Big Ideas

The Future of Social Networks in a post-Snowden Internet

By idfive \ August 15, 2013

Whether you already have a collection of fancy tin foil hats or you are thinking about starting a collection of your own, millions and millions of Americans are using Facebook daily via the web or on a mobile device. With such heavy use, social networks may be the barrier between going “off-the-grid” and sharing every last spring break photo with some anonymous desensitized analyst at the NSA.There will always be a need to communicate with family, friends, and colleagues and as we begin to place more emphasis on privacy and data ownership we will need to come up with new ways to share our adventures with our friends securely over insecure infrastructure. What could “social networks” look like in a 1984-cyberpunk-Bladerunner style future? Floating servers in international waters? Drone servers over international airspace? Personal kickstarter-funded low-orbit satellites powering personal networks?

Trsst is heading the charge in creating a decentralized and secure network similar to Twitter for users to share messages between one another all over the globe without letting the prying eyes or firewalls of any government get in the way. Though this project is still in it’s infancy and asking for support via it’s kickstarter, it is the start to something that can benefit users today in countries where the government has blocked access to social networks in an effort to thwart revolution and public demonstrations.

We could also see a big change in how we experience something as simple as email. Recently we saw Lavabit close it’s doors for being located on US soil and hosting Edward Snowden’s private email account.