There were queues hundreds of people long. The snake of people wound its way up flights of stairs four storeys high.
Outside onlookers gathered. Some in awe. Some in admiration. Some in anguish and disgust.
They were at Capitol Hill in the US to hear Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testify before Congress.
They helped out the diminutive CEO with a booster seat. The kind you’d find at a cinema for your under-six-year-old. We wonder if Zuckerberg would be able to see over the desk without it.
It was comical to say the least.
But the more comical part of this circus was the hearing itself. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah asked how Facebook made money if it was free for users…
After trying to figure out if the question was a joke or not, Zuckerberg answered, ‘Senator, we run ads.’
The Crux of Facebook
That right there is the very crux of Facebook. They want you to see ads, click on ads, part with your data, and buy stuff from advertisers. It’s that simple.
Don’t forget this is a company that started out as a way to rate college girls. It has now become the world’s biggest data hoarder from its 2.2 billion active users.
But none of this is a great surprise to us. In fact 946 days ago (roughly two and a half years) we warned of this kind of centralised power. We specifically outlined how the likes of Google, Facebook, Netflix and Apple were centralised powers — more powerful than the nation state.
In fact some might say more powerful than nation states when you consider this whole Cambridge Analytica and Facebook scandal.
While these centralised tech giants continue to flaunt the law, abuse your rights and manipulate your lives, you must understand this doesn’t have to continue.
There is another way. And with the developments of decentralised networks and the burgeoning crypto revolution, you will soon see that the likes of Facebook may be on borrowed time already.
If the crypto revolution and decentralised networks boom like we anticipate, Facebook might just be the most overvalued company in the world.
Now there’s a good chance you missed our original essay in Money Morning from 8 August 2015. So we’ve decided to republish the key points for you today. This will help you understand this whole Facebook nonsense has been years in the making.
And only now today do we have the answers on how to fix it, how to make the internet 2.0, and importantly, how to build a better world where this kind of thing doesn’t happen again…
The internet as it exists today isn’t going anywhere. To destroy it would be akin to ripping up all the roads in the world. It’s just not going to happen.
But people might stop using it. However it’s not that they’d stop using the internet so to speak, they’ll just use a different one. And if a second, better internet surfaces it will be devastating to hundreds of companies that exist now. But it would also create the single biggest opportunity since…well…the internet.
Confused much? Let me simplify.
Under control of the elite few
When the internet as we know it first began it was all about information. It was a network with a primary purpose of sharing information. You could send, receive and access information all over the world.
That is the fundamental purpose of the internet. It’s an information hub. The singular greatest information hub that has ever existed.
The other thing that underpinned the internet at the beginning was ‘The Hacker Ethic’. The Hacker Ethic is attributed to Steven Levy in his 1984 book, Hackers: Heroes of the Computer Revolution.
There are three key elements to the hacker ethic. They are, access, freedom of information and improvement to quality of life.
But over the last few decades, somewhere along the line, the internet has lost the hacker ethic. And you can boil it down to a few heads of power that basically control information online these days.
The internet has shifted from being all about information and liberation to being all about power. That power is being gathered up by an elite few. And these elite few have a bigger say on how we use and exist on the internet with every slice of power they gain.
These elite few are nation states, the US and the UK in particular. They are also the giants of technology, Facebook, Google, and Apple. These countries and companies are [bastardising the internet in a way it was never supposed to be].
They are creating a closed, centralised, controlled network. And in the process they are enacting laws and regulations to tell us how we should use it and what we can or can’t do on it.
Think about it. When you want to communicate with your social network you probably post it on Facebook. And have you noticed what happens now when you click on a news link in Facebook? I bet you haven’t. But you actually still stay within Facebook’s platform.
You’re now surfing the web, through Facebook. You never leave. And they never want you to. They never want to let you go. If Facebook had it their way — and they likely will — Facebook will be the first and only thing you log into, and never log out of.
Now how decentralised, how free, how liberating does that sound?
This is only going to intensify as the internet permeates through all our lives with the explosion of the Internet of Things (IoT). With power and billions of dollars at stake, it’s of the highest importance to these elite players.
Smash it all to pieces and start again
But there’s a growing swell of technologists, InfoSec professionals, and freedom of speech advocates that don’t like the way the internet is heading. In fact they think it’s dying. And they’re not going to sit around and do nothing about it.
To create a second internet, a new, better internet, isn’t going to be as hard as it was back in the 70s and 80s. We already have the tools and technologies needed to get it done today. What it will take is a group of people to band together and say enough is enough. And they’ll just get it done.
The best way to fix the dying internet is to ‘smash it to pieces and start again.’ And perhaps that’s exactly what we’re in the early stages of.
[What] if we could start the internet again? Internet version 2? Then we can build its foundations in security. Security and privacy. Those two key aspects would be the very root of the new internet. And on top of this security we can build a truly liberated, free and ultimately decentralised internet. It will be where you can go and do as you wish with impunity from those who think you should be doing what they say.
I think this will happen much faster than you think. And people like you and me who value our security and privacy will head on over to the internet version 2, and leave the dying internet and the companies that exist on it behind.
Remember this was mid-2015. Back then the average person had no idea about decentralised networks — crypto networks.
But that’s exactly where the early foundations of this crypto revolution were seeded. Today we’re starting to see how it plays out, how alternative networks can create immense power, but distribute it across the network to the people that really matter — you and every other user on the network.
The crypto revolution is the opportunity we foresaw. It’s the biggest change in technology we’ve seen since…the internet. And in our view it’s also going to create a wealth explosion like we’ve never before seen in history.
Editor, Secret Crypto Network