Monday, November 01, 2004

Fixing Computer and Internet Security

Well, I don't have a long, detailed proposal on this, but I don't think the solution to spam, spyware, unwanted porn and predation is that complicated.

What we need is a partial end to anonymity. We should be able to interact electronically with only those who state who they are and who can be held accountable for their actions.

This is called playing in a sandbox. We should be able to play in a sandbox if we so desire or play outside.

We should be able to specify that we don't want applications installed on our computers unless the creator is registered and complying with established rules of conduct on my machine.

We should be able specify that only those individuals and companies that I have established a relationship with me may contact me by phone, cell phone, email or snail mail. And I should be able to review and dissolve these relationships as I please.

The technology exists to do all of this. Some of it we can do without the government's help (such as establishing certificate-based email). Other things, such as putting you in control of what mail can go to your house, requires radically changes in thinking, policy and numerous other factors.

But its all worth doing, as these technologies exist to serve the people, not commerce solely and certainly not those that use them to exploit and deceive others.

Of course, like most change I'd like to see happen, it starts with fixing our electoral system.

If we can't make collective decisions effectively, we cannot mold the system to suit the needs of ALL sectors of society.

If we can't keep business interests from determining outcomes, we can't make these technologies work for the people. There's simply too much profit at stake.


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