As Internet experts look to the future of the Web, they have a number of concerns. This is not to say they are pessimistic: The majority of respondents to this 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing say they hope that by 2025 there will not be significant changes for the worse and hindrances to the ways in which people get and share content online today. And they said they expect that technology innovation will continue to afford more new opportunities for people to connect.
Still, some express wide levels of concern that this yearning for an open Internet will be challenged by trends that could sharply disrupt the way the Internet works for many users today as a source of largely unfettered content flows.
The Net Threats These Experts Fear:
- Actions by nation-states to maintain security and political control will lead to more blocking, filtering, segmentation, and balkanization of the Internet.
- Trust will evaporate in the wake of revelations about government and corporate surveillance and likely greater surveillance in the future.
- Commercial pressures affecting everything from Internet architecture to the flow of information will endanger the open structure of online life.
- Efforts to fix the TMI (too much information) problem might over-compensate and actually thwart content sharing. | Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project