Microsoft Exec Calls For 'Driver's License For The Internet'

from the what-a-bad,-bad-idea dept

It's been nearly ten years since we first heard the idea that there should be some sort of driver's license for the internet, and it's no less ridiculous a concept now than it was then. However, it's still brought up every now and then. The latest, as sent in by Marcus Carab is that Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, Craig Mundie, is suggesting an internet driver's license and a special WHO for the internet, as a method of fighting back against bad actors online:
Mundie and other experts have said there is a growing need to police the internet to clampdown on fraud, espionage and the spread of viruses.

"People don't understand the scale of criminal activity on the internet. Whether criminal, individual or nation states, the community is growing more sophisticated," the Microsoft executive said.

"We need a kind of World Health Organization for the Internet," he said.

"When there is a pandemic, it organizes the quarantine of cases. We are not allowed to organize the systematic quarantine of machines that are compromised."

He also called for a "driver's license" for internet users.

"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."
These are the kind of ideas people have when they haven't bothered to think through the consequences of what they're saying. It's unlikely any kind of WHO would be particularly effective. We already have various security companies that have a strong profit motive to do the same thing, and they're failing (miserably). Setting up some sort of government agency to do the same thing? That sounds like a bureaucratic mess.

And an internet driver's license is even more ridiculous. Unlike a car, the internet is something that people have to use all the time. No driver's license is going to stop people from getting suckered by scammers. Sure, more education could be helpful, but any sort of requirement that they need to pass a test won't stop people from getting on the internet and doing something stupid. If anything, it will give people a false sense of security online. Yes, there are issues with scammers online, but we're not going to fix them with some bureaucracy and forcing people to take a proficiency test.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    thublihnk (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Honestly, I think you're wrong about the internet driver's license. I mean, it wouldn't be a direct translation (I sure as hell wouldn't have wanted to wait until I was 16 to be able to use the internet) but increased and mandated education would be helpful in reducing some of the crap that happens all the time on the 'net.

    You say 'unlike a car, the internet is something that people have to use all the time'. Well, I'd argue that the similarities are actually pretty close. One CAN live without both the internet or a car, but their capabilities are extremely limited. Administering said license would be a different story, however. I have no idea how one would do that but like most business model questions that are brought up here, a reasoned, measured solution can't be that far away.

    Honestly, I could've been saved a lot of trouble with the 'net from some sort of mandated government education program, both from having to hold my mother's hand and teach her every step of the way, and from a few pretty major internet slip-ups that I really should have avoided myself. (I was young, there was a credit card involved)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      fishbane, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:47am

      Re:

      I think you need to read the part of Mike's post over again where he said "These are the kind of ideas people have when they haven't bothered to think through the consequences of what they're saying."

      If you think people buying and selling credit card numbers online is a problem, imagine the market you'll be creating out of whole cloth for forged or stolen "internet driver's licenses"! Don't tell me this won't be a problem - we can't stop forged real driver's licenses _now_, and the first things that sort of looked like what we now call driver's licenses came into being over 100 years ago.

      And that's only one implication.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        thublihnk (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:57am

        Re: Re:

        I honestly think forged internet driver's licenses is the least of anyone's concerns here. I don't think anyone on either side of this discussion is terribly concerned about that.

        You seem very concerned about the considerations of implications, but have you considered the implications of faked internet driver's licenses? (Or lack therof?)

        Completely ignore the fact that I really wasn't arguing for a definitive internet thumbprint or ID card (which I DO think is a bad idea), just a bit of required internet education, and again your argument falls short.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Hephaestus (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Nerd Rage ... perhaps you should this article its from right here on tech dirt not 3 hours ago called "You Cant Get Rid Of Anonymity Online, Even If You Wanted To"

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          identicon
          fishbane, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:49pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Assuming one could actually stop this at "a little bit of education", which it wouldn't, why tie this to some sort of newly conceived ID? Because without that, you'd have no way of requiring it. As in, you need a mandated credential for the right to buy broadband, or use Wifi at a coffee shop or whatever, otherwise you can't exclude people who don't have it.

          Now, two things happen: that credential becomes valuable to people who want to do bad things, and you've turned an "Educational program" that either has to be so watered down it is useless or sufficiently intrusive that lots of people won't pass it and turned it into a black market. Honestly, you should care about that, even if you won't - using government programs to make new black markets is a bad, bad idea.

          The second thing you've done is created a hook to hang lots of other ideas on. Sexting kids? Take their license away! Have a problem with libel, shady stock advice, or people pissing on religions? Now there's a hook to hang a law to require message boards to collect "license numbers". It doesn't solve the problem (see the new black market, above), but it is a nightmare for speech. Don't say it won't happen - driver's licenses started out as a registration tax, and now indicate organ donation status and are a way to encourage people to register to vote. Why organ donation voting? Because licenses are easy choke points on which to hang lots of other things, similar or not.

          Again, you're really not thinking this through.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Kathy (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 3:22am

      Re:

      As for the internet? Some kind of license wouldn't work and would only be something somebody else would identity steal.

      Also, It's slightly off topic but in responding to your remark about car ownership I'm so much better off without a car. I live in a city that has a medium (but not robust) transportation network so I walk a bike a fair amount - yes even in the winter. Far from being "extremely limited" - I have been MORE enabled and have greater freedom without one I have found. I plan my day ahead, get at least 2 miles a day of walking exercise related to work and pleasure, and don't have to worry about drinking if I stay out late at a party. I network with individuals who do drive to "rideshare" when needed, I'm so much more organzized and functional because I "think" and behave in smarter ways. Lose the car -> get smarter!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:51am

        Re: Re:

        I plan my day ahead, get at least 2 miles a day of walking exercise related to work and pleasure, and don't have to worry about drinking if I stay out late at a party.

        Statistically speaking, you're 8 time more like likely to get killed walking drunk than driving drunk, per mile. Start worrying.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Nick Coghlan (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 8:34am

      Re:

      You can see why the analogy doesn't actually work when you think about the enforcement aspect.

      How is the requirement to have a driver's license when driving a car enforced? Easy: police have the power to pull someone over and ask to see their license. Depending on country, people may be required to have their license with them whenever they're driving, or they may have a period of time after being pulled over to present their license at a police station (with the registered owner of the vehicle being notified that this is the case). You can drive without a licence, but you risk getting busted for it.

      How would any similar enforcement regime work for the internet? A digital license wouldn't work since it couldn't be tied to a specific person. And hopefully people can see the rather obvious flaws in the idea of giving the police permission to enter houses in order to check internet licenses.

      Without a viable enforcement mechanism, any kind of internet license would be useful (and I don't believe a viable enforcement mechanism is possible in a modern democratic nation).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      ROFL @ Needs gov't to police him, Feb 8th, 2010 @ 9:09am

      "Honestly, I could've been saved a lot of trouble with the 'net from some sort of mandated government education program, both from having to hold my mother's hand and teach her every step of the way, and from a few pretty major internet slip-ups that I really should have avoided myself. (I was young, there was a credit card involved)"

      So, instead of helping your mom out, you want Uncle Sam to do that (you'll pay something in taxes for that) and you wish you had Uncle Sam there to keep you warm and cozy.

      There are plenty of socialist (true socialist, not this crap the 'pubs are calling socialism) countries out there. I suggest China. They'll keep you safe.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Delve, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 2:42am

      Re:

      So what if you made mistakes and you had to teach your mother how to use the computer! That has nothing to do with rights of the rest of us, you self-absorbed narcissist!!!!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    lavi d (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:19am

    Duplex

    "If you want to drive a car you have to have a license to say that you are capable of driving a car..."

    That whole two-way communication thing is scary isn't it, Marcus?

    It was alright when the people were just blasted day-and-night from radio and TV.

    But now that they are raising their little fists (sometimes in frighteningly large numbers) against their corporate masters, it's getting a bit tense.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:25am

    Sigh

    ""We need a kind of World Health Organization for the Internet," he said."

    *Facepalm!*

    Why in the world would you wish for such a horrible, horrible organization such as another WHO type agency upon the peoples of the world? And why would you even USE that as an example? Even if you believe the WHO is entirely benign, how is this not just BEGGING for those who are critical of the WHO to not immediately be against such a proposition?

    If the analogy holds true, this digital WHO would be mostly funded by it's member states (meaning the United Nations, don't get me started on the horribleness of THAT group of globalists), private donors organizations (The Bill Gates Foundation seems a likely choice amongst others, as they also are a huge donor for the WHO), and, the best one for last, Internet Security firms (the WHO's biggest contributor is the Pharma industry, how's THAT for a conflict of interests?).

    The level of munipulation and nepotism that will occur within such an organization will be ASTOUNDING....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    LumpyDog (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:27am

    A license to surf would also take care of that pesky online-anonymity thing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    davebarnes (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:28am

    You need a DRIVER's license because

    you can kill someone with your car.
    You cannot kill someone with your browser.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:08am

      Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

      Read 'Daemon' by Daniel Suarez (yes i know it is fiction) we are not that far off ;)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Anon (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:14am

      Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

      You can't kill someone with a browser, but a stupid user clicking on a link in their email can certainly kill corporate security as well as the internal corporate network.

      I'd support requiring an internet drivers license for university and corporate networks, most of which already have an equivalent anyway.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Matt R, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:33am

      Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

      Took someone long enough to point that out. My thoughts exactly...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      MBraedley (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:25am

      Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

      You beat me to it.

      A drivers license is to prove that you have the skill to not hurt someone else. It says nothing about hurting yourself (although it is implied).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Robert A. Rosenberg, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:10pm

      Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

      "You cannot kill someone with your browser."

      Tell that to the mother of the girl who killed herself due to Facebook postings from a faked persona created by her rival's mother.

      While I agree with your claim in general, there are always exceptions.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        just some dude, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:25pm

        Re: Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

        Sorry thats bull, will i need a license to write a letter now, or to paint a sign that says whatever about my neighbors kid. If people wanna do stupid thing they will do stupid things. We are setting a bad precedent by accepting this as a solution, we dont need big brother watching our lives by way of big companies. Soon we will need a license to walk on public streets.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Splain (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:57pm

          Re: Re: Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

          You are just avoiding the facts, the goverment has regulated anything the want to, because the people of this country don't stand up and stop it, and if the majority of people decide that you need a Lic to write a letter or paint a sign and by BTW that sign you painted would be slander or liable not sure. But that is the way of the world.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          Splain (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:01pm

          Re: Re: Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

          Oh, by the way you do need a Lic if your an adult to walk the streets, anyone over 18 years old requires ID at all times in public, state laws, look it up.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            just some dude, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 12:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

            the law states that if one has ID and ask to present it by PD he must, but there is no law saying that you must have or carry. Hey idiot if your jogging and you didn't bring your wallet is it a crime, no. Againg oly if you give a false name, that is the only crime.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            •  
              icon
              Splain (profile), Feb 7th, 2010 @ 10:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

              Hey dumbass "THE LAW STATES YOU MUST CARRY ID AT ALL TIMES" If I were you I would check my facts before I maid myself look as stupid as you do.

               

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 8:50pm

        Re: Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

        Tell that to the mother of the girl who killed herself due to Facebook postings from a faked persona created by her rival's mother.

        She was killed by HERSELF.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      sunny, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 11:44am

      Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

      yes becauseif your drunk surfing or fall asleep you can alter life bylosing agame
      this web is alll tangled with bugs and viruses that are killing people without knowing it reality is what happens is they end up on different planes with artificial reality that scares people to death in their sleep this is theworks of the antichrist and theway the evil corrupt japnese shadow government iscontrolling society or atleast was till i snuck in the backdoor likeathief in the night an stole it back

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      sunny, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 11:44am

      Re: You need a DRIVER's license because

      yes becauseif your drunk surfing or fall asleep you can alter life bylosing agame
      this web is alll tangled with bugs and viruses that are killing people without knowing it reality is what happens is they end up on different planes with artificial reality that scares people to death in their sleep this is theworks of the antichrist and theway the evil corrupt japnese shadow government iscontrolling society or atleast was till i snuck in the backdoor likeathief in the night an stole it back

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    The Establishment sure is getting nervous at all the peons who are talking, thinking, learning, and doing for themselves in the medium of the Internet. If only there were some way they could reduce the 'net to an appliance, like a TV, that could passively propagandize us through the use of corporate "gatekeepers." Hmmm, how to do that?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    senshikaze (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:33am

    and if Microsoft had their way, an internet drivers license would only work on a WinPC running IE. fuck that.

    I do think there should be more education, normal users are, frankly, damned idiots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:35am

    By the way, technically you don't need a government "license" to drive a car, you need a government license to drive a car on government roads. No government owns the Internet, so Microsoft and others proposing licenses, STFU.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    REM(RND) (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:38am

    I can't surf 55

    As a small-town techie, I am both for an against such a thing.

    Firstly, I agree because most of the problems I encounter are usually due to the most inane of happenstances. Things that, if they were forced to take a simple class, could've been avoided. Simple things like deleting files, how to open certain files, and why they always get a virus after surfing around on Myspace.com.

    On the other hand, if it weren't for them making these mistakes, I would not have this source of income.

    I would be for a discount card. Take a class voluntarily, learn about your computer, know the difference between RAM and storage space, and you get a card that all techies would acknowledge and give a discount on repairs. No card? Full price. But then you'd have issues with people making copies of them. But if the card were made in such a way that it was not impossible to copy (face it, that's impossible) but very difficult and would require much expertise, then you'd be deserving of said discount, so kudos.

    Seriously, how many of us do or want to charge extra when we see the computer is using XPSP2 and IE5? Let alone WinME?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:38am

    Arguments

    So nobody breaks the law or commits a crime if they have a driver's license?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:42am

    since when is not having a license physically stopping you from driving a car?

    an alternative that might not be a bad idea is for microsoft to set up some kind of warning letter/test when people first open IE on their new computers. Just to inform them a bit more...but I can see how that could still be pretty annoying

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Shawn (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:22am

      Re:

      Ya think Apple will let Microsoft setup the warning letter on the millions of iPhones they sell ditto Google droid?

      smartphones are already one of the fastest groing gadgets going and I doubt it is slowing...

      Do I need a license if I don't use a phone or a browser? I use my xbox on the internet every day. When the Boxee Box comes out is there a new 'test' I need to take before I plug that in?

      Stupid idea is stupid ;)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 4:56pm

        Re: Re:

        why would apple let microsoft do absolutely anything to their iphone is a more pertinent question.

        not saying you need a license for anything. phone, browser, xbox, playstation whatever. just sayin that throwin a little info about fraud/internet security towards a new computer owner couldnt hurt

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Laura, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Which machines?

    "...We are not allowed to organize the systematic quarantine of machines that are compromised."
    What OS is running on most of these compromised machines? Is this a way to get gov't to take the heat off of Microsoft Windows security?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Fred McTaker (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:01pm

      Re: Which machines?

      I think you're on the right track here. Just imagine following through on this analogy, and then regulating any computers and Operating Systems allowed to run on the Internets, the same ways that cars on roads are regulated. They have to meet certain minimum reliability and safety criteria. Microsoft's software would have to be eliminated from the market on day one! Woohoo!

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 8:15pm

        Re: Re: Which machines?

        They have to meet certain minimum reliability and safety criteria. Microsoft's software would have to be eliminated from the market on day one! Woohoo!

        Not if M$ is setting the standards, which they probably would be.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:02am

    Hold on...

    "We already have various security companies that have a strong profit motive to do the same thing"

    Well....kind of. But think of how much of a profit motive those same security companies have to ensure that malware and all the rest continues to exist. It's the same as with our healthcare industry: There is far less money in cures to diseases compared with moderate treatments.

    And I have no problem believing that at least a portion of our ailments, both physical and digital, were purposefully created by those that battle them in the interest of profits....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Fred McTaker (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:15pm

      Re: Hold on...

      This reminds me of an early Chris Rock stand-up riff that I love. I'm not sure how accurate this quote is but it gives the basic idea:

      "There's no money in a cure. They'll give you a treatment. That's how drug dealers work, they get you on the come back."
      - Chris Rock

      I'm sure there's a way to restructure this joke that includes security companies, especially with antivirus software.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    IshmaelDS (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    Anyone else realize that you would never be able to mandate this kind of thing globally? I mean it's a stupid idea to start with, but there will always be countries that will refuse to implement something like this anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    :), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:12am

    It is ridiculous...

    ...but there are morons really considering something like that.

    People who don't get a license will be forbidden to access their bank accounts? governments sites? not be able to file electronic tax reports?

    Yep I see it working LoL

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Comboman (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:13am

    License to Drive

    You don't need a license if you're driving only on private property, you only need a license if you wish to use government-funded public roads. Therefore, if the government plans to fund the entire internet (including the "last mile" to my house), then I'll gladly apply for an internet license. If I have to pay for the internet, then the government can piss off.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    I think we should have to copy a government agency on everything we do: email, browser history, purchase history (oh, that's right they already have that).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Burgos, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:18am

    Well, Why Not

    Mundie and other experts have said there is a growing need to police the internet to clampdown on fraud, espionage and the spread of viruses.

    Considering that most viruses, trojans, keyloggers and the like operate on Microsoft's products, I'm not averse to having an Internet Driver's License if getting one means nobody drives a Windows.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    AJ, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    Helmet

    All this time I didn't know you had your own blog. Noted and bookmarked... thanks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Danny (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    My deposit to this conversation1

    So, when I go to an ATM, am I supposed to determine whether it is connected via the Internet to know whether I have to be licensed to use it? And if I am not licensed, am I breaking the law?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Virtual licensing vs. physical licensing

    Besides being a bad idea in theory, requiring a "internet license" would be an exercise in futility in practice. If you don't have a license in the "real world," whether it's for a vehicle, gun, or whatever, when you get caught without the necessary license, you are physically caught, and can be identified by witnesses. If you were phishing or even just posting comments to TechDirt w/o an internet license, how would you get caught? They trace your IP address? Even if you were stupid enough not to use a proxy, as Mike frequently points out that's not proof of anything. Say a parent is licensed, but their teenager isn't. How could anyone tell if they were on the family computer which family member was using it? Special government designed software? Good luck with that. You think the court system is backlogged now, just wait and see what happens if this genius idea ever gets pushed through.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Damian (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:59pm

      Re: Virtual licensing vs. physical licensing

      "How could anyone tell if they were on the family computer which family member was using it?"

      I notice that this is the exact same problem with copyright infringment notices. The I.P. address only records the computer, not the user.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        identicon
        duh, Oct 7th, 2010 @ 11:46am

        Re: Re: Virtual licensing vs. physical licensing

        they might require a eye scan or face reconition using web cam . The point is they are trying to control our speech. Becuase people are waking up to their little game .

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    :), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Segregation.

    "literacy test" = Internet Driver's License

    Those ideas also translate into segregation.

    And the police would love anything like that.

    February 3, 2010 4:00 AM PST
    Police want backdoor to Web users' private data

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:40am

    Of course...

    ...since M$ has got the gov't in their pocket, they would wind up in the driver's seat of any such organization. Then they could make it illegal to use internet software that didn't meet certain internet "safety standards" that, of course, would just so happen to match M$ products.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:58am

      Re: Of course...

      And I'm sure Microsoft would swing it so that any such license would require one to show proficiency with Microsoft products. (It's bad enough that they're doing that in public schools now.)

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Chris in Utah (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 10:48am

    Orwell strikes again

    And there will be one New World Order. And it will have three areas of control; Health, police & information.

    Wake up! - Rage against the machine

    My url link has a pdf of the Orwell book 1984 I suggest you take a read.

    To Mike: This article need to be shared with infowars Mike if you want to submit it to Alex.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    chris (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:11am

    it's a great idea because...

    because i am smarter than everyone so clearly my time is more valuable than everyone else's and shouldn't be wasted by people's stupidity.

    society already ruined the highway system by letting morons on it, something should really be done to protect the internet from the same rabble.

    the internet is a place for college educated white males to argue about star trek and enacting jim crow like restrictions to keep everyone else out will make everything better.

    this is the greatest idea ever. nothing could possibly go wrong.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:25am

      Re: it's a great idea because...

      "the internet is a place for college educated white males to argue about star trek and enacting jim crow like restrictions to keep everyone else out will make everything better"

      Well, to be fair, us college educated white folks are just intimidated by the size of the black users' avatars....

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Girlnextdoor, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Microchoad

    Lemme guess.
    Microsoft would be in charge policing the Internet and collecting the fees for the retarded license?
    And because they were the 'law', we would all have to subscribe to their products to use the Internet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    I CALL for a drivers liscense for OPERATING SYSTEM VENDORS

    yes we need to curtail rampant bad designs and those corporaions that continue to take the rights and freedoms away form citizens.
    when the revolution comes i'll be betting the entire microsoft team runs away like lil babies rather then actually fight for there company to control the world

    i hear ballmer wants to change his name to pinky
    and bill gates wants to change his to half-brain

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Overcast (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    "People don't understand the scale of criminal activity on the internet. Whether criminal, individual or nation states, the community is growing more sophisticated," the Microsoft executive said.

    Nation States? So you're going to convince China or North Korea to get a 'web driver's license'?

    lol

    I'd rather just not use it to be honest. And I'm not one that engages in any criminal activity on the web.

    I don't need the internet that bad.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    John, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    A good idea in theory

    First, a drivers license doesn't prevent accidents or stop people from running red lights, but getting a license proves you've passed some level of proficiency and you've proven you can handle the responsibility of driving on the road.

    When someone gets a computer for the first time, they have no idea was virus are or how they can be infected with "helpful" toolbars (meaning: spyware) by browing Facebook or MySpace.

    An Internet "drivers license" would be a good idea in that it would educate new people about the dangers out there and show people how to install basic anti-virus software.
    But the trick is how to administer a license like this and how to get people to actually get the license, rather than buying a fake license.

    Plus, once people learn about the dangers, would a license like this put security companies out of business? If enough people learn to scan their own computers, why will they need GeekSquad to do a $39.99 "cleaning" for them? Think of all the tech jobs that will be lost!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:52am

    hackity hack hack

    and your out of the track
    and lows and beholds your id is now bolds
    we shall ever know the sky and the space
    as we take you and your money and id for the race

    get teh hint BAD , too costly, and as australia is finding out JUST UNDOABLE

    its like putting one person fro evry country into a room and tell them to come up with a unniversal greeting for aliens

    come back in 5 years they prolly have killed them selves

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Jizzle, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:26pm

    seriously?

    Comparing using the internet to driving a car? Yes you need a license to drive a car so you don't kill someone with your car. Quite a bit different when using the internet don't you think?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:42pm

    Yes, because the lack of a driver's licence has stopped people from driving.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Brassy Dickerson is right

    ............................................________
    ....................................,.-‘”. ..................``~.,
    .............................,.-”...................................“-. ,
    .........................,/...............................................”:,
    ................ .....,?......................................................,
    .................../................ ...........................................,}
    ................./................................... ...................,:`^`..}
    .............../...................................................,: ........./
    ..............?.....__.........................................:`.........../
    ........ ...../__.(.....“~-,_..............................,:`........../
    .........../(_....”~,_........ “~,_....................,:`........_/
    ..........{.._$;_......”=,_.......“-,_.......,.-~-,},.~ ”;/....}
    ...........((.....*~_.......”=-._......“;,,./`..../”............../
    ...,,,___.`~, ......“~.,....................`.....}............../
    ............(....`=-,,.......`.............. ..........(......;_,,-”
    ............/.`~,......`-...................................../
    ........ .....`~.*-,.....................................|,./.....,__
    ,,_..........}.>-._................ ...................|..............`=~-,
    .....`=~-,__......`,.................................
    .... ...............`=~-,,.,...............................
    ................................`:,,........ ...................`..............__
    .....................................`=-,...................,% `>--==``
    ........................................_..........._,-%.......`
    ..................... ..............,

    When you can't do things like adopt a HTML browser, kill Netscape, and further innovate, why not create a new business opportunity and legislate it?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/04/opinion/04brass.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 12:48pm

    Craig Mundie is the Chief Technical Offi...

    An error was encountered while processing your request.

    [The pizza you're looking for is not found]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Vanox, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:11pm

    Business vs Personal

    A course on computers for those who do not have that kind of knowledge is not a bad idea... Government funded course? I would say no to that.

    Anyway, if you need a license, how would doing research on the internet for your business come into play? Would one have to have a Business Internet License and a Personal Home License? There are a whole set of issues if you had to have multiple ones for both work and home.

    As others have said, a new black market will open up for these types of licenses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2010 @ 8:26am

      Re: Business vs Personal

      That is exactly what will happen. It will definitely be a tiered market. A User's license will require a nominal fee that will probably consist of a 1-hour class where any yutz without a felony could pass. However, the Business-grade license will most likely cost into the thousands. With a completely pristine credit check and will thus preclude anyone from lower incomes from attempting to make the next big thing. So much for innovation.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    How would this system prevent automated licensing, or license spoofing by something like a botnet or other automated system? Any hacker worth their salt would jump at the chance to prove just how worthless and vulnerable this idea is. Would we be required to provide DNA? Who the hell would pay for that? Who would maintain/protect that info.
    This whole idea sounds like Pandora's can of worms!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

      Re:

      Would we be required to provide DNA? Who the hell would pay for that?

      You would, of course (discounts available with the purchase of Microsoft products).

      Who would maintain/protect that info.

      Microsoft, of course.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 1:53pm

    Microsoft Windows isn't software, it's crashware.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 2:00pm

    Nonsense

    So if this guy got his wish and everyone had to get an Internet License, would this tie you to using only one computer? What about your phone or your work computer? What if you were at your friend's house? Would it be illegal to use his computer to look up some movie times? Or to grab your girlfriend's iPhone to look for a restaurant while she drives?

    I'd expect this kind of assholery from some ancient politician who doesn't understand the technical issues involved, but from a guy who's involved in running Microsoft? Really?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 3:10pm

    New Proposal

    I propose a license for corporate officers.
    Specifically, to determine if they know when it is better to keep their mouths shout and be considered ignorant, rather than open their mouths and leave no doubt.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 3:37pm

    You know ...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 5:51pm

    "Microsoft Exec Calls For 'Driver's License For The Internet'"

    Lets see... M$ Stupifies their software so that any moron on the planet can use it. And only NOW realizes there are people out there too stupid to use a computer? FU M$.. Your too stupid to call yourselves executives. Hey look! Anyone with an IQ under 5.0 can be a M$ executive! ;P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Splain (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:16pm

    Internet License

    There is a simple way to do this, with each new computer, motherboard ect.. you would get and app for the lic, and then you would have to get a biometric reader say thumb print or something else. So each time you accessed the internet your biometric info would be sent to a data base with your info to match it, well you get the point. Don't get me wrong I would not like it any more then you, but it will happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      btr1701 (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 6:35pm

      Re: Internet License

      > with each new computer, motherboard ect.. you would get and
      > app for the lic, and then you would have to get a biometric reader
      > say thumb print or something else.

      So what's to stop someone from using his/her friend's computer without getting a license, etc.?

      > Don't get me wrong I would not like it any more then you, but it will happen.

      No, it won't.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Splain (profile), Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:21pm

        Re: Re: Internet License

        You would still need the bio info, what are you going to do cut off there thumb or remove there eye, and at least, whom ever owns the computer and Lic would be responsable for who ever uses there computer because the owner would have to connect to the internet, it will happen some day.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        •  
          icon
          btr1701 (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:31am

          Re: Re: Re: Internet License

          > You would still need the bio info, what are you going to do
          > cut off there thumb

          No, you just find a computer that someone has left on and use it.

          > it will happen some day.

          Not unless the repeal the Constitution and our entire evidence-based legal system.

           

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Internet License

            Not unless the repeal the Constitution and our entire evidence-based legal system.

            Why? All they have to do is ignore it when it suits them like they already do.

             

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Someone, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 7:38pm

    If this was required, there would be far less people online, and most of the "Cheezburger" sites would be in trouble.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bor, Feb 5th, 2010 @ 11:12pm

    Most places, you can rent a woodchipper without "government mandated education". I own a framing nailer, I didn't have to provide any sort of ID or proof of competence to buy it.

    But I should need an Internet licence for my own protection?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 7:48am

      Re:

      I own a framing nailer, I didn't have to provide any sort of ID or proof of competence to buy it.

      Yet (just wait).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    THEORANGEBOX, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 1:47am

    Craig Mundie is an Idiot

    Craig Mundie is an idiot with a mouth, he should have gotten his license to speaK.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    techflaws.org (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 2:51am

    glass-house/stone

    Of all people someone from Micros~1 is demanding this, LOL! Easieast way to make the net safer: deny access to crappy M$ software like IE. Problem solved.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Dan, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 8:59am

    Yes, more Beaurocracy , more government, more taxes, more oversight, more regulation! All so some soccer mom doesn't get a virus and lose her digital photo collection of last years family picnic.

    Corporations and government are always looking for new reasons to help us, and in the process, further regulate the internet. They'd like to see the internet as tightly controlled as real life. No thanks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    monkyyy (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 9:06am

    id bet if these laws pass and work a black market like non-government controlled separate internet would show up with in a mouth in big citys become interconnected in a year and grow to all most everyone besides small towns in 4-5 years

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Levvi, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 9:40am

    And an automobile driver's license is even more ridiculous. Unlike the internet, a car is something that people have to use all the time. No driver's license is going to stop people from smacking into lamp posts. Sure, more education could be helpful, but any sort of requirement that they need to pass a test won't stop people from getting on the highway and doing something stupid. If anything, it will give people a false sense of security on the road. Yes, there are issues with bad drivers, but we're not going to fix them with some bureaucracy and forcing people to take a proficiency test.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      Splain (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 10:52am

      Re:

      It's about money and control thats all if the people of this country would open there eye's and see what libertys have been taken away from them in the last 60 years they would (if they had a backbone) vote all the GOVERMENT OFFICELS out and put non carear (sorry about the spelling) Officels in and stop all the medaling in the normal life of all the people of this country. And they have supened the Constitution it's called the (Patriot Act).

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    ZZMike, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 6:08pm

    Internet license

    That's certainly going to put the Russian and Ukranian hackers out of business.

    If there's any kind of license needed, it's a license to post to Wikipedia.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    thublihnk, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT, I SUCK COCKS

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    K2NE (profile), Feb 6th, 2010 @ 9:14pm

    You may not want to hear this, but...

    The free-wheeling style of the infancy days of the internet are, in many ways, similar to the infancy days of radio, back when licenses were not required and technical competence served as its own "gateway filter" against the irresponsible, incompetent or those with nefarious intent.

    Those days, for the internet, are long past.

    Licensing and self-policing has an excellent model for success -- Amateur Radio. And this is not the first time I've said this. They told me "no, you're crazy" back when I first proposed some sort of testing program and licensing - and that was in ... 1994.

    We had a chance, then, to opt for the Ham Radio model for the internet. "We" decided not to, and as a result, the self-imposed model for the internet has become CB radio. And we all know what a useless pile of nonsense THAT is.

    So... no more need be said, at least by me. Since I am sure these comments will be met by the usual round of flaming and name-calling.

    That's today's internet for you.

    73 DE K2NE

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 1:23pm

      Re: You may not want to hear this, but...

      We had a chance, then, to opt for the Ham Radio model for the internet.

      And what percentage of the population uses Ham Radio? Yeah, that licensing bit sure made it popular and widely used, didn't it?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 4:39pm

      Re: You may not want to hear this, but...

      Yeah, and you should have to have a license to use a telephone, too. You should hear some of the nonsense people spout off on the phone. People use it to spread false rumors and criminals have even been know to use it to commit crimes. That's what the phone system has become.

      Some might say that I'm crazy for saying people should have to have a license to use a phone, but they're just a bunch of flamers and name-callers.

      Flame on...

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Former Marine '69 '72, Feb 8th, 2010 @ 9:09am

      Re: You may not want to hear this, but...

      LOL Bad analogy, why don't people have to have a license to broadcast on their cell phones?

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    smeezekitty, Feb 6th, 2010 @ 10:03pm

    That is so much BULLSH*T.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      icon
      K2NE (profile), Feb 7th, 2010 @ 8:14am

      Re: sneezekitty's comment

      'sneezekitty' responded to my original comment saying:

      "That is so much BULLSH*T."

      In my original comment, I said:

      "I am sure these comments will be met by the usual round of flaming and name-calling.

      That's today's internet for you."

      --------------------------

      I rest my case.

      K2NE

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Bkno, Feb 7th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Not gonna happen

    The government can't even keep illegals from jumpin the border and driving cars illegally, working illegally and illegally obtaining documents to illegally get benefits that are paid for by LEGAL residents.

    This is just funny to read, and absolutely impossible to enforce.. Didn't you see MATRIX????

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    I'LL KILL EVERYONE, Feb 8th, 2010 @ 2:01pm

    If this happens I promise I will murder 100 random people IRL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 9th, 2010 @ 4:37am

    Further Proof

    This is further proof that as in the non-virtual world, the biggest threat is from the United States of America. Because people there are so unbelievably fucking stupid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    chad holbrook, Feb 10th, 2010 @ 12:49pm

    Microsoft Calls for It to be Some else's Fault

    I find it very funny that the "chief research and strategy officer" for Microsoft thinks that we should have a system that keeps us safe from viruses, trojans, and hackers. Wouldn't it be better for him to research and strategic chiefly about fixing those bugs in Windows that let the viruses, trojans, and hackers into my computer in the first place?

    -chad

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Craig Mondie, Oct 7th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    ME

    Shut up you little people . Do what you are told. You will get a permit and you will love it. You will do what you are told. We know whats is best for the world. You are here to serve us. Be thankful that we are allowing you to get a permit. If we find that you are not obeying our wishes we will suspend it. You are not in my class you are scum. See how we made you think you need a permit to drive , you fell for that one too HAHAHA. Suckers you are. You said you wanted change well you are going to get it and it is going to be soon. CM

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This