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Microsoft Privacy Your Rights Online

Craig Mundie Wants "Internet Driver's Licenses" 427

Posted by timothy
from the genuine-advantage dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer, called for the creation of an 'Internet Driver's License' at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying, 'If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.' Of course, there are quite a few problems with this. For starters, internet use cannot yet cause death or dismemberment like car accidents can; and this would get rid of most of the good of internet anonymity while retaining all of the bad parts, especially in terms of expanding the market for stolen identities. Even though telephone networks have long been used by scammers and spammers/telemarketers, we've never needed a 'Telephone Driver's License.'"
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Craig Mundie Wants "Internet Driver's Licenses"

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  • by mmcxii (1707574) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:54PM (#31029456)
    First links that link to blogs that link to articles. Then links to social networks to link to links that link to articles.

    Where does the stupidity end?
  • we need a law? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ralphdaugherty (225648) <ralph@ee.net> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:54PM (#31029464) Homepage

    since when do laws stop the bad guys?

  • by tyrione (134248) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:55PM (#31029476) Homepage

    Even here in the U.S., one of the most common Internet-related questions that I receive is also one of the most deeply disturbing: Why can't the U.S. require an Internet "driver's license" so that there would be no way (ostensibly) to do anything anonymously on the Net?

    The road to ruin was paved with good intentions. However, that includes ludicrous ideas.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:55PM (#31029482)

    WTF a licence to use the Interwebs, that is bullshit and it will never happen. that is like saying you must have a licence to use a phone, or write a letter. how retarded is this guy any why is it news worthy?

  • by enriquevagu (1026480) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:56PM (#31029500)
    Great idea, Microsoft! Even more, the Internet Driver's License should be followed by the "System Administrator Driver's License", so only people who know the risks present in Internet, and know their own computer OS, can run with Adminnistrator privileges.

    Oh, wait...

  • Great segue (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thethibs (882667) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:58PM (#31029510) Homepage
    Craig Mundie is making Dick Brass' point about Microsoft losing its competent people.
  • Cui Bono? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kramer (19951) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @07:59PM (#31029524) Homepage

    Of course, it would be completely coincidental that Microsoft would offer training, software and certification to help get your Internet driver's license, right?

  • Only if... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Asadullah Ahmad (1608869) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:00PM (#31029530)
    Add the first requirement of not using IE, and then we might entertain the thought, and start some serious discussion.
  • by afidel (530433) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:00PM (#31029532)
    It was supposed to be a tale of warning about the pitfalls of technology and big government, not a roadmap for where we should be heading. I swear there's a certain class of people that don't understand that concept or maybe they do and they just really hope they get to be the masters pet.
  • Translation (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:02PM (#31029544)

    Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief Research and Strategy Officer, called for the creation of an 'Internet Driver's License' at the World Economic Forum in Davos, saying, 'If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car, the car has to pass a test to say it is fit to drive and you have to have insurance.'

    In other words, Windows doesn't suck - The users do.

    The drivers license analogy is being used to shift some of the blame from the OS to its users.

  • I agree (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JumpDrive (1437895) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:04PM (#31029562)
    You should have to have a license to operate Windows. Any other OS you don't need one. Licensing should be issued by the nearest LUG for a small fee.

    What the hell is this bonehead talking about? They have a 90% market share. Just make up a required course that people must take to buy your software and be done with it. Or make it so that IE doesn't work unless you have used a smart card that reads your license.
  • by Dan667 (564390) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:09PM (#31029636)
    Seems like there are a lot of more important ones that should get priority.
  • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:10PM (#31029654)

    The article linked in the article posted here provides some context [rawstory.com]. He seemed to have been talking about this as a way of preventing cyber attacks, you'd have your license revoked if your computer was compromised and could be used in an attack. MS seems to have been trying to cover their asses: "It's not our fault, if we would just put this intrusive system in place, which has no chance of working, but more importantly would never be funded and never built, then the problem will be solved." The next time a problem with MS products creates a serious problem, they'll say "We told you so! If you had just put up a billion dollars to make the drivers license system, it might not have completely failed, and this could have been avoided! Your fault!"

  • by Cryacin (657549) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:10PM (#31029658)
    Heil gruppenfuerer Mundiestetter!
  • by shadowofwind (1209890) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:15PM (#31029700)

    I swear there's a certain class of people that don't understand that concept or maybe they do and they just really hope they get to be the masters pet.

    I think most of them never reflect enough to be more than vaguely aware of it, they just think in terms of controlling their environment in a way that benefits themselves. A few of the brighter ones do have an idea of where its going, but they don't care.

    I think most of the rest of us aren't smart or powerful enough to manipulate the system very much that way, but in a sense we have it coming, because we do not sufficiently value freedom. And I don't just mean freedom from oppressive governments and big business, but also freedom from lots of other things ranging from debt to chronic dependence on prescription drugs.

    And yes, almost everyone wants to be the masters pet. You can cut the head off of practically any abusive power structure and it will grow back, because nearly everyone's trying to climb one rung higher on the backs of those beneath them.

    On the up side, that's only half the dynamic. Some things are getting worse, but some things are getting better also.

  • Licences for OS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by POds (241854) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:16PM (#31029710) Homepage Journal

    Perhaps the licences should be handed out to Operating Systems based on compliance with web standards... I wonder if MS Windows would be given one?

  • by JoeF (6782) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:19PM (#31029738)

    Instead of a license for users, there should be a license to write an OS.
    Nobody at Microsoft would qualify, judging by the POSes they have released since the 1980s.

  • by Arancaytar (966377) <arancaytar.ilyaran@gmail.com> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:24PM (#31029782) Homepage

    Excuse me, why is anyone listening to what MS has to say about Internet security, again?

  • by SimonInOz (579741) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:24PM (#31029784)

    This is so Microsoft. Their response to any problem is to want more control. (A bit like most governments, actually)

    Interestingly, this is the exact opposite of Open Source, or perhaps Wikipedia.

    They are absolutely committed to the cathedral, with no thought of the bazaar.

    And, for a while, it works.

  • Marketing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:27PM (#31029822)
    This sounds like a marketing person annoyed that nearly everyone who is forced to fill out their stupid forms to get some needed content is telling Microsoft that they are 98 year old Afghan woman with an income over $100,000. I love power-tripping types like this: Lifeguards who seem to think that they are there to do anything but pull drunks out of the water. Police who think that they are there to do anything but pull drunks off their girlfriends. TSA people who think they are there to do anything but smell my feet. Politicians who think that elected office doesn't mean that they are really just failed real-estate people. Hall monitors who think they are popular. Waiters who think they have earned a tip by interrupting my conversation to see if everything is all right. Oh and failed programmers who think that by dragging their "Team" into meetings is the road to a great product. But I digress. Would an internet driver's license make the internet a better place? And more importantly who would collect the money for the licensing? That sounds like a monopoly that they could milk for decades longer than their slowly dying OS / Text editor business.
  • Re:we need a law? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GreatBunzinni (642500) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:30PM (#31029840)

    More importantly, this measure is not targeted at "bad guys". When some idiot such as this Craig Mundie speaks about this concept of the "internet driver's license", what he is campaigning for is the ability to not only identify everyone who uses the internet but also the convenience of having any state's repressive power to ban anyone from the internet who disrespected any arbitrary rule these fools are trying to impose on the rest of the world. And the thing is, we aren't talking about criminal acts, as these are already punished by imprisonment. This sort of measure is intended to open the door for the ability to inflict arbitrary punishment on those who do not follow rules set forth by righteous idiots who believe they know better than the stupid masses.

    But hey, let's call it "driver's license", as it's a very convenient term to associate with this oppressive measure as it's widely regarded by society as banal government grant. This sort of totalitarian measure desperately needs a cuddly face to be able to fly. Let's not mention what it really is: a corporate-tailored totalitarian attack on individual freedom intended to punish non-criminal acts which are frowned upon corporate execs such as mr Craig Mundie.

  • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:41PM (#31029932)

    or perhaps Wikipedia.

    If you read /. often, you'd know Wikipedia is far less free than it used to be. We even have some trolls who post complaints about Wikipedia editors here. They are people who have gotten fed up with the current "I will control whatever happens on my pages" territorial mindset of some of the editors there who have all day to police their "domains".

    This sort of thing drives away and discourages many people from contributing.

  • by an unsound mind (1419599) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:42PM (#31029936)

    And taking a joke too far will carry the death penalty!

  • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:42PM (#31029942)
    Because, if we sat idlely by, unnewsworthy retards would sign any old thing into law. A law that we would have to obey.

    Such bullshit will only 'never happen' so long as there are intelligent people sufficiently informed and mobilised to oppose it.
  • by alizard (107678) <alizardNO@SPAMecis.com> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:46PM (#31029966) Homepage
    Craig Mundie, Microsoft's Chief "Research" and "Strategy" Officer really ought to try getting his own R&D shop under control [slashdot.org].

    Maybe he should be back in Redmond trying to fix his company's joke of an R&D process (ZUNE!!!) rather than pontificate at Davos to VIPs who actually might mistake him for somebody with a clue about technology.
  • by gig (78408) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:46PM (#31029968)

    There's no way Windows would pass any kind of Internet-readiness test, it gets viruses and lacks the basic network security features of Unix systems. So it is weird to hear this guy say our Internet "cars" need certification.

    Do you think you need to take a test to use an iPad? The reason so many XP are out there is the massive user training to go to a newer Windows nets no productivity benefit, yet people trade in their old phones for iPhone and without any training the Web browser and a couple of key apps make them immediately more productive.

    Apple is working hard so computing is easy, the Unix community is working hard so computing is safe, and Microsoft says you need to take a test and get a license.

  • by Kell Bengal (711123) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:48PM (#31029978)
    Which is all well and good until the philosopher kings who wisely and benignly watch over the accreditation process are replaced by assinine bureaucrats in the pocket of lobby groups and special interests.

    Suddenly P2P programs can't get accredited anywhere, regardless of their legitimate use because they 'don't meet standards' or other such vague explanation, and exorbitant fees are charged for processing applications that cut the smaller players out of the market.

    I would oppose any measure that seeks to control access to the internet. I'll gladly tolerate spam and phishers if it means I can do what I goddamned well please with the internet I pay for.
  • Funny (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@gma i l . c om> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @08:54PM (#31030022) Homepage Journal
    I cannot count the number of times I have seen variations of this kind of idea here in the Comments section of Slashdot. It's funny how the same idea stated by MS is quite suddenly reprehensible...
  • by Spykk (823586) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @09:04PM (#31030100)
    Something tells me that if there was a license required for internet use the most common way to lose it would be involve bittorrent...
  • Re:Proof (Score:4, Insightful)

    by electrons_are_brave (1344423) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @09:05PM (#31030102)
    Look on the bright side - if Microsoft say using the internet should be licienced like driving a car, then we could sue them like we can sue a defective car manufacturer.
  • by sustik (90111) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @09:33PM (#31030268)

    I think it would be even better if we mandate a security licence for designing, implementing and deploying operating systems/web browsers/etc that access the network.

    For example, if you tried that for a couple of decades and could not get it right, then maybe your licence should be revoked and reinstated only after proving you code correct and only in a limited market first. (For example, desktops only, no laptops, no wireless etc.)

    I really hope this will get traction!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 04, 2010 @09:42PM (#31030324)

    They won't get away with Windows-only, but they could require that you get your OS from a certified vendor. For the Linux crowd that means Red Hat Enterprise Linux ($$$) and friends.

    They could require some sort of DRM, perhaps with crypto signing that covers everything from the boot loader (checked by BIOS) down to the apps (only signed apps can make network connections).

  • by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Thursday February 04, 2010 @10:23PM (#31030580) Homepage Journal

    Seems like there are a lot of more important ones that should get priority.

    Do you plan to put people in jail for having children or take their children from them?

    Maybe freedom means some people fail.

  • by leeosenton (764295) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @10:26PM (#31030602)
    Does he mean to imply that driving licenses have kept morons off the roads? I'm not so sure it is working around here...
  • Re:Questions (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Voyager529 (1363959) <voyager529 AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday February 04, 2010 @10:52PM (#31030764)

    I had very similar thoughts...that, and the fact that the RIAA/MPAA would just *LOVE* a system that matches identities with IP addresses and could derivatively add "unlicensed data transmission", "allowing an unlicensed minor to go online", "unreasonable network congestion", and any number of other crimes to file sharing. Oh...and bucks to beans that they would add questions like "downloading music and movies is: A.) a good idea, but only if you pay for it B.) a guaranteed way to get viruses, C.)piracy (except in the case of A), D.) All of the above" to the test.

  • Re:we need a law? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Thoguth (203384) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @10:56PM (#31030782) Homepage

    You know, this isn't really a response to you, but while reading your post it occurred to me that any company *can* make a network that sits on top of the internet, to which all those rules apply. If Microsoft wants to create a Microsoft network of some kind, they can implement any restriction they want ... maybe the licensed, approved-user-only model will be compelling. With the XBox, MS already controls a platform pretty well, and ... well, to tell the truth, XBoxLive or whatever the network is that you play games on is a MS only network that MS controls the hardware and the access to. So if MS really believes in it, why not require a license to access the MS Xbox internet?

    Man, a license for the internet ... the stupidity, it burns.

  • by dangitman (862676) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @11:05PM (#31030860)

    But he's saying it's the internet that needs a license, not computers. So having computers that just did online things would not solve his perceived problem, but worsen it. To solve his problem, you'd need computers that refuse to connect to the web unless you had a license.

    Basically, I think his comments reflect Microsoft's lingering fear of the internet - because Microsoft controls the desktop, and the web is a threat to that control.

  • Re:we need a law? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Locutus (9039) on Thursday February 04, 2010 @11:24PM (#31030984)
    You are making the mistake of thinking this has anything to do with stopping bad guys. They are losing control of the primary computing device people use so they would really like to have some control of who does what on the network. More signs of the brilliance found at One Microsoft Way, Redmond WA.

    LoB
  • by StrategicIrony (1183007) on Friday February 05, 2010 @01:27AM (#31031860)

    Maybe freedom means some people fail.

    While I sense this post is primarily founded in snarky sarcasm, I have to point out how profoundly insightful that phrase is.

    Freedom means some people fail.

    Alas, that is what is lost on so many....

  • by VShael (62735) on Friday February 05, 2010 @03:43AM (#31032418) Journal

    Interestingly, this is the exact opposite of Open Source, or perhaps Wikipedia.

    Have you BEEN to wikipedia lately?

    The moderators there LOVE control.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Friday February 05, 2010 @04:17AM (#31032558) Journal

    lacks the basic network security features of Unix systems.

    Wait, what? I know in the past windows security was a joke, but what basic network security features does it lack? In Windows 7 you don't run as administrator by default, and it comes with a firewall. Permission levels have been there for a long time. What security features are you talking about?

  • by tehcyder (746570) on Friday February 05, 2010 @10:30AM (#31034824) Journal

    Freedom means some people fail.

    And justice means that you help them recover from that failure and maybe do better next time, not leave them swinging in the wind.

Chemist who falls in acid is absorbed in work.

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