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Re: The Digital Society Group

>>Without getting into too much detail, The Digital Society Group is
>>constructing a pure-technology infrastructure to provide for the
>>governance and existence of a complete digital society within a free
>>enterprise zone.
>The web site doesn't explain what methods you are using to establish these
>zones.   Do you have a mailing list set up for discussion?   The plan
>sounds interesting and ideologically supportable, but I'm skeptical.


I'm trying to get more docs online ASAP to explain things.

The physical free zones are very popular in the interational business
world, but I as a computer type had never heard of them other than Hong
Kong, etc.

When a country wants to set up a free zone, they come to Openworld and its
partner companies who do everything from clearing land, construction,
setting up businesses, schools, hospitals, etc. One of the soon to be
required components of a free zone installation is a digital infrastructure
to link all of the things together. We're talking smart cards for physical
structure security and personal ID, email, web hosting, net access, all
kinds of stuff.

Since we are building a "country" from scratch, rather than have to
automate paper workflows and do document management, the governance
processes are designed to be digital from the start.

Thus, to provide incorporation services to its citizens, a free zone allows
them to sign up via web browser, and the daily maintenance, processing and
management of the corporate records is also done almost exclusively via web
browser and email. Its fast, cheap, and requires far less labor than a
paper-based system. Another feature is that rather than maintaining the
records for the customer, the customer can log in via web browser and
update their own corporate record. (similar to Internic) This reduces labor
even further and reduces the cost of incorporation to around $100 per year
making instant offshore incorporation accessible to the general global
public for the first time.

That kind of solution applied across an entire governance and
communications infrastructure make for some radical things to become

Another concept being implemented is that each new free zone (being fully
wired) can easily replicate records and data with other free zones (they
will actually be required to for certain things) and thus a citizen in one
free zone can access banking, etc. services (even physical access) in
another. So, we see the emergence of a phsically distributed, digitally
cohesive network of "corporate states".

This lends to applications like data protection and hiding via distributed
storage or data sharing via common dataspaces and replication.

The technical methods to perform all of this work are a bit touchy. At the
risk of starting endless flame wars, I was looking at Lotus Bloats for its
replication and hierarchical security structure as well as easy forms to
web publishing and workflow management. That got shot down at the thought
of actually administrating the mess and also the costs are fairly
significant. The final nail in the coffin was the encryption key escrow
fiasco with the Swiss.

I was also looking at NT due to the nice database-to-web interface and the
fact that IIS 4 isn't too bad. But again software license costs are large
and who knows if Microsoft is doing, or will do, a key escrow deal for
future products? Who knows what they are doing now with NT on the OS level?

You can't run around making structures which allow people around the world
to move money and communicate anonymously, incorporate and have software
agents be owners of property and bank accounts without someone getting very
pissed off.

Thus, a good solution seems to be Linux in that its cheap, Unix is good for
multi-process routing, and the toolkits and components created by the
Digital Society can be easily moved into the public domin in some form or
another. Also, the export mess can be gotten around in one way or another.

Any comments? Any better alternatives than Linux?

The coding being done now is either cross-platform or prototype which will
be scrapped as soon as the kinks are worked out and the real fun can begin.

The Digital Society is purposefully working cheap and small to enable the
tools and communities to be deployed at as close as possible to no cost for
the end-user - that is the priority.

Most things are being coded from scratch to ensure security and keep the
costs low. Labor is cheap - when its your own.


Jalon Q. Zimmerman, Director
The Digital Society Group
A division of Openworld, Inc.

[email protected]
The government is not your mommy.