Net neutrality, censorship, spying: what future for internet?インターネットの(中立性、検閲、スパイ行為: インターネットの未来には何が)

情報アーキテクチャ専攻 Antoine BOSSARD助教

I. Web 2.0: goodbye privacy

Interestingly, people are increasingly and willingly diminishing their private spheres, making more and more personal information public. Facebook profiles, Twitter updates, blog posts are some examples. Considering this trend, some have even called this era egocentric: anything would be done to gather more followers, “friends”, etc. A few years earlier, no one would have considered revealing the name hidden behind a pseudonym. One can hint at the fact that the internet population has significantly changed over the years. At first consisting mainly of technology enthusiasts, and now of literally “everybody”, it is no wonder that internet utilisation has evolved as well.
We are now putting online our lives almost completely: work documents in the cloud, leisure pictures on Instagram, contacts in Skype, music in iTunes, etc. This is a gold mine for government information agencies: data is now easily accessible, gathered in the same place. And this is without mentioning the incredible amount of information available for advertising companies through web tracking.

II. Net neutrality, censorship, spying

Obtaining collaboration from data providers and cloud managing companies is usually a matter of politics, and 2013 data leaks have especially shown that it is widespread around the globe (something that many had previously suggested). Using legal loopholes, governments of our democracies (?) do not hesitate to invade citizens’ privacy; information control (censorship) is next as already demonstrated by many dictatorships.
An important problem is that people often fail to acknowledge the loss of freedom, shouting loud and clear that they “have nothing to hide”. This is our role to educate people and show them that they have been misled into such conviction. Deliberately granting a government the right to spy on its citizens, almost always demagogically advertised for increased “security” (more precisely “security feeling”), is the source of dictatorship and the end of freedom. Simply imagine what would happen in the case of dissent from citizens towards the government after a legitimately questionable bill is passed. Granting a government the right to invade privacy is clearly a threat to any kind of political opposition, which is, a fundamental of democracy.
Internet providers also play a significant role inside this picture. By enforcing Deep Packet Inspection (DPI)-like measures, they are aiming at monitoring, and eventually controlling, internet users’ activity. Effectively, such actions would allow providers to enforce traffic discrimination and offer different quality of service, for instance favouring a partner’s service over another one.

III. What future for internet?

With our lives now online, internet privacy is an increasingly concerning matter. As often, the first critical step is for people to understand what is at stake: their freedom, their rights. Another important question is “Whom to trust?”. In a non-friendly environment (e.g. outside your home LAN), some are defenders of the “I trust no one” alternatives: TOR, Freenet… or even good old typewriters (as revived in Russian administration recently) are some examples. This is where cryptography has a decisive role to play. But hold on. With the computing power of super calculators reaching new heights every year, it is now generally admitted that current cryptography principles and algorithms (such as RSA) will soon be unable to protect our communications. Worrying, isn’t it?

インターネットの中立性、検閲、スパイ行為: インターネットの未来には何が

Ⅰ. Web. 2.0: プライバシーよ, さらば


Ⅱ. インターネットの中立性、検閲、スパイ行為

 インターネットプロバイダーも、この状況の中で重要な役割を果たしている。手段のとしてのDeep Packet Inspection(DPI)を行うことによって、インターネットユーザーの行動の監視に的を絞り、最終的には管理もしている。そのような行動は効果的にプロバイダーによって行われる。データアクセス量の差別をし、例えば一方を他方より優遇するというような、違った品質のサービスを提供する。


もう一つの重要な問題は「誰を信頼すべきか?」である。外の環境の中で(例えば家のLANの外)、「誰も信頼しない」選択は防御になる。例えば、TOR, フリーネット、古いタイプライター(最近、ロシア政権で復活したような)である。これは明らかに暗号が活躍しているところである。しかし継続している。コンピューターの高速計算は毎年、新しい高みに達している。現在、一般的に、最新の暗号原理とアルゴリズム(RSAのような)は我々のコミニュケーションの保護を無くすだろう、と言われている。恐ろしいことではないか?