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Re: [Vrs-development] on a freestanding LDS

From: Seth Johnson
Subject: Re: [Vrs-development] on a freestanding LDS
Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 10:34:23 -0500

Well, for one thing, I'm emphasizing that there's a
difference between security (i.e., individual privacy and
local system security) and content control.

Remember that it may very well be difficult to get the GPL
to stick in the application server context.  No code needs
to be shared, so the GPL might end up losing some of its
teeth, or supporting things that end up undermining its

So we could deliver a free alternative to Passport and .NET,
but the kind of thinking that leads people to proprietary
code could still have greater sway than the power and
inspiration that that achievement would evoke.  Not only
could people end up increasingly choosing proprietary
subscription model application services over local machine
power, the GPL may find itself in a new position of having
difficulty carving out a place for itself against that

So I point out that this puts people into the role of being
mere consumers of information, whereas free coders are in a
fight for everybody's freedom as information *producers* 
(Which is one potent way of describing a citizen in a free

This goes back to my prognosis regarding why I think
Microsoft is making forays into P2P.  Basically I predict
Microsoft is in that game to establish precedent for content
control, and to demonstrate models for a "safe" form of P2P
(safe from the standpoint of those who wish to regulate the
online medium for various purposes).

The plan I see afoot is: 1) Use the application server
framework in .NET to weaken the power of distributing
liberated code and 2) make content control a part of the P2P
picture so alternative concepts can be delegitimized.  These
are important concerns besides the problem of Passport's
getting a market lock on serving personal private

I don't want people to have an illusion that the anonymity,
encryption and distributed responsibility built into current
manifestations of P2P are going to win against the
implications of .NET; and I think that the fight against
proprietary colonization needs to be ready to see that .NET
stands to legitimize the proprietary approach by the same
old process of making it appear to be pragmatic to
businesses and consumers, in this case taking that process
to a whole new level.

How relevant is this right now?  A lot, but not really in
any technical sense right now.  I just think it's important
to put this idea out early on, so it might inform people's

Seth Johnson

Bill Lance wrote:
> <address@hidden> wrote:
> >
> > That is, make sure that the concern about local
> > system security and individual privacy, doesn't
> > cause one to overlook the fact that the .NET
> > model wants to encourage (and even lock in) a
> > strict consumer relationship to online
> > information.
> Hi Seth,
> What risk do you see here?  The security and privacy
> issues are our 'Prime Directive'.  Hopefully, we can
> continue to think about these goals from the ground up
> and build them into the foundations.


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