1995-12-06 - Re: No Privacy Right on “My” Desktop ?

Header Data

From: dlv@bwalk.dm.com (Dr. Dimitri Vulis)
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: dc6d2a7887a07bd64d1104d4f73b3e5dcf05553ada9e473da2d1b9f45122d741
Message ID: <uq3NFD1w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
Reply To: <Pine.BSD.3.91.951205025944.29416B-100000@ahcbsd1.ovnet.com>
UTC Datetime: 1995-12-06 04:19:21 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 5 Dec 95 20:19:21 PST

Raw message

From: dlv@bwalk.dm.com (Dr. Dimitri Vulis)
Date: Tue, 5 Dec 95 20:19:21 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: No Privacy Right on "My" Desktop ?
In-Reply-To: <Pine.BSD.3.91.951205025944.29416B-100000@ahcbsd1.ovnet.com>
Message-ID: <uq3NFD1w165w@bwalk.dm.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

"James M. Cobb" <jcobb@ahcbsd1.ovnet.com> writes:
> Of course companies may try another tack: Oracle's "internet
> terminal."
> As dlv@bwalk.dm.com pointed out in his 11 18 95 post,
>  [I guess, they mean no permanent storage or software other
>  than the browser in ROM. No remembered state, no viruses
>  ... -DV]
> In "my" terminal.

James, I do hope I haven't given you the impression that I *like* the
proposed $500 "Internet appliance". These gizmos with no local permanent
storage are antithetical to privacy. If you use it just to browse the
Web, then your hotlist, history, et al would be kept at the ISP's. Most
ISP's are greedy scum who wouldn't hesitate to sell this info to
database maintainers. E.g., someone who accesses a Web page dealing with
asthma might later receive unsolicited e-mail from a company selling
asthma medicine, or even be turned down for employment because the
medical insurance rates would jump based on his history of accessing an
asthma-related Web page. Of course, this might happen when a regular PC
is used to run a browser, but the "NC" would provide much more
opportunity for such data collection, and little or no possibility to
enhance the device with encryption / anonymity.

Still, I predict that quite a few people will buy these things when they
become available: those whose disposable income can accomodate a $500
NC, but not a $1000 PC; those unwilling to feed/care for a real PC, and
only interested in browsing the net; whatever (let Oracle's marketing
people identify their potential customers). No one knows if they'll sell
enough to make money for their makers. I heard that currently one can
buy add-ons to the Phillips CD-interactive and to the Nintendo/SGI game
machine to turn them into Web browsers. I presume they sell.

What I said was, someone selling an add-on product for the "NC"
providing some degree of privacy (a PGP ROM on the PCMCIA port??) might
make a quick buck. I'm not entrepreneurial enough to try it myself.


Dr. Dimitri Vulis
Brighton Beach Boardwalk BBS, Forest Hills, N.Y.: +1-718-261-2013, 14.4Kbps