Challenges to Come
The first challenge, and by no means the least the Internet is already facing, concerns its sovereignty. Should it (re-)become national or remain transnational? This sovereignty is however as fundamental as health, education, defense, strategic resources or energy. In short, the Internet is not and should in no way become the preserve of a platforms minority.
Rigorously assess the ecological impact of Cyberspace
In a period in which the Metaverse concept is in many heads, it is more than ever imperative to be aware of the real impact of digital in our lives (environment and health), to analyse government regulatory programs in this regard and amplify the effective measures that currently are and will be taken by I.T. professionals, to prevent this major revolution in human History does not turn into ecological, political and social disaster.
Promote the end of anonymity between online publishers and users
The Web platform director must be held responsible under the law for all the content he publishes, just like a press editor. The legal arsenal already exists. There is therefore no point in embarking on a new wave of endless speculation about the supposed loopholes.
It comes next to engage the responsibility of the citizen who must understand if he does not already know it, that he obviously cannot behave in the street as he would on a Web platform. Physical distanciation and relative virtualization, in no way, excuse the outburst of violence, slander or calls for murder.
Furthermore, the end of anonymity does not preclude the right to be forgotten which should become as soon as possible an inalienable right, enshrined in the Constitution of a democratic nation.
Raise opacity on illegal profiling
Anonymous profiling must stop. It's a question of national security, or it would means that governments are de facto complacent. In this case, it is one of the most serious violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations or the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1789 (France), since the end of World War II.
End active and passive online violence
This seemingly protean violence can be identified and segmented. It can be significantly restricted, more than predictably. The algorithms are currently only very insufficient or very much too (and voluntarily) limited.
It is therefore now much greater human resources (public and private) that must be implied, in order to intensify and refine moderation, on the sole condition that the persons in charge of the platform know the identity of the users, themselves clearly and legally warned.
More generally, if we extrapolate the debate, it is more than urgent to determine who must henceforth assume the necessary education of the citizen in our current democratic societies, to guard against a toxic Cyberspace.
Simplify the terms and conditions of use of digital products and solutions
The terms and conditions of use of the sites or the App. Web, must be simplified and clarified. No one should be forced to read dozens of pages, or else two versions should be created, one summary but basic, the other more in-depth and detailed.
Strengthen the protection of intellectual and industrial property
This thorny and even ideological subject will never take our minds off that all serious work deserves to be paid. No one can abusively plunder what has been authentically created and developed in accordance with the law, by each of us. The everything's free is only a monumental illusion.
No one can either appropriate or retain, which normally comes back to the public domain. A work by Goya, at least the image it conveys belongs to everyone, since it is in the public domain. Withholding knowledge and curbing its gratuitous dissemination, is therefore a crime.
Guarding against the a denounciation Internet
Is self-censorship bad news for the Internet? Yes, as much as for social networks. The democratic expression which would voluntarily suffocate... and this is a monumental loss for the quality of all kind exchanges, the purpose of the Internet and more generally of the Cyberspace.
In the other hand, to privilege the denunciation except in the cases of terrorist threats or serious imminent threats of any other type, it is to rely abusively and dangerously on the Internet user.
As for the induced, hushed and systemic denunciation of large national and international companies, the State, the sole holder of sovereign prerogatives, must fully play its role of regulator against all forms of discrimination.
No one is above the law.
The real dangers of "Big Brother" and oligopoly drifts
The everything connected poses the problem of the free citizen disappearance, his individuality and worse, his physical and mental integrity. However, a universal declaration of imprescriptible human rights has existed since 1948 (United Nations). Digital practicesare no exceptions. It cannot therefore be freed from international treaties and conventions.
Is this the ultimate victory for the big platforms (GAFAM)?
In the event of the victory for what some consider to be the digital oligarchy, we risk the widespread depletion of cyberspace biodiversity, the final killing of the concept of Net neutrality and the confirmation of what many feared, a coup on a global scale (digital leash). Could we even speak in this case, of mafia drift?
The curse of the "everything is fake"...
We must re-establish the conditions for restoring factual truth, at all costs, by arming and educating the citizen-user against all forms of manipulation.
The hunt for fake news is only one aspect of this fight. This phenomenon is not specific to the Internet and is not new. There are other threats of this nature, some of which come directly from governments.
The risk of a major disaffection if the Internet becomes nothing more than smoke and mirror, is very real. His entire credibility would be destroyed!
If the Internet is definitely transforming itself into this Trojan horse that everyone is entitled to fear, social exhaustion and weariness remain to be feared, as for a submission through usury.
A societal (users and actors) and political (rulers and citizens) contract must be urgently proposed in order to restore confidence and supervised practices.
* The Internet is still today a young technology which continues to push back borders very, even too quickly, involving the risk of major regulation and brutal action on the part of governments, in the months and years to come.
* The ecological impact of I.T., cyberspace and mobile telephony, is also another very important concern, as well for all actors of the Web and sovereign states.
* The different types of addictions caused by daily digital practices, disrupting the very biochemistry of the brain and the physiology of the body in the very long term, is a risk that no longer goes unnoticed by legitimate public health authorities.
* There is an urgent need for education at multiple levels of the user, in order to allow him to acquire digital maturity. Balance between real and virtual must therefore become the concern of all.
* From a generational point of view, the disappearance of the necessary work of memory in the medium and long terms, in favor of memory that is might qualify as super-short, is another major concern.
To conclude, the danger of a digital counter-revolution, motivated by the rejection of all digital shackles is quite possible. As an effect, it would consist of, for example, the abandonment of all digital dependencies identified as definitely harmful, just like the diesel engines of our current vehicles.
FRANCE | January 19, 2023
Le Monde / Charles Cuvelliez, Jean-Jacques Quisquater and Stéphane van Roy
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