RE: The Freedom of Digital Information

From: Terry Donaghe (
Date: Thu Jul 27 2000 - 22:15:44 MDT

Jason Joel Thompson said:

"If we decide we want to be able to protect something that comes out of our
own head, then we look for ways to do so. You claim that encryption will be
only a minor annoyance in the future: if that's true, then we've got some
big issues. Being able to protect information is only going to become more
and more important. I wonder if the "information must be free" advocates
include personal data and private communications in their manifesto?"

I reply:

After putting a little bit more thought into this, I think I can amend my
original thoughts and say that there will probably be a time when most forms
of encryption are more or less irrelevant between now and whenever we attain
some form of (nearly) unbeatable encryption - maybe mature quantum computing
or something. Obviously as well, even though normal encryption may be
breakable, one can always go to great lengths to ensure that 'getting at'
private information is prohibitively expensive. I just think that most
entertainers will find it more profitable to move to new forms of
entertainment - eg. experienced based - rather than add layers upon layers
of expensive encryption to their art.

As far as whether I think most private communications or personal data will
be encrypted or not public - well, I think that in a truly digital,
information rich world, the vast reams of existing data may make mining
individuals' private information very expensive. The information may very
well be out there, and a very determined individual may be able to find it
if one tries hard enough, but I doubt that anyone will know 'everything.'
Is this any different from the sort of information that's available about
most of us right now?

Terry Donaghe: Your source for emerging technology news.

Try and open your mind.

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