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- FAQs -


Our talk mid-March 2019 at SXSW was a tremendous opportunity to road-test some of the concepts behind the GLIAnet project.  In the course of our time in Austin, we received some great questions about the “whys,” “whats,” and “hows” of GLIAnet. We thought it would be useful to share here some of those questions, and our initial responses.

To be clear, GLIAnet is very much an iterative process. There is considerable learning yet to be brought on board and incorporated into the ecosystem.  So please keep those terrific questions coming, and we will keep this section of the website updated accordingly.

1. What’s a “glia?” Why do you call this the GLIAnet project?

2. How did we get here? What is your diagnosis on the Web’s current trust and accountability challenges?

3.  What are some emerging technologies that will further deepen this unfortunate trust and accountability gap in the Web?


4. Help me understand what this new democratizing ecosystem looks like.


5. How do we make it happen? How can I, as an ordinary Web user, get access to all that cool technology, but in a way that promotes me and my interests?


6. What is the TrustMediary concept? How does it work? As I understand, I would be free to choose this entity, which is kind of Jetsons-like, right? Who would these entities be and where would they come from?


7. How would I trust that the entity I select as a TrustMediary would be acting in my best interest? Do I have to pick one? Or will I need a lot of them?


8. I’ve heard something about this “information fiduciary” idea that has been put forth by Jack Balkin and Jonathan Zittrain.  Can you tell us more, and how your model differs?


9. Didn’t Mark Zuckerberg recently claim that Facebook already is a fiduciary today?


10. And didn’t Zuckerberg also announce a new privacy-centric business model for Facebook?


11. Why should any entity agree to take on fiduciary obligations of care and loyalty, and the potential downsides? What’s actually in it for the entity?


12.  There was some big news, both here and globally, concerning US Senator Elizabeth Warren’s call to break up the big platform companies.  She’s not the only one. What is your take on her proposal and the other calls to break them up?


13. How are we actually going to make this happen?


14. What will it take to build this ‘GLIAnet ecosystem’?


15. Can this expanded conception of the Web help guide us in putting together a GLIAnet ecosystem?


16. What are the policy implications of GLIAnet?


17. What can I do today to begin paving the way for this new, democratized overlay to the Web?


In an era seemingly dominated by huge data-gathering platforms, fake news, data breaches, identity theft, intrusive ads, online tracking, malicious bots, and biased algorithms, it is more challenging to continue supporting a free and open Internet.​​

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