A research report published by the Pew Research Center revealed that among 1,400 experts, 65 percent believe that the Internet will be more open by the year 2025.
The respondents hope that, more than 10 years from now, there will be no major changes that will negatively affect how people obtain and share content on the Internet.
The experts also expect that innovations in technology will continue to look for new ways through which people will connect to each other using the Internet. They also expect that the innovations will open up employment opportunities, along with providing boosts in the worldwide economy.
The Pew report also asked the respondents on what they thought were the influences that would be the most threatening to the Internet. The results showed that the experts were widely concerned with the moves of countries that are more aggressively seeking censorship, segmentation, filtering and blocking of the Internet, placing it as the biggest threat.
Attempts by governments to control Internet activities have been made and will continue to be made for both political and security concerns. The Pew report discussed that regulations on the Internet has been most prevalent in nations where there have been many protests against the government, with the countries blocking access to the Internet to prohibit the flow of information and prevent communication between parties that are perceived to be threats.
Countries known for such Internet regulation include Turkey and Egypt, with China well known for its Great Firewall. The Great Firewall, named so as a parody to the country's Great Wall, limits the information that gets into the country to prevent uprisings and protests. There have even been instances in China where activist and political bloggers were jailed due to writings that they published online.
The second threat to the openness of the Internet according to the report is the evaporation of the trust of people in the government, especially after the revelations of former CIA systems administrator Edward Snowden regarding the surveillance activities of the United States National Security Agency all over the world.
The third threat is the impact of commercial activities and corporations on the experience of Internet users. With companies continuously seeking more ways to take advantage of the Internet to make a profit, open access to the Internet could be compromised as more limitations are placed to force users to pay up before accessing online content.
The last threat on the openness of the Internet discussed in the Pew report is the "TMI" or too much information problem, where filtering information on the Internet to make the data easier to manage could have the unwanted effect of filtering the information too much.