Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Clique Space(TM) and Wikileaks

This unfolding tale of "citizen action" is great to watch. In some ways, blame might in time be seen to fall with me for raining on the parade. In considering this statement, it still might be nice to be recognised for inventing such a versatile tool.

The internet is supposed to allow anonymous communication, and the Clique Space system can deal with people who choose to remain anonymous by simply not connecting to one, while interacting with others who do use one or more Clique Spaces to keep track of their device activity and interactivity with other individuals so connected. However, what might be controversial is that any device can obtain a connection to a Clique Space.

Truly, any piece of hardware or software could be eligible of being made "Clique Space aware", so any "low-level network device" over which a network is manifest could potentially be connected to a Clique Space. Now, if devices such as these are connected to a Clique Space, they might mandate that devices that use them to provide low-level network services to also be connected. Such low-level network devices might also account for the number of bits that they transmit between themselves by any device which uses them, ultimately assigning these bits to the user from whom the bits originated and to whom the bits were destined. As a Clique Space is used to capture which device is sending which bits to which other device, an audit log could well be kept of which users are sending and which users are receiving every bit that is transmitted.

Because Clique Space might identify a user who is claiming control of a device to other users capable of knowing these things, the potential does arise to attribute the transmission and consumption of every bit of information to the actions of the individuals involved, and hence, holding them accountable for their actions.

I don't wish to make it my place to prescribe wisdom on the morality of such a scenario. I only wish to point out that such a scenario is possible with Clique Space as the tool. Society is there to make such intricate judgement calls. In considering some of the ways that anonymity can embolden individuals to do harm to other individuals, I'm not going to discount the utility in a scenario such as this; however, neither am I about to defend the actions of corporate or government organisations that attempt to restrain the rights and so forth of what it is to be an individual.

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