Re: New Technologies Imperil Humanity

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From: Kragen Sitaker (
Date: Mon Mar 13 2000 - 17:32:38 PST

Bill Joy said:
> "It is no exaggeration to say we are on the cusp of the further perfection
> of extreme evil,'' Joy writes. "An evil whose possibility spreads well
> beyond that which weapons of mass destruction bequeathed to nation states on
> to surprising and terrible empowerment of extreme individuals.''

Yeah, I guess this wasn't news to me after I read the results of the
Internet Auditing Project. The question is, what do we do about it?

Here's my fear. In the next year or two, someone is going to write a
worm that penetrates more than a million computers on the Internet.
They will be quiet about it. They will use this access to embed their
worm into widely-used operating systems.

Their power to spy on other people will be limited only by their
ability to spirit the results of their espionage out through covert
channels. Their power to blackmail and deceive will be immense. Their
power to cut off Internet service to the likes of Yahoo --- should they
choose to exercise it --- would be unstoppable. Their power to
embezzle money from innocent people would be immense.

I considered doing it myself --- because whoever does this will also be
in an unsurpassed position to close the ubiquitous security holes that
infest the world's computers. I decided I couldn't trust myself with
the power.

<>       Kragen Sitaker     <>
The Internet stock bubble didn't burst on 1999-11-08.  Hurrah!
The power didn't go out on 2000-01-01 either.  :)

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