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Re: [Taler] [address@hidden: 'Oh, that's an idea...': U.S. parents respo

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: [Taler] [address@hidden: 'Oh, that's an idea...': U.S. parents respond to China screen time ban]
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 2021 23:11:17 -0400

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  > Jeff Burdges wrote:
  > > There is however a problem of authenticating the context, but what I’d 
suggest there is that TLS certificates embed whatever attributes like age the 
site requests. In other words, if a site wants over 18 then they must say so in 
their TLS certificate and users not over 18 could not create anonymous identity 
on that site because their own browser would not do so.
  > >   

  > And how is this supposed to work with Free software?  The user's program 
  > refuses to do what the user wants; this looks suspiciously like DRM.

Indeed, if the browser is free software, users could modify it to
disregard the server's demands.

This is not a minor wrinkle.  Quite the contrary -- it is crucial for software
freedom in a network.  For instance, if the server asks your browser
for your location, you can make it send whatever location you wish,
rather than let it tell someone the truth about you.

If a bank issues a certain kind of Taler token only to accountholders
over 18, the server could verify this by demanding payment in that
special kind of Taler token.  However, the Taler system and national laws
could decide whether banks are allowed to insist on that criterion.

This way, businesses would not be able to enforce any arbitrary
criterion by inventing a special kind of Taler to require that

For instance, they would not be able to invent a Taler token that only
whites can obtain, if it is illegal for banks to discriminate based on

But there could be a special kind of Taler token that only adults could get,
if banks are allowed to issue it only to adults.

Whether this is a good thing to do, I am not sure.  Whether this
country or that country would be satisfied with that method of
protecting minors from too much gaming, I don't know.  I am only
saying that this is an approach that could be used and might be much
less bad than the other ones they are likely to use.

Dr Richard Stallman (https://stallman.org)
Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project (https://gnu.org)
Founder, Free Software Foundation (https://fsf.org)
Internet Hall-of-Famer (https://internethalloffame.org)

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