Saturday, March 05, 2005

Democracy, Terrorism and the Open Internet

Joi Ito has invited me to participate in a summit at the
International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism, and Security in Madrid, Spain next week. I will be involved in a workshop on Democracy, Terrorism and the Open Internet.

The description of the workshop is:
Despite their anti-modern ideology, some of the most violent terrorist groups have also been the most skilled in exploiting the advantages of the Internet. How can we stop this abuse of modern communications technology, while preserving the advantages and freedoms that it offers?

This is interesting for Croquet because it goes directly to the heart of what Croquet is about. We want to build a system that allows for high bandwidth communication between individuals, ultimately fostering a much better understanding of the other's point of view. And we want it to be done securely. Why is this important? There are a number of very good reasons - protecting children from predators, protecting businesses from other businesses, protecting an individuals and a groups privacy from prying governments. Why is this a problem? Because bad guys can use it too.

Perhaps I will learn a way to resolve this problem in Madrid. I doubt it. I think that the only real answer is to open the channels of communication even wider, rather than trying to figure out how to control them even more. Friends tend not to kill each other.

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