Cory Doctorow on "The Coming Civil War over General Purpose Computing"

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radiorahim radiorahim's picture
Cory Doctorow on "The Coming Civil War over General Purpose Computing"

Cory Doctorow is one of my heroes.

This talk is well worth a read or listen/watch if you're concerned about digital freedom.

Corporations are turning computers into "appliances" so that you can't do whatever it is that you might want to do with them.  That's the current model for so-called smart phones and tablet computers.


...think of it this way: a "war on general-purpose computing" is what happens when the control freaks in government and industry demand the ability to remotely control your computers

The defenders against that attack are also control freaks—like me—but they happen to believe that device-owners should have control over their computers

Both sides want control, but differ on which side should have control.

The rest on BoingBoing here

radiorahim radiorahim's picture


What if you were attending a demonstration and the police were able to turn on your smartphone camera without your knowledge via remote control to record all of your conversations and all of the activities around you?

What if you had a cochlear implant that could record all of the sounds around you and sent them via wifi to the manufacturer or the government?

What if you had a prosthetic device,  you happened to fall behind in your payments and the dealer turned your device off via remote control?

Here's what happened in the U.S. when a local parking utility got into a dispute with a company that sold automated parking lots back in 2006. 

The technology to do many of these things exists right now or else will exist very shortly.   Many of the upcoming battles for civil liberties this century are going to be in the technological sphere.