Digital Imprimatur in a Nutshell
Via Howard Rheingold comes David Weinberger's NPR talk on emerging technologies that could significantly limit our ability to use and create with digital content -- the "triple threat" of content lockdown: Digital Rights Management (DRM), digital identity and trusted computing.
Rheingold observes that "This talk should recall [John] Walker's Digital Imprimatur paper." Indeed. That paper, which spawned a much-discussed Steven Levy piece, builds on the same insight (and pessimism) made famous by EFF board member Larry Lessig in his Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace -- "Hey, you Internet pioneers, your Internet isn't intrinsically free -- it's already proven quite regulable and we're headed toward more regulation. Wake up!" Lessig went on to divide the "levers" of regulation into four categories -- code; law; markets; norms.
What Digital Imprimatur does is add granularity to the "code" category -- a specific laundry list of technologies that have the potential to transform the Internet from open to closed. EFF's Fred von Lohmann read the paper; below, he provides a digest -- Digital Imprimatur in a Nutshell -- as well as his own list of countervailing technologies.
1. The Firewalled Consumer: NAT ascendant! Connections controlled upstream.
2. Certificates: Everything gets a cryptographically unique identity assigned by a central authority.
3. Trusted Computing: Walker may not fully understand TCG, but he's right to point it out.
4. Certified Micropayments: In the glare of e-commerce, no one notices the death of anonymity, free linking, free networking, free Internet.
5. DRM: 'Nuff said.
6. Trusted Internet Traffic: Only 'certified' packets get carried.
These technologies together create a strong current toward the creation of the Secure Internet -- 'No ID, No IP' -- only certified packets, payments, programs and data are allowed. Mainstream computers ignore, or are cut off from, all traffic not on the Secure Internet. Not because Big Brother/Big Content has a grand conspiracy but, rather, because well-intentioned policy-makers and techies want to stop worms, spam, porn, fraud, terrorists and all manner of other ills.
As a side-effect, however, the open Internet becomes a thing of the past.
Chilling. Yet familiar. EFF is working on (or at least aware of) every technology Walker cites, and most of the policy issues he identifies. But it's a darn good roadmap.
My list of countervailing technologies to watch:
1. Low cost meshing wireless networks. Small-world Darknets.
2. Inexpensive, high-density unrestricted storage devices. Darknet over sneaker-net.
3. Open source software, if it's a real alternative computing environment for regular people.
4. Distributed anonymizing proxy networks."
Recent DeepLinks Posts
Dec 1, 2015
Dec 1, 2015
Dec 1, 2015
Dec 1, 2015
Nov 30, 2015
- Fair Use and Intellectual Property: Defending the Balance
- Free Speech
- Know Your Rights
- Trade Agreements and Digital Rights
- State-Sponsored Malware
- Abortion Reporting
- Analog Hole
- Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement
- Bloggers' Rights
- Broadcast Flag
- Broadcasting Treaty
- Cell Tracking
- Coders' Rights Project
- Computer Fraud And Abuse Act Reform
- Content Blocking
- Copyright Trolls
- Council of Europe
- Cyber Security Legislation
- Defend Your Right to Repair!
- Development Agenda
- Digital Books
- Digital Radio
- Digital Video
- DMCA Rulemaking
- Do Not Track
- E-Voting Rights
- EFF Europe
- Encrypting the Web
- Export Controls
- FAQs for Lodsys Targets
- File Sharing
- Fixing Copyright? The 2013-2015 Copyright Review Process
- Genetic Information Privacy
- Hollywood v. DVD
- How Patents Hinder Innovation (Graphic)
- International Privacy Standards
- Internet Governance Forum
- Law Enforcement Access
- Legislative Solutions for Patent Reform
- Locational Privacy
- Mandatory Data Retention
- Mandatory National IDs and Biometric Databases
- Mass Surveillance Technologies
- Medical Privacy
- National Security and Medical Information
- National Security Letters
- Net Neutrality
- No Downtime for Free Speech
- NSA Spying
- Offline : Imprisoned Bloggers and Technologists
- Online Behavioral Tracking
- Open Access
- Open Wireless
- Patent Busting Project
- Patent Trolls
- PATRIOT Act
- Pen Trap
- Policy Analysis
- Public Health Reporting and Hospital Discharge Data
- Reading Accessibility
- Real ID
- Search Engines
- Search Incident to Arrest
- Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act
- Social Networks
- SOPA/PIPA: Internet Blacklist Legislation
- Student and Community Organizing
- Student Privacy
- Stupid Patent of the Month
- Surveillance and Human Rights
- Surveillance Drones
- Terms Of (Ab)Use
- Test Your ISP
- The "Six Strikes" Copyright Surveillance Machine
- The Global Network Initiative
- The Law and Medical Privacy
- TPP's Copyright Trap
- Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
- Travel Screening
- Trusted Computing
- Video Games