Netizenship

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The Internet's design relies on few mechanisms of central control. This allows new services to be introduced, and new destinations to come online, without any vetting or blocking by either private incumbents or public authorities. However, because we cannot easily measure the network and the character of the activity on it, we cannot easily assess and deal with threats from bad code without laborious cooperation among a limited group of security software vendors. Experiments need measurement, and the future of the generative Net may depend on a wider circle of users able to grasp the basics of what is going on within their machines and between their machines and the network. There is a need for new technologies and social structures that allow users to work creatively and collaboratively to understand what's happening on their network -- how it is impacting them, and how they are impacting it. This session introduces a cluster of technologies that seek to leverage the presence of millions of distributed PCs around the world to diagnose and improve PC health and network connectivity and empower users to understand and affect the future of the Internet.


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