One of my friends, who is not technical, but really sees how Surveillance Capitalism makes money is of the opinion that Web 3 based on blockchain used to create decentralized social networks will provide an exit for everyone from Surveillance Capitalism.
I would be interested to hear the opinions of others here. In particular, one question that I don’t have a handle on is at what cost?
Blockchain can be extremely secure. But there is a cost. The cost can be either high or low. But it always has to be considered. Crypto-currencies rely on the routine cracking of cryptographic keys, to grow and remain stable. The cracking costs increase exponentially over time.
If lower security is needed than we use for money systems, we can lower security and implement consensus verifications through groups of un-related (unknown to eachother) verifiers who essentially act as moderators. But these moderators do not moderate content, they only create accuracy based on the consensus by an un-related group of strangers, as to what was said or done. Such consensus eliminates fraud or a need for cryptography. If someone other than you claims to be you, the consensus moderators would use their human intelligence. So (for example) fifty people who do not know eachother, nor do they know who eachother are, would go to work independently on a block of posts. Each moderator might say to themselves something like “that is his usual ip address and MAC address, it comes from his geographic area, the writing style matches his other posts. I vote yes”. Meanwhile some other post comes from outside of the country. Even though the MAC address matches his other posts (a spoof?), the writing style is different and command of the native language is less than typical for this person. So the consensus of votes that this post is from the real account holder is less than fifty percent and the post is labeled as fraudulent. Even in an efficient system, people have to be paid or have to volunteer. You either need exponentially difficult cryptographic keys to crack (which is expensive), or you need human consensus to replace the cryptography.
The fediverse is a better option.
A whole new internet built from the ground-up, could authenticate every communication if you don’t mind a permanent record being kept of everything you say.
I think that your friend and I may have had some of the same ideas. I would like to see a new internet that is structured based on its foundation, to prevent any scamming or spoofing, and to give users the ability to simply turn off all advertising and surveilance. I want to see the same for the phone system. When I get unwanted telephone solicitations, I always ask as an opening line “What is your home phone number, the one that your wife or child will answer when I call. Give me that number and I’ll call you back”. It is possible to have air-tight authentication of all interactions without giving up your privacy. But those features need to be built in to the foundation where it can’t be removed without locking-out the person who is tampering with the protocols as a result. I don’t think it is possible to tack privacy and security on to existing internet protocols and really have strong privacy and security. The privacy and security need to be a part of the interweaved fabric that binds the protocol together and without which, the protocol wouldn’t work at all.