and in many ways, innovation and users’ rights are drivers. The economic crisis and environmental concerns from the early days of the 2010-2012 years have been addressed in a way that has seemingly calmed and addressed concerns about privacy and security in the online worlds.
However, the advent of the always, switched on world has introduced a new form of digital divide – the divide between millineuls, and the ‘other users’ of the online world. The reliance on appliances and networks drives huge consumption of energy, and the search for solutions in energy and disposal of ‘e-waste’ continues.
Climate change and environmental pressures have continued to grow, and the formerly called developing countries have established strict prohibition rules against digital dumping, of both physical and ‘soft’ waste, but these are largely undertaken via voluntary efforts focused at consumer awareness and much easier to use mechanisms to deal with disposal and impact on the environment. However, the role of intellectual property protection is unclear, and in many ways, users are left on their own to find solutions to challenges they encounter ‘online’.
11:45-1:00 Networking Lunch is provided – Hart Auditorium Reception Area
1:15-3:00 Concurrent Workshops:
Cloud Computing holds great promise both to customers and entrepreneurs, in the United States and around the world. Cloud computing offers users—including governments and enterprises—the opportunity to pay only for the computing they use rather than maintaining all their computing needs and resources themselves. For innovators, the cloud offers a greatly reduced cost of entry into a market heretofore dominated by big players.
However, there are policy challenges to be addressed. Fully realizing this potential requires unprecedented cooperation between the industry, consumers and governments to ensure individual privacy, data security and ensure confidence in the remote storage of critical information. Not all are optimistic about the future of cloud computing because of the centralization of personal information, concentrated threats to security and the questions it raises about national sovereignty.
This panel will explore some of the opportunities that cloud computing represents as well as challenges and potential pitfalls in the public policy arena which could make or break those opportunities in the coming years.
Moderator: Jonathan Zuck, President, Association for Competitive Technology
Respondent: Michael J. Nelson, Visiting Professor, University of Georgetown
This panel focuses not only on the “what” of critical Internet resources but on how to ensure that the underlying principles that have led to the Internet’s success persist in the face of security challenges. These principles include openness (open standards, open technologies), accessibility transparency, bottom-up decision-making, cooperation and multi-stakeholder engagement. Key to implementing these principles is also a broadened understanding of the role of the infrastructure providers, such as global and national Internet Services/Connectivity providers who build and operate the backbones and edge networks. The panel will also address some of the implications for the implementation of DNSSEC and IPv6 on a national basis that contribute to the security and resiliency of CIR on a global basis.
Moderator: Robert Guerra, Freedom House
The online world and the Internet are continuing to expand at exponential rates, with the rapid spread of the Internet into broadband and mobile. As more and more users, and more applications move into the online world, concerns about online crimes and malicious threats to the Internet and to users also grow.
This workshop will examine the range and scope of the kinds of online crimes and malicious use of the Domain Name System. For instance, scam artists are hiding identity by hosting a website with false information, or a phisher registers a domain intended to resemble a famous brand. Consumers and businesses can be victims of abuse, and legitimate service providers are seeing crime and fraud in the network.
This session covers some of very real time examples of the fight against DNS‐related abuse such as phishing, malware and fraudulent uses of domain names. Members of the panel will also comment on the scope and growth expected in various kinds of fraud and abuse as the domain name space continues to grow exponentially and the use of DNS Security (DNSSEC) as part of a mitigation strategy.
Moderator: Jim Galvin, Title: Director, Strategic Relationships and Technical Standards, Afilias
Respondents: Suzanne Sene, NTIA
Sarah Deutsch, Verizon
“always switched on” world
The topic of youth experiences on line are drawing attention in the US, and around the globe. During 2010, in the U.S., discussions, and activities received both governmental and private sector attention, and a new report was provided to the U.S. Congress: “Youth Safety on a Living Internet” in early June.
The topics addressed by this report -- risks young people face; the status of industry voluntary efforts; practices related to record retention; and the development of approaches and technologies to shield children from inappropriate content or experiences via the Internet --is also a very active topic in global arenas, including the global IGF 2010, to be held in Lithuania, in September. In fact, the discussions on a global basis seem to mirror and reflect the topics examined by the Online Safety and Technology Working Group and the questions and topics that will be discussed in this forum.
Moderator: Danny Weitzner, Associate Administrator, Office of Policy Analysis and Development U.S. Department of Commerce
3:15-5:15 Afternoon Plenary Session
3:15-3:45 Speaker: Andrew McLaughlin, Deputy Chief Technology Officer, Internet
Policy, White House
3:50 Outcomes of Scenario Stories – Implications for the Internet Governance
Debate and for the IGF
Presentations of Scenarios and Observations for Internet Governance:
“Internet Islands”; “Global Government for the Internet”; “Users Reign”
Moderator: Marilyn Cade
Panel of Respondents and Audience Participation:
Summing Up: Moderator
5:00 - 5:30 Closing Session - Introduction by Fiona Alexander, Associate Administrator,
Office of International Affairs, NTIA
Markus Kummer, Executive Secretariat, IGF
Remarks: Larry Strickling, Assistant Secretary for Communications and
Information and Administrator, National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), U.S. Department of Commerce
IGF 2010 in Vilnius, Lithuania
Invitation to Reception: ISOC DC Chapter
5:30-7:00 Reception for participants and invited guests - Onsite at Georgetown Law
The Rise of Digital Fortresses and the end of the Digital Republic
A Futures Scenario
It’s late in the year 2010.
Government, businesses, civil society and citizens everywhere have recognized the transformational power of the Internet as it creates a new world that is connected as never before – culturally, politically, economically and in dozens of other ways.
Millions of new users join the Internet revolution every day, mostly through the proliferation of mobile devices like web-enabled cell phones. Some 8-10 million new users a month go online in Asia alone, and the explosive growth extends to Africa and other areas, making Internet a reality for many “bottom of the pyramid” women and men. New undersea cables landing in East and West Africa, combined with new broadband policies and the diffusion of technology advances such as WiMax have created a true “tipping point”.
Governments now offer new e-services to their citizens, paving the way for real advances toward the “Millennium Development Goals”.NGOs mobilize citizens through social networking tools, responding to situations from stolen elections to natural disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, and promoting education and online privacy. And businesses reach out to their customers like never before, learning more about customer needs and preferences and building robust e-businesses.
Internet governance is provided through a loose network of multi-stakeholder organizations like ICANN, the ITU and the Internet Governance Forum, with volunteers doing much of the work. Though budgets for ICANN and the ITU continue to grow, private sector actors still play a strong role. Privacy and Intellectual Property issues receive significant attention, and slowly, the influence of new voices such as delegates from Africa and Latin America are growing. The system is unorthodox by historical standards, but it is working, supporting one, unified Internet for all.
However, storm clouds are on the horizon. By 2015 the world will be very different…
Following a series of attacks from a series of radical groups, a group of African states – citing the use of the net by terrorist groups and the need for national security – moves to increasingly monitor access to the web, eventually suspending traffic originating from suspect nations.
At the same time, the once-booming world of e-commerce has become“contaminated” by a tsunami of phishing, pharming, and an exponential increase in spam. Scams and outright theft, run by competing international crime syndicates, lead to widespread consumer concern. A new, more virulent form of the Conficker worm temporarily shuts down nearly all the banks in a large developing economy. Loud calls can be heard in the US Congress and around the world for “safe spaces” to work, play and purchase goods.
And, while some countries had slowly recovered from the economic crisis of 2009-2010, in 2015 most OECD nations still face record levels of unemployment and huge budget deficits. Populist politicians and businesses alike embrace calls for protectionism and other trade preferences, calls that extend to all corners of the web and e-commerce. The equivalent of e-commerce “toll booths”are set up for cross-border transactions as a way of encouraging firms to “buy local”. Companies – concerned about IP protection –move aggressively to data mine their best customers and give them incentives to stay within company websites, while Governments take advantage of the web as a source of revenue, increasingly taxing e-commerce and trying to establish the equivalent of tariffs for internet transactions outside national borders.
International, stakeholder-driven Internet governance institutions are increasingly marginalized, as pressure from all sides overwhelm the deliberative, bottom up, consultative nature of the process. A coalition of countries seeking more Government control loudly push for action in these forums, leading the coalition to walk out when NGO and privacy groups stall a move for greater state control.
The American higher education system struggles to remain competitive and relevant faced with the increase of commercial education offerings, as the employment market increasingly demands lifelong learning and training – irrespective of geography or time.
Finally, a radical Middle Eastern government, reacting to continual challenges from groups pushing for modernization and information access, takes action. They express concerns about cultural, religious and linguistic “contamination” brought on by the Internet. They decry the slow roll out of local-script IDNs and follow the lead of China and Israel in offering locally-recognized IDNs that are not part of the global root table. National religious leaders argue that, to preserve their culture and language, they should create a “culturally pure” local Internet space.
By 2020 the Internet of 2010 is a distant memory…
The Internet of 2010, a care-free childhood where you could go nearly anywhere and do nearly anything is no more. The unitary Internet is a memory, replaced by Internet Islands protected by government-run agencies and closely-allied corporate empires.
By 2020, security concerns have forced all countries to adapt an Internet “Kill Switch” capability to keep out attacks. Protected by their own firewalls – and by differing standards and protocols, politicians take credit for protecting their citizens and economies against various external and internal threats.
In the name of security, data about online transactions is carefully tracked by national security agencies in nearly every nation. Commerce and even communication originating in countries suspected of being an online threat are blocked from entry outright, snuffing out a nascent e-commerce boom in fast-growing Emerging Markets countries and effectively cutting off the populations of entire nations around the world.
Once the hope for economic growth, the Internet has become just another way to put up and patrol trade barriers. Walled community economics increases the frequency of trade wars, and even risks the development of a new Cold War.
A dispute over the award of the .com IDN in Arabic leads the newly radicalized government in the region to create its own duplicate and competing Arabic.com. Local searchers looking for Facebook.com, for example, are redirected to the Government-sponsored Arabic version. Additional countries in the region adopt this “intercept and deflect” approach, leading to massive confusion among Arabic speaking consumers.
Meanwhile, the combination of “intercept and deflect”, IP and security issues, and trade barriers lead companies to shelve plans to expand aggressively into Emerging Markets. More and more emphasis is placed on share of wallet – pulling the last Dollar, Yen or Euro out of customers who are safe inside the “walled garden” of security set up by large firms. Companies need to know everything about their customers, and privacy – long gone in the political sphere – is overwhelmed in the commercial sphere as well. The Internet of things, companies AND Governments know everything about us.
“Iron Curtains” for information spring up, and with them a series of “black markets” for information – complete with data smugglers, the 2020 version of the gun runners and drug smugglers of 2010. Iran’s Internet becomes the wholly owned province of the state. High-tech criminals help increasingly desperate consumers and small businesses find “back doors” into the safe zones as a way to get into new markets and seek shelter. Sophisticated criminal gangs demand "protection money" from small and medium sized companies fearing cyber terrorism.
Finally, the circle is narrowed. Despite the promise of the open Internet, trade barriers begin closing off markets for goods and information. The digital divide grows quickly as poorer nations and smaller companies cannot afford to keep up with the new security requirements and the entry fees to join the “safe zones” mandated by OECD legislation. Large parts of the world find themselves“outside the wall” and are left to fend for themselves, facing a combination of rapacious criminals, radical groups and bottom-feeding enterprises selling high cost security services.
For those on an island, life goes on, albeit in a more limited way than before. For those on an Internet Island, life goes on, albeit in a more limited way than before. Those without access are literally adrift, as advances in finance, education, healthcare and transportation – all dependent on the free moving data – are cut off.
Global Government for the Internet
How Governments Rescue the Web
Most of us assume that the ICT industry, media companies, and NGOs will continue to be the leading players on the Internet stage, with governments playing just a supporting role. This scenario describes an alternate future, where citizens and industry worldwide demand that their governments take center stage to clean up an Internet that had become infected with dangerous content and criminal conduct.
In 2010, Internet governance was still driven by a private sector that had invested over a trillion dollars to bring connectivity, content, and e-commerce to nearly 2 billion people worldwide. The private sector – including businesses and NGOs – were still doing most of the heavy lifting in setting IT standards, managing the Internet's domain name system, and allocating IP addresses.
Governments, for their part, eagerly adopted Internet tools and put law enforcement on the trail of criminals who took their trade online. Several governments established standards for privacy and data protection. Most governments shared industry's enthusiasm for‘cloud computing’ for distributed computing and content management. As more of the world's information went online, governments proposed some restrictions on Internet activity and mandated certain equipment and applications. A few governments went so far as to impose content filters on Internet choke-points and required IT operators to censor their own traffic.
While governments pressed for a larger role in Internet governance, the private sector continued to drive the Internet revolution and managed technology standards and infrastructure. Governments were cautious about pressing their hand for greater control, since they appreciated that private sector innovation and investment were critical to economic recovery and renewed productivity growth.
Innovation in 2010 was intense in devices such as mobile phones, pads, and pods. Since the next billion Internet users would come from the developing world, affordable mobile devices and improved connectivity promised to accelerate adoption. And since most of the next billion users don't use the Latin alphabet, the advent of Internationalized domain names was a welcome innovation, too.
By and large, citizens, businesses, and NGOs seemed satisfied with the open architecture of the Internet and with the balance of power in Internet governance in 2010. More governments were participating side-by-side with the private sector in conferences such as the Internet Governance Forum. But many governments questioned the value of a forum that produced no binding agreements, and they pressed for more inter-governmental oversight.
In hindsight, it should have been obvious that the private sector's leadership role was being threatened by dark clouds on the horizon.
Although the Internet was valued for its role in educating children, many countries had growing anxiety over child online safety. Concerns about climate change and the collapse of financial firms stoked demand for more government oversight at a global level. The environmental and economic disaster caused by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico caused many to question whether private sector leadership was in the best interests of the public and of the planet. Nations in the global south harbored doubts about the northern economies commitment to climate change and development aid, which only exacerbated tensions over balance of power in Internet governance.
In the years following 2010, governments around the world began to acquire unprecedented powers to regulate financial markets, energy supplies, and just about anything that could be causing global climate change. These new powers came in small increments and varied widely among nations, but multi-governmental organizations took every opportunity to coordinate and consolidate these powers under mandates for global solutions.
The world's population was anxious for comprehensive solutions to global problems – and that sentiment found a new target amid growing concern over the levels of fraud, dangerous conduct, and threatening content on the Internet.
In 2011, European courts upheld a landmark conviction of business executives for a video someone had posted to their company's public website. This led to other convictions and private lawsuits over liability for user-generated postings and copyrighted material. Even in the US, courts and Congress questioned the policy of giving publishers immunity for third party activity, particularly when it came to endangering minors and violating copyrights. Clearly, momentum was building to force websites and ISPs to proactively police user activity and to assume liability for the actions of users.
By 2012, parents around the world agonized over online risks to children from sexual predators, bullying and harassment, and disturbing images of child pornography. Pornography was simply too easy for kids to find, and home-based filtering tools were no deterrent to a determined teenager seeking racy websites. By 2012, the US and several other governments moved to emulate the nationwide filtering scheme made popular by Australia.
In 2013, a UN conference on communications and spectrum produced a new international treaty for governmental cooperation on cyber crime and cyber security. The conference included a protracted debate about whether to give existing UN agencies formal control over Internet governance, but stopped short of requiring this in the new treaty. However, this debate led to high-level consultations among governments regarding future changes in Internet governance. Business, NGOs and citizens struggled to convince governments to maintain the private sector leadership that had helped the Internet to grow.
In 2014, a mysterious computer virus was secretly lurking in over 100 million computers and mobile devices around the world. On April 1 of that year, the 'Conficker' worm came to life – with a vengeance. Simultaneously, infected computers phoned home to their masters in organized crime with credit card data they had been collecting for years. At the same time, Conficker wiped-clean all hard drives on host computers and connected devices. Credit card fraud was rampant for several weeks, while users around the world struggled to cancel their accounts and restore their computers.
By 2015, it was increasingly clear that consumers and banks were losing the war against the lucrative criminal enterprise of online credit card fraud and identity theft. Phishing emails had become incredibly sophisticated; one particularly effective scam used a distributed denial-of-service attack to disable a bank website, then sent bank customers a convincing email directing them to an alternate website during the outage. Fraudulent websites grew ever more convincing as criminals found ways to trick browsers into displaying genuine URLs.
Consumer fraud was growing exponentially, and the accumulated losses forced credit card companies and banks to dramatically increase their fees to process online transactions. Some fees topped 10% by 2017, cutting deeply into the margins of online services and retailers. Many startup companies could find no merchant bank to process their online payments, crippling new business models that sought to charge for content and services.
By 2018, three trends converged in a 'perfect storm' that brought profound changes to public attitudes about the role of governments in regulating online communications and commerce:
First, consumers were rapidly losing confidence and trust in e-commerce and online banking. Industry self-regulation, particularly notice and choice regimes, were seen as weak protections against increasing frequency of database hacks and security breaches that exposed citizens to fraud and identity theft. Despite the best efforts of banks and businesses, consumers felt they could no longer trust the authenticity of emails and websites.
A second force in this perfect storm arose from the global business community, facing escalating security costs and crippling losses from Internet fraud. Moreover, businesses were saddled with huge lawsuits over privacy, data protection, and incidents involving user-generated content. Social networking sites had to drastically shrink their services in the face of legal challenges over content and privacy. Small startup businesses were particularly hurt since they could not afford the security systems or marketing campaigns needed to earn the trust of consumers and payment processors. Even charitable organizations abandoned online fundraising when it became too difficult for donors to distinguish between genuine appeals and scams.
The third element of the perfect storm was a growing awareness that governments had developed extensive online surveillance and monitoring tools, and coordinated with other governments to prevent large-scale terrorist attacks. Even opinion leaders generally critical of government seemed to revel in thrilling media accounts of communications intercepts and thwarted attacks on computer networks and physical targets.
The convergence of these forces brought citizens and businesses to believe that global governments should take active steps to protect online services and e-commerce. This message originated from business-focused think-tanks, and was echoed in public opinion polls, town hall meetings and Congressional hearings. Legislative proposals moved swiftly through Congress and survived initial court challenges over constitutional questions. The US Administration found that most other governments and inter-governmental organizations were eager to build on their successful anti-terrorism cooperation and join forces to defend the Internet from criminal enterprise and abuse.
Credit card companies and banks rode the wave of public concern to require biometric authentication for online transactions, driving adoption of accessories and protocols for computers and mobile devices. Internet users quickly adopted biometric authentication, helped by subsidies and incentives from banks, merchants, and online services.
While these user authentication services were originally designed to serve online purchasing, they were quickly adopted by online services looking for ways to reduce exposure to lawsuits and prosecution for user-generated content. Social networks, blog sites, and video services soon required authenticated identities before publishing content – bringing an end to anonymity on the Internet. Many commercial and public sector websites mandated authenticated identity access to protect sensitive data. Even minors were required to obtain government-issued online identity tokens before using websites catering to kids and teens.
Eventually, government-issued licenses were required for any provider of online services, and former telecom regulatory agencies and ministries were in the business of due diligence and issuance of licenses. Even end-users were required to have ‘Internet licenses’, granted only after passing an Internet safety exam and background check. In 2019, the first random ‘sweeps’ of personal computers were performed by licensed Internet intermediaries, as required by national law and global treaty.
At many points in the process, there were public protests and legal challenges from advocates of free expression and groups suspicious of 'big brother' government surveillance. But the tide of public opinion and industry enthusiasm carried the day. By 2020, governments and law enforcement had become deeply embedded in all aspects of Internet communications, content, and e-commerce.
Social networks and cloud computing have evolved with all the promise foreseen in 2010. However…introduction of mandated digital citizenship training in preschools and primary schools has spread around the world. Advances in software and other technological advances have made it possible to rely on network [cloud] based language translation and young people, in particular. The advent of the always, switched on world has introduced a new form of digital divide – the divide between millineuls, and the ‘other users’ of the online world. The reliance on appliances and networks drives huge consumption of energy, and the search for a new power source to drive the mobile generation. From the North to countries with vast reserves of petro resources, climate change and environmental pressures have continued to grow, and the formerly called developing countries have establishes strict prohibition rules against digital dumping, of both physical and ‘soft’ waste.
At the start of the second decade of the new millennium, the global economy continued to stagger through recession, job loss, and massive government debt. Slumping national economies strained international organizations as fractures emerged within a major trading bloc. Governments were forced to face the stark realities of spending priorities and investments in social welfare were challenged for the first time in generations.
As economic forces served to highlight regional and international differences, issues of global concern continued to demand international accord. Climate change remained a central focus as altered weather patterns and brought additional natural disasters to new parts of the globe, exposing historically safe coastal regions to the destructive forces of nature.
The spate of natural and environmental disasters which captured the world’s attention and galvanized relief efforts also revealed the need for “real-time” communication and on-the-ground assessment of the disaster landscape. The new phenomenon of social networks filled the void. Organizations formed immediately in response to crises to provide assistance and coordination for victims. Reports from aid workers on the ground were disseminated quickly through social networks which, with video evidence, revealed the successes and failures of distribution and allowing organizations to nimbly navigate roadblocks to aid delivery.
In addition to disaster mitigation, the growth of social networking changed the way people maintain relationships in their everyday lives. Those who were adults when the Internet emerged used it to reconnect with lost friends. The next generation millenials grew up with social networking, never losing contact with friends and acquaintances, and maintained large networks of connectivity throughout their lives. Mashup applications added location information and video to provide a historical record of social interaction.
The extensive amount of content and personal data volunteered by individuals for their online profiles raised privacy concerns. Yet despite the potential for misuse of this information, and periodic examples of its abuse, there seemed to be little to dampen the enthusiasm of users to expose their personal lives to the public or their ever expanding network of friends.
While privacy and security concerns also existed for cloud computing, there was little that could discourage the desire of people to make their content portable. With the rapid improvement in mobile devices, both in terms of storage and the breadth of applications, users became more comfortable shifting their work and personal data to remote storage for ready access at any time and from any location – further altering the norm for access and business communication.
By 2014, the widespread adoption of LTE by major wireless carriers as the new standard for mobile communications produced dramatic improvements in the broadcast and delivery of content to portable devices. Vast increases in the speed and volume of data available to users led to a period of dramatic growth in manufacturing and application development.
These advances ushered in an era of wireless ubiquity where users sought remote monitoring and control over increasing elements of their lives. In an effort to improve energy efficiency and to provide more control to the user, everyday appliances became smart machines connected to the network, allowing remote access and generating data logs.
Social networks made great use of this new information. By networking appliances and recording usage data, people were able to track their performance, assess quality, and share these findings with others pooling information together to create automated assessments and benchmarks. It also greatly assisted the troubleshooting process as technical support representatives or repairmen could perform remote diagnostic tests to address problems remotely.
Automobiles also integrated wireless connectivity shipping as a standard feature in most vehicles. This provided location-based information for traffic monitoring and opened a marketplace for on demand audio and video entertainment and information resources. With the added ability to record and transmit video, cars were equipped with cameras that allowed parents to monitor their children’s driving behavior. These devices had the added benefit of serving as accident video recorders, the use of which were incentivized by insurance companies through lowered premiums.
This wireless connectivity was also linked together with greater use of sensor technologies to monitor and record the performance and maintenance and allow for remote diagnostic of existing problems and to identify trends in performance.
The increased sales of new wireless units, along with rising demand for hybrid and electric cars, created significant demand for lithium batteries. Countries of the Andean range possessed the majority of lithium deposits and reaped the benefits of this advantage. In response, funding multiplied for energy use efficiency research, while aggressive recycling programs were implemented to minimize waste and recover useful materials.
In response to fears of immigrant populations and concerns for security, biometric identification was made mandatory for government issued IDs. Faced with this new requirement, users sought to integrate biometrics into their smart phones since it provided added security to communications and commerce. Mobile devices evolved into the principal instrument for both personal identification and commerce as plastic cards that performed these tasks become redundant.
Citizen journalism shifted the control of information from major media conglomerates to gangs of powerful, yet loosely affiliated information leaders known as "connectors." Without editorial controls or government oversight, the connectors toppled governments, and were behind the rise and the fall of many public figures. Online defamation became common, and those defamed had no recourse. Freedom of expression for anybody other than the connectors virtually disappeared.
Users believed that the wellbeing of the majority was more important than the preservation of copyright laws. Copyright systems worldwide crumbled under the pervasive violations of copyright laws by users and the inability of governments to prosecute the volume of offenses.
2015 saw the major breakthrough many have been waiting for in the software programming for real-time language translation on the cloud. With this development, the lives and work of researchers and educators were dramatically altered as a truly global communication network was realized that allowed real time information exchange across geographic, language and cultural barriers.
With this new capability, community elders were drawn into the online activities as the translation software coupled with the rapid evolution of the video phone allowed them to share a heritage with younger generations as never before – no keyboard required! This development had a tremendous impact on the preservation and continuation of numerous native languages which were struggling to find a place and relevance in this modern world.
With users continuing to push the limits of mobile devices on a global scale with tens of millions of new mobile users in China, India and Africa, battery technology was seen as roadblock to further development on the mobile platform.
This issue was answered in 2017 with a significant breakthrough in solar battery charging technology. New mobile and handheld devices were sold with a separate device with allowed for a powerful charge in a reasonable timeframe – never seen before. Users were quick to recognize this market-altering development and drove another huge expansion of the mobile device market.
This new battery technology was also hailed by civil society organizations as a key to bringing reliability and predictability to regions and countries which had struggled with these limitations issues in the past.
While the expansion of mobile usage was welcomed – many of historic challenges remained, namely privacy. But this too was being addressed in a new manner with software developers recognizing the fundamental importance of the issue and building in security into both the devices as well as the software in response to a next generation of user which demanded more on this front.
Responsible user on the Internet was now being viewed in the same light as responsible driving was 20 years earlier – as a shared responsibility that all were expected to contribute to.
Another sign of this new sense of online responsibility was the development of youth organizations (similar to the Boys and Girls Scouts) charged with teaching and spreading the message of responsible usage to new users. Recognizing the value of these youth organizations, national governments were quick to jump in and support these initiatives at the grassroots level.
The most dramatic technological development to emerge at the start of the new decade was the widespread integration of miniaturized video into the fabric of everyday life. With video recording equipment becoming progressively smaller, and the ability to transmit video feeds requiring minimal space, viewwearTM became the new means to record and broadcast video. Glasses, hats, clothes all became devices to provide a video record of that satisfied consumers’ desire for a first person, participatory perspective to commemorate social interaction.
With seemingly endless storage available in the cloud and sufficient wireless capacity to send as much data there as needed, viewwearTM allowed its users to document their lives more completely than ever before. This was used in varying forms based on the individual’s preferences and needs.
Using this service, social networking took a new form as people shared their direct life experiences in episodic form called life-feeds, broadcast live, or on demand, for subscribers. Continuing to serve the voyeuristic nature of audiences once satisfied with reality TV programming and twitter feeds, people watched and rated the entertainment value of user-generated productions of real life experiences.
In addition to personal recordings and public broadcasts, viewwearTM served as a deterrent to physical harm. Since the video record of any incident or attack could be retrieved from storage and used as evidence, the service provided a strong disincentive for assailants. Society accepted the pervasiveness of video recordings and was willing to sacrifice individual rights to privacy and freedom from unauthorized recordings as it became easier to solve crimes and adjudicate legal claims.
As governments faced incredible fiscal difficulties caring for retired baby boomers, and showed no willingness to make difficult choices allocating resources, they were forced to use innovative ways to generate needed revenue. While society was generally unwilling to embrace law enforcement surveillance of auto and life-feeds to prosecute victimless crimes, its resistance was not so great when the penalty was a ticket.
Where citizens once decried the frequency of parking tickets and the invasiveness of speed cameras, they came to bemoan tickets incurred for breaking laws they had previously done so with impunity. Using access to auto feeds, fines for speeding and violations such as rolling stops came in small increments, but steadily. Life-feeds yielded fines ranging from jaywalking to crimes seldom pursued by police in courts such as recreational drug use.
The fines did little to change behavior, and generated substantial but not enormous sums, but they reflected the willingness of society to recognize the authority of law enforcement at a limited level that users felt did not impinge upon the primacy of the individual.