The Soviet experience suggests something really important for us today, which is that networks are entirely compatible with surveillance. And many of our favorite things to talk about, then, peer-to-peer production, or end-to-end intelligence, kind of missed the point that I think is now obvious. That whether you’re the NSA or Google or whoever else…you’re a general secretariat, seeking to privatize our power, and you are surveilling us, because you have a network in place.
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Historically, there have been all of these moments, moments of social turmoil where people have come together and they have questioned a lot of the common sense of their eras and they’ve torn it to bits. And the result has been kind of…truths, like new truths that become common sense later.
We’re losing our ability to forget the things that should be forgotten. Wait until you try to run for Senate or Congress, some of you in this room, and some pictures or text roll up.
Although we haven’t reached peak surveillance, we’ve reached peak indifference to surveillance. There will never be another day in which fewer people give a shit about this because there’ll never be a day in which fewer people’s lives have been ruined by this.
I’d suggest it’s time to fix the World Wide Web […] and I’m going to suggest the way to do this is by building a distributed Web. This is a call to build a distributed Web, to lock the Web open.