Throw away the Internet and start over?

R. A. Hettinga rah at shipwright.com
Tue Apr 22 17:12:13 PDT 2003


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I've talked for years about a simple modification of an old protocol,
and have jokingly called it $MTP.

In short, $MTP is: "friends mail me free, all others pay cash". 

Unpacking the above sentence, we get:

Friends:
People on my cryptographically authenticated whitelist. 

Mail:
SMTP. Point to point, end to end mail. LDAP/POP/webmail server users
needn't apply.

Me:
I have an always-on IP connection. My cell phone has one. My
DSL/Cablemodem has one. My WiFi machine has one. One of those and
IPV6/IPSec or even IPV4/SSL will give me a permanent, secure,
authenticated address. That's why I use SMTP to *receive* my mail as
well.

Free:
Free. I don't charge friends (see above) money to receive their mail.

All others:
People not on my cryptographically authenticated whitelist 

Pay Cash:
Non-streaming on-line internet bearer transaction protocol, probably
involving blind signatures, since they have to be cleared
individually. (RSA, for instance, is cheaper and faster than a
hard-drive write, says Rivest, and it's now unencumbered by patent.
Chaum's blind signatures *are* encumbered by patent, though, as are
Brands'. Wagner's isn't, though, but it uses Diffie-Hellman, which is
slower than RSA, IIRC.)

Oh. And *I* set the price. If you don't meet it: 505-- insufficient
postage, baby... 

Cheers,
RAH

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-- 
-----------------
R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at ibuc.com>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <http://www.ibuc.com/>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'


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