How To Fix The Internet

  • Personal privacy
  • Balancing the positive aspects of anonymous participation with the potential violence (e.g. swatting, doxing, etc.)

Domains

  • Explicit association between a domain and the declared nation-state associated with that domain. That association should be displayed in user-agents everywhere — for most users that would include browsers and email clients.
  • This implies that the DNS system would require security upgrades and additional data fields which are a) beyond the scope of this document but b) absolutely doable.
  • Clarify that the legal framework governing each domain is attached to the nation the domain registration.
  • This is already pretty intuitive, and is kinda sorta already a concept in the DNS system already with country-associated top level domains (TLDs). This all went to pieces with the expansion of TLDs, which is kinda sorta ok, as country code metadata not being directly associated with the actual domain is probably reasonable… but we really, really need that information back.

Identity

Each country needs to sort out how to deal with identity. Right now in the United States, it’s an absolute hash. Companies often allow signing up a new account with nothing but an email address and a password. This leads to users adopting the same password over and over. It also allows for bad actors to create burner email account to establish identity, which can then be used for all sorts of nefarious activity.

  1. Hold domain owners that do not maintain that threshold legally liable for content published on their domain/servers.

Anonymous Accounts

But! What about anonymous accounts? Isn’t it a foundational principle of the Internet?

1:1 vs 1:Everyone

It’s important to highlight that these provisions are explicitly targeted at the one-to-everyone challenges. Identity is, of course, insanely important on the personal level, but it’s anonymity + audience scenario (Penny Arcade, foul language… but, let’s face it, dead on) that is ruining the Internet. It’s not just name-calling — it’s anonymous death threats and swatting.

Penalties

This is where things get real. It’s one thing to have all of these nice and/or complicated sounding rules in place. The real action comes with penalties.

Summary

Will all of this happen? There is no reason not to — if GDPR can exist, there is no reason these changes couldn’t happen. They are simple, intuitive, and all of the technical foundations exist.

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