When you work on the Internet from the backend, you end up knowing a lot of things that the “civilian” public takes for granted. Our normal is navigating all of the technical precision that happens behind the scenes to make sure that when you type an address or click a link, your cat video is delivered. We understand how addresses are routed, what factors could make the Internet different from one country to the next, and basically how the whole beautiful mess works.
It is nearly impossible to learn these things if you don’t have access or a background in Internet infrastructure. There isn’t much information readily available to the general public and the information that is available is highly technical and jargon heavy. When I try to explain my job to people, they usually can’t hear me over the sound of their own snores. And I don’t blame them. It all sounds like a mix of next level science fiction and ageing infrastructure. When you tell people that some of the most vital Internet connections are actual cables that are under the ocean – physical cables that could realistically sustain major damage – it blows their minds.
If the basic information on how the medium functions is inaccessibly presented and the barrier to gaining that knowledge is so high, how can you begin to take control of your data, consider encryption, or know what is reasonable to consent to in a Term of Use agreement?
.ME believes that everyone should have access to the information that makes you a better, more informed citizen of the Internet. So we are going to talk every week about privacy, owning your own data, building your personal brand online and controlling your own identity; whether that means something as basic as the photos you share, or as complicated as regional data privacy laws. We are going to talk about how to set solid passwords, encrypt data and what your rights are online. In blog posts that anyone can read, said as simply as possible, we are going to share the knowledge we have to give you the tools to make informed decisions about how you chose to live online.
We will also be taking reader inquiries. So if you have a question about the Internet works, or any of the topics mentioned above, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will answer them publicly – because we believe that if everyone who uses the Internet has access to this information a stronger, more equal community can emerge.