:: The United Nations (UN) upholds freedom of expression as a basic human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This right encompasses the liberty to voice opinions without interference and to share, receive, and seek information via any media, irrespective of borders. However, the deliberate spread of false information, or disinformation, threatens this freedom and allows for possible censorship by organizations and governments.
Defining disinformation universally is challenging, according to the UN, due to various contexts such as elections and wars. This lack of agreement results in governments and organizations creating their own definitions, leading to censorship. Countries like China, Russia, Iran, and Turkey have faced criticism for denying citizens access to certain information and online content.
Web3 company Tomi offers a solution for places experiencing heavy censorship and surveillance, proposing its parallel internet named TomiNet. “What we are creating is an alternative internet network that we believe is what the internet would look like if it were created today,” says Techno Prince, a pseudonymous member of Tomi’s founding team. Despite parallels to The Onion Routing (Tor) project, Tomi aims to rectify perceived flaws in Tor’s setup, which lacks governance and has become a haven for criminal activity.
Tomi incorporates Tor’s privacy features into its internet, using IP encryption technology combined with a blockchain–based Domain Name System (DNS). To avoid turning into a space for illicit activities, it introduces a governance layer, making TomiNet fully controlled by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). By using a similar architecture to Tor and adding governance, Tomi hopes to create a web accessible to all and resistant to censorship. However, resistance from centralized forces could pose significant challenges to the project’s success. ::