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Re: <nettime> Philosophy of the Internet of Things
Rob van Kranenburg on Mon, 28 Apr 2014 06:07:37 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Philosophy of the Internet of Things


Hello Florian,

> There seem to be a few problematic assumptions in the text:

Points taken.

> Isn't that, still, a view of the future as it has been imagined in the 1990s and 2000s? For sure, an expansion of Internet-connected devices underway especially in industrial applications. On the other hand, aren't events such as the disclosures about NSA's Prism program or the recent Heartbleed OpenSSL security nightmare indicative of a trend against blind Internet-ification of all kinds of devices and technologies? 
> 
Yes, you would think so, but up until now, and this may change with OpenSSL we assume security is a major enabler, yet the MIFARE card is hacked and open and still used by millions of people across Europe and globally everyday. Security in real world situations is a business case and trade-off. 
And also yes, the predictions are from the Cisco?s of this world who have a big stake. Yet it is undeniable that devices are getting connected, and as IoT is the Internet, Ipv6 + logistics= barcodes, QR codes, RFID, Near Field, NFC it is also about intelligence at the edges where robots/routers/drones will run intranets that only will upload to the Cloud once in a while.

> These risks have been known for a long time, but now even non-experts - including policymakers and industry CEOs - are likely to understand them. The logical conclusion is to not expose critical infrastructures to the Internet by hardware design. The same is true for industrial infrastructures, both for the sake of operational security and safety from industrial espionage. 
> 
> The question is whether this will eventually lead to correction of optimistic Internet of Things predictions.

That indeed is a key question. It will take about five years to see which side it goes. But I?m beginning to believe in self-fulfilling prophecies, from wearables to smart homes, connected cars to smart cities, just focussing on civilian applications not even looking at the military ones it just gets bigger day by day.
> 
> For as computational devices become ever more central to how we relate to and interface with each other,
> 
> That is really the question. Will the growth of computational technologies remain to be primitive quantitative growth, or will it turn into a qualitative growth where computerization and Internetworking of devices, and areas of life, will be carefully evaluated for each case and application? 
> 
> A good example, again from the Netherlands, how computer experts can soundly turn against computerization as such was Rop Gonggrijp's campaign against voting machines. Its radical philosophical implications - that computers, with today's computer architecture, are by definition machines whose information isn't manipulation-proof and thus can never be trusted - still doesn't seem to have sunk in.

Indeed, and strangely enough this is something that an engineer -working with the raw data and algorithms - finds very difficult to deal with. 
>  
> The design and deployment of the Internet of Things is thus not simply a matter of software/hardware architecture but also of politics; ethics; belief; citizenship; and social and civic relations.

Hope you find the time to write something!

Greetings, Rob


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