Monthly Archive for December, 2009

2010 wish granted, Liz.

Liz Gannes wrote a post on GigaOM asking for a service that could give her a dashboard for the social web, in 2010.

She writes:

I think it’s about time for a personal dashboard to track and view what happens to what we share online. This would have two primary uses: 1) Privacy: I’d have a better idea of what’s publicly known about myself, and
2) Analytics: Like any content publisher, I’d be interested in checking my stats and trends.

Well Liz, consider your wish granted. Marc Canter suggested the DiSo dashboard almost a year ago in January 2009 and going even further back, Chris Saad two years ago used the Web File System as a visualisation of his vision for what we are advocating at the DataPortability Project.

But in 2009, we’ve seen something even better emerge, which is being shepherded by the Kantara Initiative: the User Managed Access or UMA project.

It’s a protocol being spearheaded by Eve Maler, who is also one of the co-inventors of XML, one of the web’s core technologies and a co-founder of SAML which is one of the major identity technologies around (think OpenID but for enterprise).

It allows you to have a dashboard, where you can manage sites subscribed to your data via URL’s. You can set access rules to those URL’s, like when they expire and what data they can use. It’s like handing web-services a pipe that you can block and throttle the flow of data as you wish, all managed from a central place. Not only does this mean better privacy, but it also satisfies your request for analytics as you can see who is pulling your data.

So now my wish: let’s spread awareness of great efforts like this. 🙂

Why I’m angry

Here’s why my blood is boiling: the Australian government’s Internet filter is getting the green light.

About two years ago, I got a whiff of a stupid policy by the newly elected government. So I wrote a letter to the Minister and complained. The Minister gave me a lame response six months later, and people in the industry didn’t think it was a big deal, like I did.

Turns out they were wrong. A year later after my letter, we received further word about the progression of this policy that would make us comparable to that shining beacon of democracy, China. So this time, I wrote a letter to all of Australia’s senators:

My intended impact was successful: a group of senators holding the balance of power responded to me. What followed as the Silicon Beach community discussed it (which is an informal grouping of Australian tech entrepreneurs) was an uproar, that spilled into the mainstream media. It rattled the government, and so it should have – that’s how democracy works.

The government went into hiding, and now 12 months later they’ve now announced compulsory filtering of the Internet, despite its questionable trials. I’m embarrassed by my nation as this entire process has been a farce, and disgusted at the ignorant, corrupt, and politicking occurring by this government. And the most frustrating thing? Its been two years and this government continues with their lies. As I said nine months ago, this is a cancer that will slowly kill the Internet.. And two years on, its been proven there is nothing we can do but just sit back and watch.