Media futurist: Time to replace the Internet

‘Contact’ summit to study replacing DNS with peer-to-peer, democratic networks

How can the stranglehold on humanity’s digital communications be broken? One media studies professor has a revolutionary idea.

“If we have a dream of how social media could restore peer-to-peer commerce, culture, and government, and if the current Internet is too tightly controlled [by the network owners] to allow for it, why not build the kind of network and mechanisms to realize it?” asked Douglas Rushkoff, writing for Mashable earlier this month.

Rushkoff is the author of “Program or be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age” and a noted Internet futurist. He also teaches media studies at The New School University in Manhattan.

To foster this emerging, peer-to-peer Internet, Rushkoff announced plans for a summit called “Contact” in October at the Angel Orensanz Center in New York City.

“From the development of a new non-hierarchical Internet to the implementation of alternative e-currencies, the prototyping of open source democracy to experiments in collective cultural expression, Contact will seek to initiate mechanisms that realize the true promise of the networking revolution,” he said.

Rushkoff told Raw Story last December that authorities already have the ability to quash cyber dissent. This is due to the Internet’s original design as a top-down, authoritarian device with a centralized indexing system.

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