Open Buddha

Open Source Buddhism, Technology, and Geekery
Bay Area, California

So much for enabling freedom!

Well, my last post was a bust for any response. It was syndicated to Planet Mozilla, has had a few hundred views, and the only comment on it is my own (posting what a friend of mine on Facebook said).

He said:

"I don’t know if Tor is the end-all-be-all, but the basic point would be: browser-based, quasi-auto-configuring anonymous darknets (that set up and tear down without a trace), and look something like other (e.g. HTTP) traffic would be a boon to free speech. Until the government decided that it was aiding and abetting pedophilia, and banned it. Thankfully the first amendment does not apply there.”

On Twitter, Vinay Gupta, of Hexayurt fame, suggested:

"http://guptaoption.com/cheapid == identity backbone for dealing with things like distributed voting. You want timestamping and good, clear access to the HTTPS certificate chains to be able to encrypt messages to other users using client side certs."

I had figured that I’d get more commentary than that on something that is very relevant to current news. I mean that this is blue sky territory, people. I know that there are more ideas on enabling openness and freedom through Firefox, Thunderbird, and in the platform than none at all. There have to be ideas out there on how to extend these to enable, for example, anonymous communication, routing around censorship, etc.

Meanwhile, I heard two stories while driving from work in the car on NPR yesterday relating to the use of Twitter, social networking, and the Internet in the current protests. I found the pieces immediately brought to mind the importance of the Internet and enabling openness as a core necessity.

Check out In Iran, A Struggle Over Cyberspace and The Challenges To Turning Off The Internet In Iran. The latter story even has the obligatory Jonathan Zittrain quote.

Update: Now Zittrain has posted in relation to this matter as well. I seem to be timely as this just went up: Why the PC matters.