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(eternity) democracy is a bad idea on the net too!

Markus Kuhn wrote:
> The main research aspect of this project is the joint administration of
> such distributed archives. For spam protection, you still need people
> who decide, which files are allowed on the distributed server
> infrastructure, and which are not. 

I think a better deciding factor of which files remain and which don't
is hard, anonymous ecash.  Allow the author, or server to charge for
storage, and charge for access.  Allow readers to contribute ecash to
the continued existance of a data.  Throw the lot together and let
profit maximisation sort the rest out.

> This administration is so far the weak link in the Eternity Service
> concept, because whoever decides that something is not spam takes
> over some responsibility for the content, and is therefore subject
> to legal power of national powers.

Anonymous ecash leaves noone (identifiable) deciding anything, just
people paying for encrypted secret split data to be stored and for
encrypted data to be transmitted.

> The distributed administration in my system will be controlled via a
> sort of cryptographically enforced digital constitution (written in a
> tiny special purpose functional programming language) that determines
> administrative rights in a freely configurable way for a distributed
> server architecture (allowing elections, votes, vetoes, impeachment,
> updates to the constitution, etc.).

Wew.  Re-inventing democracy and all the problems that go with in the
electronic world!  Sounds like this will re-invent `the tyranny of the
majority' syndrome.

I would prefer to see this kind imposition of majority views
considered a subscriber filtering service ontop of the document space.
This is then a canonicalization of the comment that "if you don't like
reading X, then don't read it!".  And also eternity itself is an
attempt to provide an efficient implemention, with cryptographic
assurance, of John Gilmore's quote "The 'net views censorship as
damage and routes around it".

To give an example, subscriber group X, let us say hard line muslims
(no images of females exposing any part of their body) choose to set
up an approved "view" (in the database sense) of the documents the
eternity distributed database then anyone who chooses can subscribe to
this view, fund it, vote in it's constitution (or sit passively in
it's dictatorship) as they see fit.  Similarly anyone is free to set
up their own, new filtering services, or to use no filtering service
at all!

Possibly this is the way you view the filtering service too, though if
this is the case I would suggest use of language such as "filter out"
in place of "delete", as delete suggests that someone or several
someones under a democratic constitution (or any other expressible
voting scheme) are able to prevent others from paying for the
distribution of data of interest only to a minority.

> This way, no single person will be responsible for the maintenance
> of such international software repositories, but a (usually
> international) group of democratically controlled volunteers does
> this. This way, US people can easily contribute to the
> administration of such distributed archives without having to share
> any legal responsibility for the fact that the archive also contains
> export controlled software, because the majority of administrators
> and not some single citizen alone has decided which files are
> allowed to use server space.

I think a better solution to the problem of an identitifiable
individual being viewed (by governments) as responsible for the
existance of a document is anonymity.  That way, the factions of the
US government interested in controlling bit-flow don't know who
submitted the document, nor who voted with hard ecash to keep it

> without enabling at the same time the wide distribution and robust
> long-term storage of commonly considered despicable material such as
> child pornography, instructions for building weapons of mass
> destruction, or unwanted commercial advertising.

I don't think this is possible, or advisable even.  Cash is a better
metric of interest in data, trying to think in other terms just means
someone else will make the money.  John Gilmore's quote in monetary

The question is whether one believes in unconditional free speech or

I suggest that those who believe in conditional free speech would be
wrong if their belief led them to try to deprive others of
unconditional free speech rather than setting up and subscribing along
other like-minded types to filtering services.

The muslims in the example above may view images of females showing
their faces as extreme heresy, worthy of the death penalty.  One has
to accomodate differing views of what is acceptable.  There is no
world view on what is acceptable, therefore I propose that a better
solution is to consider filtering.  The existance of data does not
hurt people.  People who object to the availability of data are
advocating the creation of `thought crime'.

> In fact, by providing easy to configure governmental mechanisms
> comparable to those national governments are based on for software
> repositories, we distribute the responsibility in a
> cryptographically enforced way over the thousands or millions of
> users of such archives, effectively bypassing any control of
> national governments, without the negative aspects of complete
> anarchy (s**m).

Filtering and rating services can provide an effective method of
avoiding reading data one is uninterested in.  If someone else is
interested enough in the availability of data to pay ecash to ensure
it's availability why would anyone else be interested to prevent this.

In a straight-forward translation of the voting scheme to monetary
voting, we might if we were not careful result in a system where
others (censors) are able to cast negative monetary votes by paying
servers not to distribute certain bit strings.  I think an eternity
system should view this as a cryptographic attack to be designed
around.  Design the system so that the server can not be bribed to not
distribute certain data by dint of not being able to recognise it.