March 4, 2019 - Institute Hosts Workshop on GLIANet: Building A Trustworthy Open Web

The Institute today hosted a workshop for an innovative proposal being developed by our Senior Fellow Richard Whitt to rebuild trust on the web. His proposal, GLIAnet, advocates for a new model of “trusted intermediaries” — entities that would essentially act as digital go-betweens between users and the web.

The GLIANet model seeks to restore user agency, trust, and competition in the online ecosystem, as users voluntarily choose to share portions of their data with trustworthy entities, which then engage on the web on their behalf. These trusted intermediaries would employ a host of emerging technology tools—such as data lifestreams, personal AI avatars, localized cloudlets, and sovereign identity personas—to promote the interests of their clients. 

Perhaps most interestingly, the model leverages a market-based solution, while contemplating an important backstop role for regulation and public policy.

 Richard’s work has been covered in FastCompany’s “World Changing Ideas” column, and he has presented the GLIANet project at MozFest and Silicon Flatirons. The workshop brought together policy folks, academics, potential industry partners and more to discuss the idea and potential pathways forward.

You can read Richard’s paper describing the GLIANet vision here, and subscribe for updates at