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Re: <nettime> Enforcing Rights by Technology
carlo von lynX on Mon, 25 Jul 2016 13:40:37 +0200 (CEST)


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Re: <nettime> Enforcing Rights by Technology


On Fri, Jul 22, 2016 at 05:03:24PM -0700, Morlock Elloi wrote:

> The main issue centralized technologies is that they don't need to
> be centralized in the first place, but they are as that warrants
> greater powers to their operators. Most users and technology workers
> cannot even imagine anything else ("how could you do X without one
> server farm for the whole planet ?"). This is ideological/religious
> issue and requires appropriate methods to deal with.

Capitalism is to do anything possibly unethical that is financially
the most efficient within what regulation allows, or beyond if the
regulation cannot be enforced. So whatever isn't regulated, all
capitalist players need to pursue or otherwise they won't be
competitive and must fail.

Even if Max Schrems is busy showing industry for the second time
that most of the stuff they are doing with the cloud is illegal by
European laws and always has been, the power of the inevitability
ideology that you so vividly describe (thank you, quite useful)
pervades the thinking of both perpetrators and victims. I
particularly "enjoyed" this part:

> but she also said that they can not stop bills and the collection
> process, because "it is automatically generated" (the phrase was
> repeated several times.) After failing to find an angle to
> communicate the absurdity of that, I realized that she firmly
> believes it, and she was getting irritated with me for not
> understanding the natural inevitability of the process.)

But getting to the conclusion...

> The notion that a machine is the law is already firmly embedded. I
> don't see any force changing this any time soon, so you better start
> equipping yourself with your own machines instead of begging for
> mercy. Perhaps the 2nd amendment needs to be expanded.

It wouldn't be the first time lawmakers have to impose reason
on population. Nobody in Italy in 1980 wanted seatbelts.

While I was suggesting that the power of using crypto should be
under control of the owner so that it cannot be used to implement
the interests of the vendor over the owner (and trigger the usual
race to the bottom of ethics out of the need to stay competitive -
which means that soon all devices will act like Windows 10), you 
are suggesting that a mere decentralization by law would be helpful.

I wonder what that really implies. Would you deny companies the
possibility of apps and IoT to interact with company backend
entirely? Do all commercial apps have to implement applications
on the basis of DHT technology in order to avoid central servers?
Wouldn't the companies argue that clouds are the most decentralized
architecture they can think of? Wouldn't the users be annoyed if
their fridge no longer knows where to execute supermarket orders?
Or how does a distributed supermarket work?

And, getting back to what I wanted to get feedback on - can you 
come up with any reason not to pursue the idea of denying third 
parties the privilege to send opaque data blobs out of customers'
devices by law, this way bringing a bit of ethics back into the 
equation? The transparency would automatically enable the lawmaker
or the user or a consortium of users and coders to implement the
use of distributed technologies wherever they see fit and 
politically appropriate, no? So the fridge can be forced to obtain
weather data anonymously from a DHT while it still places orders
to the user's preferred supermarket, possibly over an E2E authen-
ticated channel (thinking in GNUnet terms here) rather than the 
broken web, but still by sending messages to that company's server
farm. What else?

Best, CvL.


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