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(eternity) autonomous agents



Adam Back:

> If the participant in the CPU resource market is not expected to be
> able to vet all source code he runs, this gives the would be eternity
> operator a chance to distribute his risk.

It's even better than this - your PC becomes a common carrier and you
are no longer liable :-)

If this doesn't happen, then the advocates of Java need a whole new
security infrastructure to assure users that the applets they download
aren't defamatory, pornographic, seditious or in breach of copyright!

Tim May:

> Another science fiction writer, Bruce Sterling, popularized "data havens"

At one time, Malta was thinking seriously about becoming just such a
data haven, and I expect one will appear sooner or later. After all,
what's left of the British Empire is funded by money laundering and
tax evasion - pardon me, Sir Humphrey, `offshore financial services'. 
Once the online world becomes a significant part of the global
economy, small countries that wish to achieve the high living
standards of Bermuda, Gibraltar and Jersey will be able to get there
by cashing in on `offshore data services'.

Countries like Tonga already sell domain names, but a full offshore
data service would need some way of resisting pressure from the EU and
the US government. Most of the tax havens do this by being under a
colonial umbrella. Is there an alternative? Can we create virtual
colonies in cyberspace? Can we set up a gateway to Eternity in some
country like Liberia or Somalia, which is too dangerous even for the
US Marines? Or do we have to cut a deal with Sir Humphrey?

Hiding stuff inside usenet is actually a bit like hiding behind the
skirts of Empire, isn't it? The same goes for hiding stuff on open
access web sites, or in spam. 

Given the rate at which spam is growing these days, maybe that's where
to put it. If the only way for Authority to cut mortals off from
Eternity was to pass effective laws against spam, and the only way to
stop spam was to have a global non-escrowed public key infrastructure
so that all mortals could be strongly authenticated, then ...

Ross