What if email – which can be seen as an instant messaging tool – and its related technologies, protocols, and regulations had received much more attention from F/LOSS (Free/Libre and Open Source Software) and public interest technology practitioners and funders in the last 15 years?
What if, for the last 15 years or so, we had more research, updates, and improvements not only to the technology and protocols but to its regulations and the issues around it as well? For example, efficient and non-privacy intrusive anti-spam, meaningful compliance to anti-spam laws and protocols, etc.
What if we had had reliable, safer, private, and easier to use encrypted email? Would it have curbed instant messaging apps? How would disinformation campaigns be different? How would surveillance capitalism have reacted to it?