Thursday, April 29, 2004

A Solution to Getting Messy?

The solution to many seems obvious - don't make the Internet open any more. Lock it down - except for those privileged few (millions) who gain access.

I feel like I'm drawing too many political parallels here but this is an argument for isolationism vs. globality at its core.

If you don't like what other people have to say, close your windows, shut your blinds and go away.

If you DO want to hear it and let others do it, then open your windows and be aware.

Yes, the Internet is getting really messy - so NOW is the time for people to identify how they want to get their information.

Would you walk through the red light district in Amsterdam on a Friday night, if you were offended by sex?

Probably not but would you therefore shut down Amsterdam as a city?

The best way for non-tech people to use the Internet is to belong to a smaller community (like DARPA back in its day) where they really only see those items they want or need to see. Is this censorship for all the other sites? Yes - but it's a necessary one.

If you live in a big city but don't want to see the low income housing, you don't travel there. So don't go there.

The Internet is the same. Six or seven years ago, AOL, MSN, and CompuServe made money on housing these private networks. They allowed external email to some degree but for all intensive purposes they were closed networks. They worked for that precise reason.

If you really want to let people venture out into the "outside" world, then all you can do is prepare them for the junk that's out there.

The solution is for ISPs to get together and say "we will only allow emails from these sources" on a global basis. Spam filter lists and block lists only work so well. When I sign up to an ISP, they should say "Do you want wide open or only valid messages?".

Yes there are tricks that everyone will use to get around this but the solution is to stop it at the source. Eventually, the spammers will get tired but not until everyone else smartens up.

MSN Tech & Gadgets

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