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Internet won't guarantee free speech in 2025: Experts
Saturday March 15, 2014 6:28 PM, IANS

In 2025, the explosion of digital devices will make the internet ubiquitous, but it won't guarantee free speech, say experts.

Governments and corporations will strengthen their use of surveillance and social control, they opined in a recent survey by Pew Research Center Internet Project, Livescience reported.

"It is likely that more people will be disadvantaged (arrested, compromised, blackmailed) due to the authorised and unauthorised use of monitored activity data," Alan Clark, CEO of a software technology company, was quoted as saying.

The survey marked the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web.

Some respondents said privacy would be a luxury of the few and that the internet-fueled future may widen the gap between the rich and the poor.

"Significant numbers of people will become structurally unemployed because they were unwilling to keep up their skills with the changing technology or unwilling to accept the changing technology," said Pietro Ciminelli, director of finance for the Boards of Cooperative Educational Services in US.

However, the experts agreed that internet would flow through lives "like electricity" and would revolutionise most human interactions, especially affecting health, education, work, politics, economics, and entertainment.

Mobile, wearable, and embedded computing would be tied together, the research said.

"The internet will shift from the place we find cat videos to a background capability that will be a seamless part of how we live our everyday lives," Joe Touch, director of the University of Southern California Information Sciences Institute Postel Center, told the researchers.

"We won't think about going online or looking on the internet for something - we'll just be online, and just look," he said.

For the study, the researchers surveyed 2,551 experts in finance, privacy, technology and cybersecurity for their opinions about the future of internet in 2025.

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