Internet censorship predictions

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Date of prediction: 2009-04-23

In April 2009 Germany started to block access to child pornography site on the Internet. Some citizens suspect that this might be only a starting point for more extensive censorship. The Web site took bets what, after child pornography as the door opener, will be censored next. As of 2009-04-23 the conflated prediction of all participants is:

  1. Wikileaks
  2. File sharing
  3. Anonymization services
  4. The Pirate Bay
  5. Right-wing extremism
  6. Lists of censored sites
  7. Anscheinsjugendpornographie (hard to translate, it means pronography with adults that look like minors)
  8. Bomb construction manuals
  9. Killer games, meaning first-person shooters
  10. CCC, the Chaos Computer Club
  11. Fefe, a hacker and popular blogger
  12. rapidshare
  13. 4chan, an imageboard
  14. Hacker tools
  15. Regierungskritiker (people critical of the government; dissidents)
  16. gulli
  17. youporn
  18. Left-wing extremism
  19. illegale Internettauschboersen (illegal file sharing systems)
  20. Tor
  21. Warez
  22. Porn
  23. encryption algorithms
  24. torrent
  25. Gambling
  26. indymedia
  27. pedophile forums
  28. Free speech
  29. Web proxies
  30. Schäuble criticism
  31. TorServer
  32. piratenpartei
  33. This site
  34. The Pirate Bay
  35. Blogs
  36. Google
  37. Bomb construction manuals
  38. Your own opinion
  39. Al Qaida
  40. Chans
  41. Criticism of religion
  42. wikipedia
  43. Killer game manufacturers
  44. Gay porn
  45. neo-nazis
  46. Microsoft
  47. Autonomous channels
  48. cracks
  49. Heise
  50. Jungsforum, a pedophile portal

Here is the original list as a screenshot (click to enlarge):

Collective censorship bet,, 2009-04-23

Today, according to IBM five years ago

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Date of prediction: 2011-12-19

IBM dares a 5-year forecast of 5 innovations that they think will change our lives.  Their 2011 predictions:

(A Smarter Planet Blog: The IBM 5 in 5: Our Forecast of Five Innovations That Will Alter the Tech Landscape Within Five Years, via CNET: IBM: Mind reading is less than five years away. For real. via Nerdcore: IBMs Predictions for the next 5 Years: Mindreading and Spam)

I bet against the password prediction since I trust Cormac Herley’s predictions on such matters more than IBM’s; passwords are practical while biometrics has more Hollywood appeal than practical use. I also bet against the junk mail prediction, I think they don’t understand the economics of junk mail and how people game systems. I remain open-minded regarding the other three predictions.

A Pessimist’s Guide to the World in 2016

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Date of prediction: 2015-12-15

Bloomberg had several pessimist scenarios for 2016:

»Oil prices soar after Islamic State destroys facilities across the Middle East. Angela Merkel is forced to resign, throwing the European Union into disarray. The dollar slumps as Russian and Iranian hackers team up to launch cyber-attacks on U.S banks.«

(Bloomberg News: A Pessimist’s Guide to the World in 2016)

The wise man does not predict, he discusses scenarios. A scenario cannot be wrong, even if it is.

Security new age

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Date of prediction: 2011-01-02

But 2011 will see the start of a revolution in security thinking, which will last for most of the next decade, a period that might prove to be a new age of enlightenment for information security.

David Lacey,

Al-Qaida predicts Obama’s fall by Muslim nation

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Date of prediction: 2009-09-22

»CAIRO — Al-Qaida on Tuesday released a new 106-minute long video predicting President Barack Obama’s downfall at the hands of the Muslim world.

The Arabic-language video, entitled “The West and the Dark Tunnel,” is part of series of messages by the organization marking the eighth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Bin Laden released a short message of his own on Sept. 14.


“God willing, your end will be at the hands of the Muslim nation, so that the world and history will be free of your crimes and lies,” he said addressing Obama at the end of the two-part video.

(AP: Al-Qaida predicts Obama’s fall by Muslim nation)

IEEE Computer Society Predicts Top 9 Technology Trends for 2016

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Date of prediction: 2015-12-15

IEEE Computer Society thinks these will be the top 9 technology trends in 2016:

  • 5G
  • Virtual Reality and Augmented Realit
  • Nonvolatile Memory
  • Cyber Physical Systems (CPS)
  • Data Science
  • Capability-based Security
  • Advanced Machine Learning
  • Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
  • Containers

Source: IEEE Computer Society Predicts Top 9 Technology Trends for 2016 • IEEE Computer Society

Update 2016-12-13: The IEEE Computer Society was honest enough to revisit and grade its predictions at the end of the year and gave itself a B+.

Cybercriminals target Apple in 2016

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Date of prediction: 2015-12-11

Apple products are going to be targeted by cybercriminals in 2016, says the security industry according to a BBC report:

“According to security firm Symantec, the amount of malware aimed at Apple’s mobile operating system (iOS) has more than doubled this year, while threats to Mac computers also rose.

Security firm FireEye also expects 2016 to be a bumper year for Apple malware.”

(BBC: Cybercriminals will target Apple in 2016, say experts)

Did any cybersecurity firm ever assure us that anything would not be problem?

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