Gilmore's List
A pioneer identifies some deep fixes the Internet needs

While attempting to get a grip on the “Big problems” that we needed to solve with the Internet over the next 10 years, we’d exchanged email with a ton of Internet greats, trying to work out what to do, and how to do it.

One response in 2013 - from John Gilmore, one of the founders of the EFF - who I had never met at that point - went into incredible detail.

He tossed off-the-top-of-his head(!) a list of things worth doing on and to the Internet that was really profound.

I’m proud to say that four of the hard problems on his list - deployable DNSSEC, IPv6, wireless, city scale routing - I’ve helped make a dent in, since we first exchanged this email. Any given one of his bullet points below is a huge amount of work, coding, and discussion, and I’d always meant to publish this list, because, well, all of these ideas have not enough people taking them on. And he gave me permission, long ago, to republish:

Gilmore’s List

  1. Routing scalability at planetary scale
  2. Uncensorable, untappable Internet infrastructure (Freedombox-ish)
  3. Routing scalability at city scale among peer nodes (Freedombox-ish)
  4. A fully distributed database replacement for DNS
  5. How to crutch along on IPv4 without destroying end-to-end?
  6. Finishing the IPv6 transition, sanely, and safely.
  7. DNSSEC as a trustable infrastructure.
  8. Delivering fiber speeds to ordinary consumers.
  9. Keeping email relevant while ending its centralized censorship.
  10. Reliable, secure wireless ad hoc peer to peer radio communication.
  11. Reliable, working long-haul wireless Internet that isn’t owned by crabbed censorial monopolist cellular companies.
  12. Restoring “network neutrality” by restoring competition among ISPs.
  13. Reliable, working, worldwide voice interaction (telephone) replacement.
  14. Copyright and patent defense/collaboration is another; or perhaps a better way to put it is “how the next Internet can pay creators without throwing away all the advantages of worldwide instant communication”
  15. Digital value transfer (reliable digital cash)
  16. Reliable node-level cyber security
  17. Reliable network-level cyber security
  18. Reliable internetwork-level cyber security
  19. Privacy on a large scale network.
  20. How to leverage information asymmetries for ordinary users’ benefit.
  21. Distributed social networking.
  22. Avoidance of pinch-points like Google and Facebook that bend a widely distributed system into an access network that somehow always leads to their monopoly.
  23. What replaces the Web as the next big obvious thing that we should’ve done years before which takes over the world’s idea of “what the Internet is”?
  24. Creating better business models than (1) move bits as a commodity, and (2) force ads on people!

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Find me elsewhere.

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Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
David Brin
Charlie Stross
Eric Raymond
The Intercept
Chunky Mark
Dan Luu's rants about hardware design
Selenian Boondocks
Transterrestial Musings

March 15, 2016
435 words