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Saturday, April 28, 2018

On Unintended Circumstances

There are always unintended consequences,   but what are their risks?  Always suggest a risk analysis to understand precise nature and magnitude over time.

 Unintended Consequences   By Vinton G. Cerf

Vinton G. Cerf is vice president and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google. He served as ACM president from 2012–2014.  Was an an inventor of the Internet.

Communications of the ACM, Vol. 61 No. 3, Page 7

When the internet was being developed, scientists and engineers in academic and research settings drove the process. In their world, information was a medium of exchange. Rather than buying information from each other, they exchanged it. Patents were not the first choice for making progress; rather, open sharing of designs and protocols were preferred. Of course, there were instances where hardware and even software received patent and licensing treatment, but the overwhelming trend was to keep protocols and standards open and free of licensing constraints. The information-sharing ethic contributed to the belief that driving down barriers to information and resource sharing was an important objective. Indeed, the Internet as we know it today has driven the barrier to the generation and sharing of information to nearly zero. Smartphones, laptops, tablets, Web cams, sensors, and other devices share text, imagery, video, and other data with a tap of a finger or through autonomous operation. Blogs, tweets, social media, and Web page updates, email and a host of other communication mechanisms course through the global Internet in torrents (no pun intended). Much, if not most, of the information found on the Internet seems to me to be beneficial; a harvest of human knowledge. But there are other consequences of the reduced threshold for access to the Internet. ... "

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