Will spam kill the net as we know it?
It stuck me back in December that e-cards were dead when I began to get spam claiming to be e-cards. Now I wonder if this is not sweeping net culture. Any bright idea or service that depends on people trying out (and trusting) unknown others becomes a trojan horse for viruses. At what point do we basically stop doing anything except with trusted entities? When that happens the Internet as a democratizing (in the sense of connecting people laterally outside of exising hierarchies) force dies. At that point we lose the global “inter”net and move to forms of intra/extra nets that are limited gated communities.
What would I not be able to do if I couldn’t trust the net?
– I couldn’t brown the web. I would only go to sites suggested by trusted reviewers.
– I couldn’t trust e-mail. I would only accept mail from trusted people.
– I couldn’t put machine on the net – I would use a fire-engine to do network activity. (Where a fire-engine is a computer meant only for networked activity – one step beyond a fire-wall.)
– I would cry for what has been lost.
If sounds crazy think of how many communities of trust have been terminated by vandals.