Facebook, Whatsapp, Freedom of Speech, Privacy and the Fall of the American Empire
We are losing our model of the free world, time to wake up and get back to work!
Most of these notes and statements are 3 years old but I found it could be useful to share them now as they might have become more timely than ever.
What do Facebook, Telegram, Twitter, WeChat, Skype, iMessage, iCloud, WhatsApp, and Signal all have in common? All these platforms have been censored or surveilled at some point in their life. Censorship is unfortunately becoming the new normal. Surveillance is growing and being automated. Such decisions are made with what one hopes are good intentions but based on a concept of what good is or what good looks like. This is often the result of one human decision and of large corporate interest.
A human’s egotistical nature is the weak link when it comes to ethics, morals, and the respect of a single mission. This can sometimes be good as history has demonstrated in certain situations - Take Stanislav Petrov, the Russian soldier known as the man who single-handedly saved the world from nuclear war.
In an age where autonomous systems and platforms are rising, it is important that a state of the art neutral place is created. We thought the internet could be that no man’s land where everyone could express themselves freely. Sadly today the internet is used to attack each other’s nation and control citizens more efficiently.
Your Facebook profile, your WeChat discussions have become the number one place where governments “get to know you”; learn what you do and how you think so they might manipulate you better. We have crossed the frontier and entered an Orwellian dystopia.
Banking systems are not functioning efficiently. You can’t send money during the weekend or pay your business partner outside of business hours. If you want to send money to the other side of the world your money is held for a certain period of time, exchanged into another currency at your expense, and delivered sometimes days or a week later. Perhaps after receiving inquisitive phone calls.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have started to address some of these issues, however, only a thin group of enthusiasts are able to understand them and use some or all of their capabilities. Smart contracts can automate and make the use of capital so efficient but only a handful of people are able to use them.
We need a messaging and payment platform that belongs to no human; that no government can influence or control. A place where each individual, each organization can express themselves freely and where each individual or organization can exchange and send messages and value instantly.
We want to believe in good more than in evil. We want to believe that enabling the exponential growth of free expression, free access to capital and freedom of exchange will not only multiply opportunities but will also enable the triumph of the good. It will accelerate humans’ evolution while maximizing individual potentials. Where would we be, had money, trade, travel, and the telegraph not been invented?
The cloud and its centralization architecture are going to be outpaced by the edge and local computing. It is time to leverage the edge, what we call the smartphone infrastructure, pushing intelligent routing of messages and payments to the edge of the network, in the hands of people.
The centralization of power never came to a happy ending.
Check out what https://berty.tech is working on.