[FoRK] Re: [ptp-general] Facebook used for wifi access control

Gordon Mohr <gojomofork at xavvy.com> on Fri Nov 2 16:39:47 PDT 2007

Re: FB links for wifi access and encrypted mail

Indeed, these sorts of apps -- using the 'social graph' to fix the 
various authentication issues that are drowning email, the web, and 
other channels in spam and malice -- are a big reason for the 
Facebook-mania.

You'd need a lot of crypto magic dust to make an open, decentralized 
alternative offer the same benefits -- but such systems are inscrutable 
to most people. No one's cracked the crypto comprehension/usability nut.
But people can understand 'friend-of-friend' much better than 
"public/private key".

And having some profit-motivated entity with a zealous proprietary 
interest in the quality of the graph is a feature, not a bug. So lots of 
the kum-ba-ya "let's open it all up" talk is missing the point.

SSNs are awful -- despicable! -- as the master key to peoples' credit 
and identity. But somehow, this practice has enabled more commerce than 
crime for the last few decades, and thus the practice continues.

Facebook's proprietary social graph and walled garden may be an awful -- 
despicable! -- way to bootstrap trusted communication. But it could be 
good enough for quite a while.

- Gordon




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