I think there's a real chance we will end up with heavy-handed legislation on both identities and privacy. The culprit will be the digital enterprises which have been negligent as to user security and at best negligent, at worse deceptive, as to user privacy.
I believe it will eventually be a reality because people think adding restrictions and laws are the cure-all to thwart a few bad-eggs.
Fewer laws and more personal responsibility is what is needed, but it seems easier to enact laws to keep us from hurting ourselves, like motorcycle helmet laws.
I'm all for people playing nice with each other, but some cannot resist the temptation to persecute and belittle others, and as we have tragically seen in the news, some cannot delete or 'unfriend' those that are hurtful to others.
At this particular time, we really should be reveling in our freedom, because it will go away sooner than we would like.
"Agreed. A decentralized service would be the way to go. But a license to surf? Permission to be online? Seems ridiculous. Especially in the age of anonymous surfing, open wireless networks, etc."
That makes me think back to people in the book "Snow Crash" logging in regularly or on public terminals with the differentiation being public terminals display your avatar degraded when entering the metaverse.
Does anyone really believe that a license to surf will ever be a reality? I've read so many chainmail letters that seemed to point to it, but nothing substantial, and nothing ever really written into a bill to be passed into law. With the advent of open wireless Internet connections should the government even bother? And could they even properly police this?
I often feel as though the first amendment arguments can be moot when vast online laws have been passed in the last 10 years are regularly being utilized against defendents, even when they clearly violate privacy provisions of the First Amendment. High priced lawyers and cases being taken to higher circuits can result in cases being thrown out on constitutional grounds, but not so much in lower circuit courts from what I've seen.
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