"Barlow…caves in to fear."


After reading Reason's recent interview with cyperspace guru John Perry Barlow, Tech Central Station's Arnold Kling tut-tuts the lyricist-rancher-netizen for caving "in to fear." To wit:

If Barlow and others think that the next version of Windows is just too creepy [due to its "trusted computing" and "identity-authentication" functions], they can stick with XP. Or Windows 98, for that matter, which still has a huge installed base. If identity-authentication is enough of a show-stopper for enough people, then Bill will have to leave it out in order to get people to buy the next upgrade.

Of all the organizations you could look to because you fear identity-authentication, it is ironic that Barlow would choose government. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which Barlow founded, has spent considerable effort in fending off government attempts to make the Internet wiretap friendly, efforts which date back to the infamous Clipper Chip. Turning to government to help maintain anonymity on the Internet is like going to the Pope for help in keeping abortion safe and legal.

Whole thing here.

Reason's Q&A with Barlow here. Reader comments to that exchange here.