I spoke today at a conference in Bled, Slovenia, on ‘The Future of the Internet’. It was useful in several ways, such as in bringing social scientists and policy researchers together with computer scientists and engineers, primarily across Europe. It had a strong representation from the EC’s FP7 programme. I was struck by the degree to which concern over privacy on the Internet was a cross-cutting theme of many talks. I noted rising concern over privacy in Britain, as evidenced by the Oxford Internet Surveys. However, I was only one of many raising this issue, and the technical community was in the forefront. This was one important manifestation of my sense of a new openness to social research on the Internet across the disciplines, and one reason why is may be opening.