IGF 2021 – Day 0 – Event #96 Internet in 10 years from now – where is it going? Let’s check together!

The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF virtual intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.



>> We all live in a digital world.  We all need it to be open and safe.  We all want to trust and to be trusted.

>> We all despise control.

>> And desire freedom.

>> We are all united.

>> I think we can start.  So I will ask you to start my presentation, please.  Okay.  Thank you.  Good morning, you all.  Or good afternoon or good night, depending on where you are right now.  I would like to thank each of you for joining us here in Katowice.  I would like to say hello to those who participate in our meeting online.  I hope you'll have your first coffee and you are ready for the guessing game.

I am going to start with some provocative thoughts on how Internet can transform the existing Internet in years to come.  Please don't blame us for the speculation.

Our topic is Internet in 10 years from now, so let's play the guessing game together.  I found this as dock as interactive meeting.  It means I'd like to engage you all with quizzes, so let me start a simple setup.  You need to open the website on your devices or browsers.  You can make it by scanning the QR code or entering the URL you can see on the slide.  There is one more thing important.  You can ask your questions during the presentation with your devices on the website you have just opened.  I will try to answer all the questions if we have time at the end.

>> Krzysztof Kanciak: Ready or not, let's go to the next slide.  The next slide, before we move to specific cases, let's take an ice breaker quiz and see if it works properly.  Do you know which English word has polish origin?  Previous slide.  Next slide.  Only one green button, please.  Doesn't work?  It's not ready yet.  We can ask you to make the next slide.  This was a previous one.  Sorry for the inconvenience.  There are always such things at the beginning.  Okay.  Sorry for the technical issues, but now it works.  That's good news.  The ice breaking quizzes, the question is ‑‑ okay.  This is what I wanted to show you.  The first question we will skip because of the technical issues.  Now I'd like to ask you the questions.  The next slide I will try to flag problems that might be solved by cryptography.  What was HTTPS protocol adoption on the Internet of the entire traffic 10 years ago?  What do you think?  20%?  40%?  60%?  Or 80%?  It's not a very long time ago.  As you probably know, because it's always a problem, you can't know what is the knowledge of the audience, but it is the variant of HTTP protocol.  It provides security protections by carrying messages over the security protocol websites and also using digital signatures.  Thank you for your answers.  It's almost 50/50.

In 2012, only 25% of our web traffic was encrypted.  Now it's more than 90%.  And encrypted communications ‑‑ very nice results.

Next slide, please.  Privacy is a fundamental human right recognized in the UN declarations of human rights, the international coalition on political and civil rights and many other international treaties.  Privacy underpins human dignity and key values such as freedom of speech.  It also has become one of the most important human rights issues.  The communications is the most obvious case of cryptography.  The next question is ‑‑ yes.  Thank you.  The next question is do you know why we experience such a significant growth from the beginning of 2014 to the early 2017?  The percentage of traffic using https grew from around 20 to 40.  Do you know why?  You can put on your devices the words that you think is the reason.  What happened back in 2013 and 2014?  Any ideas?  It wasn't a long time ago.  About two years.  But the Internet was very different.  Snowden, yes.  There were two reasons.  But definitely Snowden was the most important.  The Snowden case revealed intelligence has the mental data.

The second reason you may not know is so I've called encrypt service.  Everyone could my great for free and now an adoption is needed.  A real threat and easiness of implementation.  Okay.  So thank you.  Next slide, please.

My slides are divided by the orange line.  On the left you can see the history of cryptography.  On the right you can see right now.  Encryption can be found in a book dated to the sixth century before Christ.  Cryptography was the sole domain of military forces.  However, I would say that before the previous century, cryptography ‑‑ crypto research in military force system still doing well and dozens of countries work on building military forces in cyberspace.  It was in the '90s when it took over our electronic devices and the Internet.  In the last 10 years you can see expansion of encryption.  We use cryptography every day.  Everybody does it.  We have securities, the private objective.  But believe me, 15 years ago cryptography was not that popular.  When I was asked 15 years ago what I did for work and I the people thought I was exploring crypts.  Now people ask how many Bitcoins I have.  None of this has much in common with cryptography.  What is cryptography now?  I think it is about security protocols.  Cryptography is often complicated.  But it's not magic.  Okay?  Go to the next slide.

I'm going to point ‑‑ next slide.  I'm going to point to a few gaps people working in cryptography are trying to close.  Please next slide.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Let's take an example.  The example is borrowed from the American cryptographer.  In the middle ages, if you needed a surgery, you couldn't count on your physician.  They only had a local barber that would apply whatever resources he could recover.  So 20 years ago cryptography was a similar situation.  The practice resulted in some really good outcomes.  Theory was struggling with messiness of reality.  And so the theory was ‑‑ it also resulted in ‑‑ complex not practical theories.  Now we are seeing more and more devices connecting to the networks, more and more valuable data we process on these devices, and we have more and more features.  From a security perspective, we have more targets.  Complexity, we have more variabilities than can be explored.

Let me go to the next slide.  The next question is do you think in 10 years from now our critical software will be bug free?  Yes or no?  Agree or not?  I'm going to give you some time.  Say 30 seconds.  No.  80%.  So we have a huge majority for no.  Okay.  Let me tell you about how we progress with formal verification methods.  Next slide, please.  Yes, it's going up.  Okay.  So the software box, I hope you know this 737 case.  Because of the quality, we had some plane crashes.  Testing can be used to show the presence of bugs, but never to show the absence.  Again, I think we have three paths we can go.  One is we put our critical infrastructure, transportation we see online and get connected with systems.

The second scenario is the process of technology, progress is limited.  The risk we are dealing with now are growing with complexity, but the value of the features we are getting are not growing at a steady right.  More complicated systems will become less valuable.

The third possible way we can go is the one I'm more excited about.  I see big defensive breakthrough in this formal verification method.  In the last years we have developed methods of formal verification and how they can prove that a ‑‑ the way the mathematical proof works.  The identification of the systems is done by providing a formal proof.  It can be translated to the graphs and the graphs can then be translated to the first of the logical and the problems can be solved so that you can prove that the software has features it should have.  We can prove also the different implementations.  And for now, cryptography community has developed a number of libraries, a number of protocols that are already formally verifies.  There is no ‑‑ so we can trust them.

Let's go to the protocols I mentioned before.  Next slide, please.  I will fly over some specific protocols.  I have just said that cryptography is about securing protocols, but not only communications.  The secure communication is not the ultimate victory.  What you have on the slide is the case from last year, the COVID‑19 pandemic was the reason for the development and implementation of very specific protocols called decentralized privacy proximity tracing.  The cryptographers have developed this open protocol to facilitate digital contact tracing of infected patients.  This shows the difference ‑‑ the slide shows the difference.  On the left you have adoption of digital signatures protocol over 30 years.  Even last year it grew by 20%.  On the right you have the protocols that was developed and agreed and implemented in billions of Google devices over several months, three or four.  That's the progress we made.  That's the growth I mentioned before.

What else in the context of privacy, the deployment of contact tracing during the pandemic has demonstrated that city cities are willing to share as long as they can trust that the information they're sharing is secure.  No more information is collected than necessary and is not used for a process other than which it was collected.  I think it's important.

Let me go to the next slide.  One more protocol.  Have to mention blockchain mainly because the next thing is flow of value.  There is a number of in this agenda on the use of blockchain.  It grows every day and I believe it has reached a level beyond which there is no turning back.  Everything is going to move source of trust from the governments of central banks to the cryptographic protocols.  It's not only the financial system that is going to change.  Blockchain is very simple in its essence, but enough to decentralize the trust.  Trust in blockchain derives from cryptographic protocol that shows that no party is able to distort the system or get access to the source.  Blockchain is more like execution environment for a number of cryptographic protocols.  With no trusted third party, no central point of failure of governance.

Next slide, please.  I will try to fly over three more protocols, but very short.  You can see on the slide zero knowledge protocol.  One second.  In its most basically sense, zero knowledge proof can be ‑‑ through which a process can be used.  It can claim some component of its identity, like ‑‑ and the prover is able to prove the claim to the verifier without the actual data.  And the verifier is able to verify the prover or rather complement of identity.  I believe the knowledge protocols are widely adopted for now in communities.  There is more interesting fact about zero knowledge proofs.  The first is the protocol was invented in 1985 and was dusting on the shelf for many years.  Now when we have the execution environment I mentioned, the blockchain, we can run smart contracts.  We can run protocols I mentioned through the slide.  It has eventually found a multitude of uses.  It's not only about the transaction community.  It's much more about disability of blockchains.

Let's go to the next slide.  I think we have two more protocols I'd like to tell you about.  It's getting practical after dozens of years.  What does it mean?  That crypto provides secrecy in comp ‑‑ nothing mat I cans can describe the transformation of one data set into another while preserving relationships between elements in both sets.  So the data remains confidential while it is processed making useful tasks to be accomplished.  We have the left side that possesses some data and it will encrypt the data and sends to servers and the server can compute the data.  We found the encrypted data and returned the result.  It can be encrypted without encryption.  We found giving the server the actual data.

What is interesting, I think that last month or maybe two months ago there were some plans of extensive power to fight child pornography.  I hope you have heard about this.  I wanted to scour our photos and devices and detect child pornography.  Even though they had really good intentions, the actual plan has provided dozens of reasons to oppose this idea, privacy reasons.  The encryption was the solution.  The algorithms on encrypted devices held a privacy threat.  That is the question.  Do you think it could be something people would understand?  What do you think?  Do you think that people could accept that the photos are being scanned but in an encrypted way?  We have 50/50.  What can I say?  I have to say I agree.  It's the hardest part what people think, because it's not easy to explain.  I'm not sure if people would accept the explanation.  Too hard to understand.  Okay.  Thank you.  Let's go to the next slide.

This is the last protocol I'd like to tell you about.  I can't say that the protocol is practical right now.  I think it's under development, under research.  This one is a high bar.  It's called indistinguishable obfuscation.  It can act like a compiler that turns one program into another.  Informally it hides the implementation of the program while still allowing users to run it.  It wants to hide the algorithm so kind of encrypt the algorithm.  The other side can run the algorithm, get the results, the same results that were supposed to be computed to the encrypted algorithm.  The site does not know ‑‑ there is the idea about crypto obfuscation.  It is surprisingly useful.  For now it's not ‑‑ it's to slow the programs that are too big, but the hard work is operational and useful.

That was the last protocol I wanted to mention.  Next slide, please.  Next slide is that there is a number of protocols I am now going to tell you about, but the point is the discipline itself grows.  The second thing is that the new systems are funded on more and more advanced mathematics.  Every area is hard to understand.  I am an assistant supervisor that works on the obfuscation problem and to be honest I can barely see the light in our research.  I can say I'm aware ‑‑ it's complicated.

The last thing I'd like to tell you is that the new protocols start slow and eventually become practical.  They're never practical at the beginning.  So let's go to the next slide.  There is a point at the end of the presentation.  There is one more quiz to you.  How all this information has existed for a long time.  The recent proceedings in social media have made it a popular topic in public discourse.  Fake news is political motivated by information operations.  Nevertheless, it often draws much attention and also financial motives.  Tell me what do you think?  10 years from now disinformation and fake news will not be a problem anymore?  Do you agree or not?  Or it will be a bigger problem than it is today?  Okay.  So a majority for no.  82%.  I think we can go to the next slide.  We have a really good answer.

This is the most important slide.  I'm going to this slide.  The protocols I've mentioned before are the compliments of the so‑called web idea.  I don't have the answer for the previous question.  I think it's possible that the next generation of Internet solves the problem of how to be sure, but the ownership revolution and sign everything approach are remedies for the problem, proposed remedies, and this is where we are going.  To summarize my long story, going from the bottom of the left corner, we have single interface is regular behavior and concerning the flow of information before the Internet.  Then we have the big bang.  The Internet universe.  I hope some of you remember the study and communicators.  The laws of the Internet have started as we understand them together.  After the exponential growth started, a few more years the gravitation attracted other matter and it grows denser.  This is big tech centralized work.  This slide is ‑‑ the dichotomy of the slide is designed ‑‑ it's more rounded.  Authorities suggest that the first cause formed about a billion years after the big bang and since then larger classes have been forming.  I would say we stand on the threshold of the new galaxy formation.  Blockchain understood as execution environment for the protocols.  The centralized protocols with its imminent features will enable a shift of power from corporations to communities.

New protocols are going to revolutionize flow of value, identity, and much more.  What awaits us is not only the technology transformation, but first and foremost, change of nature and the way we think.  From the companies and big techs to the protocols.  From trust‑based to a trust model.  From centralized data providers as we know now to fact checking to entire new level of personal and legal identity with verifiable credentials, we've created an entirely new trust model.  What is more important, most important from granting big techs, transferable soft license, which means that you are a miserable piece of data that can be sold to actually take ownership of her data.  Take it back.  It's indispensable and it's a part of everyone's life, a tool that everyone despises.  It doesn't matter how outrageous Facebook privacy evaluations are, because to most people ‑‑ from value flow based on dominance to the new interstate exchangeable, from legislative processes to privacy voices written on paper, I didn't put this on my slides, but I believe my 7‑year‑old son will never know what we pay.

Next slide, please.  So I know that my speculations were a bit far reaching.  But on the other hand, when looking at it from the future perspective, this is quite absolute.  What do you think?  What is the most ridiculous for you?  The first question is, the first possible answer, running on main frames.  The second possible answer is Google threatening to withdraw search engine from Australia over the government attempt to make the Giant pay for selling local publisher's content.  I don't know if you've heard about this, but they're setting the content of local publishers and not sharing the income with the providers.  So after the Australian government tried to make Google to pay for the content, they threatened to withdraw the search engine from Australia.

The third possible answer is controversies attempts to overturn the U.S. democracy presidential elections.  Another interesting fact.  Two out of the two last elections were controversial let's say.  There was a party who tried to overturn the results.  And the fourth possible answer is the speaker is called a shrink for those who do not agree with A, B, C.  So I think the election system is the most recognized problem as being absurd or ridiculous.  I think for me too.

That was the shape of the Internet I can imagine in the next 10 years.  I have one more slide, which is important to me.  But it does not tell you anything about Internet intelligence for now.  I don't want to sound pathetic, but it is about moral character of our work.  I believe that crypto community faces fundamental problems to fight for ordinary human being no matter if you are objectified by big techs or by politicians who degrade people for all reasons.  It doesn't matter.  It's on the Internet.  I'd like to share you with some words from a cryptographic ‑‑ it configures who can do what from what.  This makes cryptography a political tool.  I plead for reinvention of our disciplinary culture to attend not only puzzles and math but also to the implications of our work.  I think it's more ‑‑ I can feel it's more important every day for me.  I'd like to thank every single person who sees another human being with ‑‑ recognition of Internet, dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights.  Thank you very much.  The next slide would be about your questions.  If you would like to have a q&A session.  If someone wants to ask me anything, I think we have a few more minutes to answer questions.  Okay.  No questions?  Maybe from the Internet?  From online participants?  Please do not hesitate to ask your questions.  I'll do my best to answer them all.  Sorry for the technical issues and sorry for being that nervous.

We have something.  Divided?  That's not a question.  In your opinion, Internet will be one or divided.  I think that was the question.  I think I can understand the question very well.  I don't think ‑‑ the claim of this forum is Internet united as you can see on the materials.  I don't think that Internet in 10 years from now will be united as we know it right now.  I think it will be some kind of divided, but it's not the ‑‑ it is a possible scenario, but I don't think it's the basic scenario.  I think that there will be a third way.  But some kind of separation of many networks, but we've preserved communications between the bubbles so that we can communicate ‑‑ we live in the communities by separate protocols, by separate applications, but not as united as we know it today, I don't think.  That will be my answer.  Would you prefer Internet to be shut down?  No, absolutely.  Don't get me wrong.  I don't blame it for the fake propagation.  I think it's human nature for sure.  The new channels, the algorithms that work for Facebook and these things and Twitter and many others, they are to take our attention, to make us spend as much time as possible, so the future we can see, social media makes us more divided.  And the big techs do it for the purpose of money only.  So I don't blame them for human nature, but I do blame them for algorithms that makes us more divided than we possibly are.  What's the next question?

How do you hard bake human rights into future Internet governance?  I think that if we have this blockchain based government, the notions I didn't mention, like the organizations, we will get somewhere else.  The human rights will be ‑‑ will depend on more decentralized communities, not ‑‑ they will not depend only on the big techs for money.  How to make us united when everybody tries to divide us.  That is a great question.  How to make us united when everybody tries to divide us?  Not everybody.  It's big techs.  This new Internet, when you take ownership of our data back with the protocols I've mentioned, with blockchain‑based governance, we would get ‑‑ we would get less divided.  We will function in different communities.  We'll be exposed for more diverse information, I think.  It will make us less divided in a political sense.  The algorithms amplify the human nature.

>> My question is very simple.  You say that the big techs are trying to divide us, so there is a tradeoff.  If the governments try to regulate the big tank and we are giving more power to our state and government, why do you think the next 10 years, who is going to control big tech?  Where do you find your balance between the more powerful big tech versus more powerful state?

>> Okay.  I need to answer a few questions.  The.

>> Krzysztof Kanciak: Don't get me wrong.  I didn't say that big tech are dividing us.  I say they have only one purpose, money and attention.  That's the most important thing.  The second thing is that as I believe this ‑‑ the new Internet will be ‑‑ it's going to change the way we think.  It's not going to be a single server or single algorithm that is going to decide about everything.  So if the power is in the protocols, it's a very different situation.  So the answer would be that the governance as you think about it right now is to make policies, legislations to restrict the algorithm of Facebook.  I don't believe it will happen.  I don't believe that you can enforce some regulations on that because it's against the interests.  They want the money.  So the point is that in this new Internet, we have protocols and decentralization that gives us kind of no governance approach.  You know what I mean?  I don't believe the governance.  For example, we have ‑‑ in newspaper, so that Facebook cannot sell our data to third parties without our knowledge.  Right?  If someone can sell the data, do something with the data ‑‑ but if we have a different level of security, different level of confidentiality, of secrecy, we have math‑based protocols and that they cannot look into the data, on a mathematical level ‑‑ does that answer your question?

In your opinion, Internet will be more safe for the NextGen people?  Yes, I think so.  I think I answered the previous question pretty much the same.  I think that the Internet will be a more safe place.  Maybe ‑‑ I can say it once more, because right now the scientific papers, people say that to provide this information we need to have some kind of sign everything approach.  For example, right now we use digital signatures for signing documents ‑‑ you can sign everything, right?  You can sign your photo.  You can sign everything.  If we have the kind of ‑‑ that you can sign everything, the algorithm will assess the risk of fakeness, we'll do better.  It will be more efficient, right?  So people say that the digital signature is going to improve our security in context.  But I don't believe it's ‑‑ I don't believe it's going to happen right now because there is no ‑‑ I mean, you can sign with single signature your Tweet and your Facebook post.  So in the new Internet, I believe it will be a very different level so we can share easily the data between the applications for saving our identity, but not identity as we think of identity right now.  The component of identity we would like to share.  The identity we want to share in the selected area.

Do you believe the cryptographic community can resist pressure from the governments to create backdoors?  Very good question.  That was the last slide.  That was the last slide.  Again, don't get me wrong, I don't want to be like a moral person who can tell you what to do or not what to do.  I think that we have some people in the community that work on this.  The best example is what I read.  I think that yes, the cryptographic community, we know that dozens of countries work on cyber warfare right now and they hire a lot of cryptographers.  But I don't believe that governments are able, are in such power to enforce this.  I think it was possible in the 20th century where we had this case.  The men who invented privacy, the protocol in the '90s, and that was a time that the government could interfere in the process, I think, but not now.  There is no turning back, I think.

Do you think Bitcoin will replace traditional money?  No, I don't.  I don't.  The quick answer is I don't.  But I do believe that I try to explain it and I'll show you once more.  I do believe that the flow of value will be the marketers.  It will be decentralized.  The world where the value is based on the dominance.  It is going to change the flow of the value.  The value will no longer be dependent on one specific person or authority.  And I don't think it's going to be Bitcoin, but it's going to be some kind of protocol, yeah.

There are many crimes on the Internet.  How about in the next 10 years, will it increase?  The short answer is yes.  We've three more minutes.  So about crime on the Internet, I think we've ‑‑ a growing number of separate communities, I think that it's like a knife.  We will get just a butter knife and the butter knife can be confused with good intentions and better intentions.  So I think the answer to the question is yes, we will see increasing crimes on the Internet.  That was not positive.  But okay.  Thank you for your questions.  Very, very impressive.  Thank you once more.