One of the messiest and thorniest national security challenges is how to keep Australians safe from manipulative online content – now, and into the future. The matter cuts across departmental jurisdictions in a way few other national security issues do – taking in questions relating to freedom of speech, defamation law, commerce, defence and intelligence, to name just a few. As the internet continues to evolve, reaching further into the way people live their daily lives, these challenges will only grow. The last three-decade history of the internet has so far seen two distinct phases. Web 1.0 saw the advent of stand-alone websites; these were the static read-only sites of the 1990s and 2000s. Web 2.0 is the social media age that most of us still operate in – a world of user-generated content, connectivity, e-commerce and data gathering. This phase has been largely dominated by the big social media companies, who were once celebrated as champions of the Arab Spring and protectors of the public sphere, but whose global status started changing in 2016, after a dark side became clear.
Full opinion : Web3 is coming – with national security implications, too.