The internet, which is the network we currently use for our Bitcoin needs, was supposed to be decentralized, verifiable and private. But after decades of choosing comfort, ease and speed, the internet today is actually quite centralized, with millions of websites and services’ information stored in a few data centers, all of them served by a very limited number of regulated, or even state-owned providers.
All users’ data travels through a reduced number of cables and cell towers and all of it is being identified, analyzed and allowed to go through most of the time, until now. Even the tools that are meant to liberate us from part of this global surveillance have to rely on this over-controlled infrastructure that is susceptible to attacks, seizures and censorship due to their (as desired by these tools themselves) centralized nature.
Some people believe that they can communicate and transact safely, privately and even anonymously on top of this vicious architecture because they are making use of tools that supposedly effectively hide or protect them from being easily identified — they defend the idea that they won’t be individually targeted or attacked, and that shutting down the internet in a whole region only to specifically disconnect them is too much; that neither the government nor other entities will go that far just to silence them.
Not only has this happened already — it is happening more regularly. And the situation will only get worse because if the media we use to connect with each other are in reach of those wanting to censor or stop whatever could undermine their power, they’ll do it, no doubt.
2021 has only just begun and we are already seeing a glimpse of what lies ahead. From the targeted silencing of individuals, to the blockade of communities, the deplatforming of apps and services, the breaching and leaking of centrally-stored personally-identifiable information (PII), the levying of fines for…