christopher heiser <christopher AT heiser DOT net>
Date Published: October 16th, 2003
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Turning to the Dark Side

It's a dark and sobering read, but John Walker's Digital Imprimatur is a fascinating look at what the Internet will become in the not-so-distant future. I think that it's somewhat of a cautionary tale--exaggerated to some degree to reinforce its thesis. I personally don't believe that we will agree on a central authority for the kind of "Secure Internet" that Walker forsees. The problem with that system is that if the central authority is compromised, fraud and destruction on a truly massive scale can occur in seconds. Today, by virtue of our balkanized planet, the damage is limited by mututal distrust.

I actually kind of like the concept of patent enforcement under the "Secure Internet" model. If MSFT is in violation of my patents, I can bring down their entire empire with the revocation of a single certificate. As far as I know, there's nothing in patent law about weighing the damages to society--but I guess that law would be lobbied and changed pretty rapidly. Oh well.

But nonetheless, it's a compelling and engrossing tale of what could be the future of computing. And it's not pretty for silly notions like free thought and such.

by Christopher Heiser on October 16 16:32
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