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[freehaven-dev] uses of free haven / data haven issues
Since we are discussing moral issues in free haven today, seems worthwhile
to try cataloging as many such issues as of I can think.
TRADING "BAD DATA" :
"Bad Data" consists of material which is illegal to posess because it
is considered to be harmful in and of itself. I'm arbitrarily excluding
political writing from this category.
- Copyrighted materials can be traded over free haven. Windows 2K,
MP3s, etc. The standard "piracy" issue. People have been going back and
forth on this at least since the mid-80s, probably before.
See also Napster, Gnutella.
- Patent-infringing material can be traded over free haven. This
would have included PGP in versions prior to 2.5 , which I don't mind.
What patent-infringing examples exist which are less
- Material which runs afoul of trade secrets. Includes DeCSS and
cphack, also includes someone posting a secret formula for
widgets and causing widget co to go out of business.
- Child pornography.
POLITICAL DATA :
The "Chinese Dissident Problem." Well, also, the "US Dissident Problem."
Actually, a better example would be the "Saudi Dissident Problem" - Saudi
Arabian dissidents really do use fax machines to communicate,
there really is a not-very-secret conformance police("The Committee for
the Preservation of Good and Prevention of Vice"), and there really
are copies of PGP floating around on BBSes in the Kingdom.
* If we build a system which doesn't work well enough, and
a dissident tries to use it, he or she may die.
* Karla Holmoka case : court in Canada orders blackout on news
of a case. U.S. papers print news anyway. It is alleged that
this taints the pool of prospective jurors. Free Haven makes
this kind of jurisdictional arbitrage much easier.
The issue : the court in Canada is supposed to be speaking for
the people - is it moral to circumvent its decision because
you disagree with it?
* Zundelsite case : Germany has very strict anti-Nazi laws.
What about neo-Nazis spawning Web servers refreshed via
* more generally : "how" can we interfere with the running of
a foreign State by aiding and abetting its dissidents?
what makes us different from the CIA?
what gives us "the right" to interfere with another country's
(I don't like this argument at all, but it might come up)
* "turnabout" : what happens when the Free Haven is used to
post material we don't like? when it's used to coordinate
actions we don't like? (we = people designing the system)
I'm about 1/3 of the way through "Database Nation." (Don't worry,
I'll make up for it by going back and reading the copy of
"Anarchy, State, and Utopia" which was on the next shelf :)
Garfinkle spends much time on credit bureaus, arguing that
these large collections of data make possible abuses which
require laws to address.
These laws include provisions for such things as the right
to ensure your own data is "high quality." The most
straightforward way of enforcing such laws is to find out where
the data collections are, and then audit them.
* What happens if a credit bureau places its database in
* What happens if a credit bureau operates as a "Blacknet" ?
Post the encrypted e-cash, name of checkee, etc. under one
public key to a newsgroup. Bureau processes data and sends you a
new public key. You use this as a search key for free haven, and
out pops the credit report.
On the other hand, we could have interesting individual uses as well.
* What if I place a database of police informers into the Free
* What if I create a "synthespian" (3D model + movement rules)
for Sharon Stone and place it in Free Haven? What if I do the
same thing to you?
* What if I post the contents of your garbage to Free Haven?
ANONYMITY ISSUES NOT SPECIFIC TO FREE HAVEN :
Some of the same uses/issues which come up with anonymous remailers in
general seem to apply to Free Haven.
* Whistleblowing. Now include all the documents !
* Death threats
* Kidnapping communications
* Harassment (e.g. sending you keys which pull out graphic
pictures of you and everyone in your family being...)
* various issues about how "seriously" to take anonymous speech,
and questions like "can you ever take credit for something
I'm sure there's more, and we'll probably find out more in an hour or so.
See you all there!