Recent leaks about widespread NSA surveillance have brought privacy and security to the forefront of the public consciousness as we strive to determine best practices in governance for the Internet era. People are also concerned about network neutrality and how the Internet currently relies on protocols (such as DNS) that require regulation by central authorities, which increases the potential for abuse by oppressive and corrupt regimes.
My question is: what efforts are currently underway to develop alternative secure distributed protocols that do not rely on central authorities? Which initiatives are the most mature? What critical pieces of infrastructure are still missing? What projects would be good to contribute to in this regard? Will we ever get to a point where the core protocols are robust and secure enough that surveillance and centralized control of the Internet becomes effectively infeasible?