Building a Trustworthy Open Web

GLIAnet: Virtual glue, to mend online trust deficits.

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The Internet is the most transformative technology platform in history, designed to place intelligence and control with users at the ends of the network. And yet, in recent years, the World Wide Web seemingly has become dominated by huge data-gathering platforms, fake news, data breaches, identity theft, intrusive ads, online tracking, malicious bots, and biased algorithms. In this uneasy, even creepy, Ads+Data World, it can seem far more challenging to continue supporting a robustly free and open Internet.

One missing ingredient today is basic human trust, an assurance that my online interactions are founded on consent, accountability, and mutual benefit. With new technologies of data control now online—such as the Internet of Things, Cloud Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and biometrics—that trust and accountability deficit is about to get appreciably worse.

GLIAnet would create a more decentralized ecosystem of digital trust. The Greek word “glia” means glue, connoting both the social bonds of trust that bind us in social and economic relationships, and those same-named cellular structures in the human brain providing vital support and protection to neural pathways. The GLIAnet concept is premised on Users voluntarily granting to trustworthy entities access to portions of their past practices, present actions, and future intentionalities—their data Lifestreams.

 

As this Project will explore over time, our individual Lifestreams truly can become our own, aided by TrustMediaries, entities chosen to operate as digital interfaces between myself and the Web. Other support elements can include personal Avatars, individualized Cloudlets, self-sovereign Identity Layers, and a host of distributed applications, devices, and services.  The aim is to shape, build, and launch that trustworthy and supportive online ecosystem as a virtual overlay to the Web. Where innovation more readily translates into human progress. And, the ultimate endgame is the promise of delivering a tech future centered on autonomous humans.

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