The World Wide Web, while it was once thought to be somewhat decentralized, has been transformed over the years into an overly centralized cesspool of authoritarians, and one that is controlled by governments from around the world and a handful of globally recognized tech companies. The current state of the web is not how the visionaries intended it to be, nor would any of them agree with how the web is being run today.
Beyond the evidence that was revealed by then Booz Allen Hamilton contractor, Edward Snowden, understanding how the CIA, NSA and the private sector companies, including Google and Facebook, are highly involved in manipulating mass thought is critical in understanding why the web has to be re-imagined [ACKE14]. The fact that China is in full control of these companies, as well as many of our own elected officials, has become very obvious to many Americans. For some, it has made clear why mass censorship and widespread election interference is taking place.
It is us, the denizens of the World Wide Web, that have become extremely dependent on how quickly and easily we can communicate with each other, and access information using the WWW's many facilities. But it is during the process of the various communications and periods of research that our information, our actions and reactions are collected and then stored within the databases of not only the providers of these facilities but the "virtual, centralized grand database" originally envisioned by President Reagan's former national security advisor, John Poindexter [ROSE02].
It was Poindexter who was behind the "Total Information Awareness" program that eventually became the NSA's Advanced Research and Development Activity (ARDA), which was later renamed "Terrorism Information Awareness" [IWAR] and then finally reincarnated as an alliance between the US government and Silicon Valley. Enter Booz Allen Hamilton and other private sector companies like Palantir - run by so-called "libertarians" like Peter Theil - that are paid by the CIA and the NSA to spy on and gather data about law-abiding American citizens, in the name of "terrorism" [GREE13].
History clearly shows us, even through the admissions of companies like Facebook and academics at Cornell University, that big tech is not only spying on us, but running psychological experiments on us as well [ROBI14, KRAM14, GOEL14, KRISH14]. All the while, they do what other CIA and NSA contractors do and attempt to hide their tyrannical behavior behind a masquerade of talking points about "civil liberties" and "improvements to service" [SCHE15], but it is clear to many that they're actively doing more than simply trying to improve their software.
Companies like Facebook, who have a clear and open relationship with the Chinese government, are far more interested in controlling what we see and quite frankly, what we believe, and it's these internal studies that allow them to accomplish exactly that. For years, these private sector companies have been developing internal algorithms that are used each and every day to study our habits, mannerisms and other psychological traits, all in the name of helping them to improve their advertising services. What truly opened the eyes of Silicon Valley elites like Mark Zuckerberg, however, had little to do with predicted what our buying behavior. Rather, these authoritarians were blown away when their own studies revealed that an individual's voting behavior could be influenced through "undetectable social network maneuvering" [LANI14].
The research I just mentioned happened in 2014, and don't worry, the source I cited was The New York Times - in case there are those out there that claim there is no "widespread evidence of election interference." That's why I felt it was important to cite a New York Times article discussing a study that Facebook conducted themselves! Facebook and Google's interest in our elections has grown extensively since 2014, when they began collectively contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to local governments and local companies in an attempt to support candidates that has unusual relationships with the Chinese government. For example, Joe Biden, whose son is currently under investigation by the FBI for his dealings with Chinese companies, as of this writing.
What they used to refer to as "undetectable maneuvering" is no longer truly undetectable, due to the fact that social networks are doing more than simply tweaking your news feed but are now overtly censoring the posts of individuals that rail against the propaganda machine that most Silicon Valley-based social networks have become. The censoring also takes place within search engines like Google, where results for conservative news stories and websites are rarely displayed to those individuals that Google knows are registered democrats (look no further than the blacklisted Hunter Biden story). The efforts of Google and other tech companies to interfere in the 2020 election were nothing short of extraordinary, and a slap in the face to anyone who is concerned with freedom in America.
All of this is made possible by a clear invasion of our private lives that we have allowed to go on for as long as some of us have been alive. The disregard for our own privacy has allowed companies in the private sector to gather data from every corner of our lives, which they have sold back to the US government in a clear violation of our Forth Amendment rights. They've used this data to build a clear profile of every one of us and know, for example, every single African American Democrat from Dallas, Texas who ate McDonalds last week while watching Netflix. Sadly, they'll make sure that all of them are fed a steady stream of anti-American leftists propaganda until each one of them align themselves with the "American woke."
It was this sort of invasion of privacy that the English administrators over the American colonies took part in, according to John Adams, that as much as any other factor was instrumental in sparking the American Revolution. In 1761, a young John Adams documented a speech given by James Otis in which Adams was quoted as saying, "every man of a crowded audience appeared to me to go away, as I did, ready to take up arms against writs of assistance." In this speech, Otis openly denounced "writs of assistance," in the process making a clear and open demand for privacy which would later become a foundational aspect in the establishment of our republic. I believe the invasion of privacy we face today far exceeds what any of our founders could have ever imagined. Alice Walker once said, "the most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." To that end, we have clearly given up our rights to tech companies in exchange for convenience and exposure. Who could have imagined that?
I have said for quite some time, that we're way overdue for another revolution. But this time, a majority of that revolution will be digital. As Chief Justice Roberts (a trader on most issues) pointed out in Riley vs. California, the Fourth Amendment doesn't simply cover our physical homes, but our digital ones as well. Likewise, true American patriots don't simply face a physical revolt in order to secure their freedoms, but a digital one as well. And if these patriots choose to stand idly by as their freedoms are slowly stripped away, they won't have a place in the digital realm to communicate or have their voices heard. I say this because building alternatives to Facebook and Google on the centralized web is not a viable, long-term solution. The control these companies have over us and the web goes much further than what we see or what we read. They now control our companies, our domain names, what we publish, what we sell and even our ability to accept payments.
Andrew Torba, the founder of Gab (an alternative social network for conservatives), has already been banned from most online payment platforms, his domain has been seized, his servers taken offline and his family members have been blacklisted by VISA. While that sounds like something out of 1984, it's an unimaginable reality that is actually taking place. Organizations like ARIN, who controls the delegation of IP addresses to Internet Service Providers, and ICANN, who controls the domain registrar approval process, are quickly becoming activists for leftist causes. These organizations are enacting policies that will soon force domain registrars like GoDaddy, in addition to hosting provides like Amazon Web Services (AWS), to move away from WWW-based facilities that allow for the distribution of anti-leftist propaganda. Coincidentally, that is exactly what platforms like Gab are used for and sadly, the left is ultimately in control of the entirety of Gab's digital existence.
Beyond the web, and the silencing of conservatives by ICANN, ARIN and Biden's FCC, is the additional threat of Google and Apple doing the same to mobile applications like Alex Jones' InfoWars, which was abruptly removed from both apps stores after it quickly surpassed CNN as the most downloaded news application within hours of its launch. To put all this into perspective: companies in Silicon Valley are selling user data to communist governments, running psychological experiments on their users, and interfering in our elections, all while silencing those who expose their motives and tactics, in the process forming a powerful resistance to alternatives that emerge as a result of these organizations' complete and total disregard for American civil liberties.
This is why I have embarked on a mission over the past several years to re-imagine the web and build a medium where the people are in control, instead of governments and the private sector. A quick look at how long this GitHub profile has been around and the amount of work and research that has taken place, should make this last statement obvious. The point of this paper is to make the case for a decentralized alternative to the web, one that we've been developing for the past four years, called the "dWeb." It will also lay out how the dWeb works, and describe the scientific and mathematical foundations that ensure the dWeb can never be controlled by a single entity, and why the data itself can only be modified by its creator. At the very same time, this paper will detail how an elected governance, a distributed election system and a distributed reporting system are used to ensure that the people of the dWeb, as well as its elected governance, can remove illegal activity and content without introducing any sort of centralization that might otherwise be used to undermine the dWeb's future.
While the dWeb provides protections from the tyrannical and authoritarian actions of governments and the private sector, it also presents technological advances that allow for the global distribution of websites, web applications and various forms of data, without the need for costly infrastructure or the threat from hackers. These advances and others are just as important, and certainly speak to the need for a decentralized web and the freedoms it allows for.
The need for a decentralized web at a time when the web has become overly-centralized, may not be obvious to the many who regularly use the web, or those who have not witnessed the constant violation of the human, civil, and constitutional rights of the web's users. But there is no other alternative to the left's tyranny. The influx of countries and their governments who use the web, as well as the Internet at large, to spy on their citizens, has spiraled out of control. The lack of privacy and security issues are truly alarming, where even central banks lack the capability to protect worthless fiat - after attempting for more than two decades, they are still still unable to secure their networks. Now, social networks and search engines want to get involved in politics and control what we find on their platforms, and will delete our entire digital existence over a minor policy violation. Big tech and tyrannical governments like our own, know that software developers are building ways to avoid their attacks and are using policies, as well as regulators, to scare off innovation in an attempt to maintain power and keep their usual control mechanisms in place.
Developers, innovators and disseminators of information needs a better protocol. They need a completely decentralized web where their hard work can never be destroyed or shutdown by fearful governments. They simply need a better web where they can experience true privacy, freedom, security and transparency, for the first time since the inception of the web itself. Isn't that what the web was created for in the first place? It's what the dWeb was created for, but this time, we didn't forget to hardcode those rules into its immutable and irreversible foundation.
Welcome to the dWeb.
"There is no central control." - Paul Baran - Godfather of packet switching
"My bias was always to build decentralization into the net. That way, it would be hard for one group to gain control. I didn't trust large central organizations. It was just in my nature to distrust them." - Bob Taylor - ARPANET Engineer
NOTE: As an added plus, the dWeb is live as you read this, and can never be taken offline as long as people like you are using it. You can start browsing the dWeb by downloading dBrowser here and can begin following our efforts to launch truly decentralized facilities like dSocial and dSearch.