Inside Hotel California: how the Internet giants dominate through culture and technology
If you want to know what really drives the world, just follow the money. This talk will offer a different view on common cultural mantras and technical trends of the Internet, such as "the Internet should not be regulated", "there should not be national borders online", "let's encrypt everything" and "the Web is the Internet", showing how in today's economy they suit the business and political interests of the big Internet giants and of surveillance capitalism in general. It will start by looking at where the revenues of these companies actually come from, and show how regulation and personal/national points of network control, like ad blockers and content filters, represent a big strategic risk for these companies, explaining their efforts to make those practices culturally unpopular. As a case study, the new DNS-over-HTTPS protocol will be examined in technical and policy terms, showing how, while providing better privacy and security in some use cases, it also addresses that strategic risk for those companies. To end on a positive note, regulatory efforts for a European political response will be summarized, and the open, cooperative, interoperable model based on free software and open standards will be presented as the possible way forward for the European Internet community.