After the Internet: Cloud Computing, Big Data and the Internet of Things
This paper identifies key features in the next phase of Internet development by focusing on cloud computing, big data analytics, and the Internet of Things. Together they expand opportunities to centralize control over data, deepen the commercialization of information, and extend the Internet’s reach from connecting people to building data-rich networks of things. They also raise significant social policy questions including the concentration of power in a handful of companies closely tied to the military/intelligence world; the environmental consequences of building, powering, and connecting people to a global network of cloud data centers; the privacy and security implications of connecting billions of objects; and the impact of intelligent devices on the future of work. The paper concludes by suggesting that we are at a critical crossroads in Internet development and asks whether it is possible to build the Next Internet without eliminating its foundational values.