When Ron Paul came back — right at the end of Leno’s little show — after Rotten had called out to him in “Anarchy” — and Paul actually walked over to the stage to SHAKE JOHNNY ROTTEN’s HAND and to MEET THE SEX PISTOLS — I was just plain bowled over.
He already had my vote. But this. This was just badassness.
Thank you Ron Paul for being awesome.
“Hello, world!” is a real installation for the virtual globe of
the software Google Earth. A Semacode measuring 160 x 160 meters was mown into a wheat field near the town of Ilmenau in the Land Thuringia. The code consists of 18 x 18 bright and dark squares producing decoded the phrase “Hello, world!”.
The project was realized in May 2006 and photographs were taken of it during a picture flight in the following month.
…is where your virtual and your ‘real’ get all tangled up and soupy.
There goes Vinay being brilliant again… and this time a little scary, too.
You should be reading The Gupta Option often.
“Technology becomes policy.”
I believe we have less than 10 years of legal anonymous free speech on the Internet. People confuse the “Wild West” style properties of a new frontier with fundamental aspects of the digital space and, as court houses and law get built on the Internet, much of the current wildness is inevitably going away.
However, correctly leveraging PKI and the ISA creates the possibility of preserving the politically critical support of free speech with a reasonable expectation of anonymity, except when criminal acts are being performed.
The benefit in this case is the convenience of single sign on across all Internet (and perhaps other) electronic services.
How is this to be achieved? Consider the OpenID standard, a distributed (or, more correctly, federated) ID system which hangs off the Domain Name System namespace. An OpenID identity provider gives out URLs, each one of which has a username and a password. The URL is given out to third parties as the “identity” and back-channel communication occurs between the third party and the OpenID provider to enable log in.
OpenID has about 10 million operational accounts and is being integrated into projects like Wikipedia. It is likely to succeed widely. If not, something else like it is going to take its place, in all probability. The email address has the same basic properties (of hanging off the DNS namespace) and has been used as a default ID namespace up to this point, with much the same properties Ð for most web sites, if I can read the email associated with Account X, then I am that person.
Hanging off the DNS namespace is an interesting thing, because it basically makes personal identities part of the DNS hierarchy. Part of the freedom people feel on the Internet is that, on the Internet, you are a “citizen” of the DNS Government Ð DNS creates the political unit of your email account provider or, if you operate your own domain, yourself. In the event of an investigation, queries follow the DNS chain of command: first WHOIS to identify the domain owner, then an enquiry to the domain owner about the conduct or identity of a given user.
This usually results in either a real name, or an IP address, which is then mapped back to service providers, then billing records, then an actual hard physical identity. Internet users typically feel rather violated by having their online actions tracked back to their physical location because it is a cross-namespace violation, rather like having a foreign nation state come and enforce its laws on you. These illusions have built up through common custom and the largely privileged academic communication which was the initial environment of the internet. That separateness is largely collapsing as the Internet becomes a part of the “real world” and the new privileged spaces are massively multi-player online roleplaying games like Warcraft, Second Life and Everquest.
Authentication for these systems is extremely problematic. Computer security is very ineffective for most home users, and falsely authorized emails generated by viruses, for example, are a common problem. Online banking security is constantly under attack from criminals compromising home computer security over unaccountable emails. This situation cannot go on indefinitely.
The solution is simple: a special, privileged class of Single Sign On Identity Providers who require an ISA-style blind contract before they will provide you single sign-on services. An identity with these groups is indicated by a cryptographic signature from the vendor attesting that they have a CheapID contract on file and will reveal it under a specified set of conditions, usually a court order in their native jurisdiction.
Ideally, this move would be coupled with a definitive upgrade in authentication. Pseudo-random number generators, when used for security applications like as the common SecureID tag are subject to man in the middle attacks, so probably we are going to wind up with an additional PKI level, perhaps small USB-type tokens. In any case it would be nice to indicate the level of authentication in the account so that third parties could judge for themselves how much trust they want to put into a log in from a particular SSO provider.
Upon display of proof that a given account has engaged in an activity which requires an identity to be revealed (i.e. presentation of a court order) the sign on service returns the original ISA-style blind contract, with associated CheapID Identity Card to the court to decrypt.
With sufficiently secure SSO services, including perhaps specially created government-backed SSO accounts along the lines of the Estonian system, it should be possible to do secure electronic voting over a variety of devices including cell phones. Challenges pertaining specifically to this project will be the subject of another paper. In essence, this discussion is about extending the reach of the Professional Witness to transactions at a remote site like your home, using the media of a cell phone or other computing device as the intermediary. This is non-trivial and may involve windows of revocation in which coercion can be reported, for instance.
There are no difficult technical challenges specifically related to the ISA aspects of this system.
UPDATE | I take issue with the way non-intervention is ‘ranked left’ in this little info schematic. Anyways… |
Do bear in mind that this is in fact what “conservative” once meant:
‘”As president, one of my priorities will be restoring the 10th amendment and federalism. Decisions about issues like civil unions or right-to-die legislation should be made by the states, not the federal government. I will stop federal judges from imposing new definitions on the States. I will also return control over education to parents and local communities. Decisions about whether or not to fund vouchers, have merit pay for teachers or extend the school year should be made by parents and local school boards, not by D.C.-based bureaucrats.
“I will also pursue true free trade with low tariffs and less burdensome regulation. However, I reject the “managed trade” approach of the World Trade Organization, North American Free Trade Agreement and Central American Free Trade Agreement.”‘ (Paul @ Forbes)
You can’t hand-pick it, though. He’d ax No Child Left Behind… and he’d ax social welfare. He’d support a state’s right to legalize gay marriage… and its right to legalize full-auto machine guns for personal use. No WTO… and no federally mandated environmental regulations.
So most folks are too scared by the prospect to take him seriously. We’re scared to be without our federal safety net. Afraid we can’t do it on our own, and afraid we don’t trust our neighbors to help us put together a supple and vibrant local civic ethos… I reckon.
Me? I’m taking a chance on it — and him — at least in the primaries.