The American blogosphere is going increasingly “viral” about a proposal advanced at the recent meeting of the Davos Economic Forum by Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer for Microsoft, that an equivalent of a “driver’s licence” should be introduced for access to the web. This totalitarian call has been backed by articles and blogs in Time magazine and the New York Times.
These are incredibly complex problems that even the smartest of the smart admit they don’t have a great handle on, although Craig Mundie, Microsoft’s chief research and technology officer, offered up a surprisingly simple solution that might start us down a path to dealing with them: driver’s licenses for the Internet.
Anonymity on the web is the last great hope for freedom and progress on the planet. The only people clamoring for crap like “internet driver’s licenses” are those afraid of The People. Cyber-criminals will not go away because of new rules–they are already breaking the LAW! The only thing that measures like this would do is suppress free speech. It would be a great thing for dictators and an awful thing for the rest of us.
Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to create the most vulnerable operating systems and web browsers around, and the powers that want to control us do little to prosecute criminals caught on the web. Do you see the connection here? They’re letting the criminals run amok hoping for the public outcry of “make us safe, oh dear government”! But that hasn’t happened, because for every nefarious user of the net, there are thousands of good guys closing the security gaps. The net is not the wild west. It is democracy at its finest.