Fink on yer Friends

Posted 10 Nov 1999 at 08:00 UTC by stig Share This

While I actually am a fan of fleshing out the web of trust, I just can't resist injecting a wee bit of luddism into the mix...

In Formation is a good source for Luddism and net.skepticism and here's a bit of it that's perhaps worthy of a few background thoughts...

This company, SixDegrees, has built a Web site around the idea that everyone on earth can connect with everyone else through a path of six people or fewer. You know somebody who knows somebody, which means you are only six removes from such stellar individuals such as Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Ted Kaczinski or Timothy McVeigh. How safe do you feel now?

Set aside good intentions and the joy of networking for a moment. The SixDegrees database would be immensely useful to powers that don't have our best interests in mind. All kinds of organizations could take possession of the SixDegrees computers and records.

Romana Machado's rant on SixDegrees.com

    All hail King Ludd!     Stig Hackvan

    ;-)


not enough tags...grrrrrrr, posted 10 Nov 1999 at E+ UTC by stig » (Master)

Raph, please turn on html entities and the <blockquote> tag...

Thanks.

HTML entities, posted 10 Nov 1999 at 3+ UTC by raph » (Master)

HTML entities and decimal character references are now supported. Thanks for the suggestion.

The privacy concerns you raise are worth thinking about seriously. Part of the goal of Advogato is for the certification to be publicly auditable, ie I can't just cheat and show my friends as having higher rankings. It's not clear now how important this is, but it could be later. For example, if a group gets together and decides to pay for health insurance for all Journeyer and Master free software developers, they'll want assurances against cheating.

In addition, it'll probably be pretty easy to suck certificate information out of the trust metric by diddling the parameters. When I add configurable trust roots, this will in fact be quite easy.

So, on balance, it struck me as simpler to just have everything out in the open. Even so, it's not obvious that's the best thing to do. More thoughts are welcome!

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