Awhile ago I read an article where folks speculated what people 100 years from now would read with amazement and disbelief about life today. One speculation was about the need for oil, another about the abundance of poverty, and so on.
One entry that was not in the list that I think will be mind boggling to those 100 years from now: the freedom of the internet.
The internet, as it exists today, is a fascinating place. Thoughts, recordings, books, essays, images, and many other types of media are shared around the world in an instant with others without censor. I realize the governments of some countries attempt to censor content but plenty of people have access to a wide open world. This will be amazing to folks 100 years from now. Why? The internet will change from the "wild, wild, www" to the regulated and controlled internet.
Governments are continuing to lose legitimacy everyday as more folks are exposed to the depraved actions of government agents as well as being exposed to liberty, freedom, and the prosperity they bring. Governments will have to control this media otherwise government's very existence is threatened.
How will the internet be reigned in? Probably using the tried-and-true method for expanding government oppression: fear. Terrorism, financial panic, pornography, or some other conjured up demon will be raised in order to be slaughtered by our fearless leaders. It will begin with regulations on the large ISP's along with large websites. Then there will be government agencies created to monitor the content of internet traffic. This will be expanded to all ISP's and websites where a governmental license or registration will be required and internet traffic will be required to be routed through a government agency before being published so the government can insure it is safe for the general population. This will allow the government to quickly censor or shut down any site or ISP that could publish dangerous information, information dangerous for the government that is.
My grand kids will listen in disbelief as I tell them how anyone could publish on the internet in the "good-ole-days" and there were all kinds of videos, songs, ideas, pictures, and most of all: criticism of government. Not just criticism of the current government but the actual idea that folks could live without government. "No way grandpa!".