In 2015, Jennifer Granick was the keynote speaker at Black Hat, the annual conference of the global InfoSec community held in Las Vegas (UT). In her talk, she argued that 20 years from now, the internet might complete its shift from liberator to oppressor. According to her, centralization, regulation, and an increasingly divided community of users have slowly subverted the dream of a free and open internet. These developments will continue to form the future of communication and information, and transform the internet into a slick, controlled, and closed thing. While it might still be possible to prevent this from happening, Granick believes that in the next 20 years we will need to get ready to smash the Internet apart and build something new and better.
Jennifer Granick is the director of Civil Liberties at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. Outside of academia, she is mostly known as the attorney who defended some of the more notorious criminal hackers around, including Kevin Poulsen, Aaron Swartz, Jerome Heckenkamp and the hackers in the Diebold Election Systems case.