After the responses of governments worldwide to the ongoing Wikileaks saga being to try and block access or shut them down, it is good to see that the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is working on a more decentralized web infrastructure which could remove the current bottleneck/censorship points of the current system.
China may be the most famous internet censor, but governments across the supposedly more “free and open” West have increasingly begun taking measures to censor the web through copyright blacklists such as proposed in the UK, or threats against Wikileaks and domain seizures that have been on the increase recently in the US. However all of these measures are only really possible due to the current relatively centralized nature of internet routing and DNS, and as such their bypass has continued to be a geek dream.
Opera, the independent browser developer, was the first to offer something along the lines of the the W3C are proposing with their recent Opera Unite offering, turning the web browser of each user also into a dedicated server for two-way direct communication without the need for centralized routing, but their technology is proprietary. In contrast the work of the W3C’s Web Real-Time Communications Working Group could provide something standardized across all browsers and platforms, and with engineers from the likes of Google and Ericsson involved, the dream of a truly decentralized internet may be inching closer.