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October 14, 2003

Cringely Gets Tribal

Cringely puts another foot forward in advocating what I see as the feudal future:

My system is based on a registry of friends because we all participate in
virtual tribes that are geographically dispersed. Every person who wants to have
credit, to make a big purchase, or to board a 747 has to have a list of 10
friends -- people who can vouch for their identity and know how to test it if
needed. That takes us out of the realm of the mother's maiden name, replacing it
with, "What was the nickname I called you in the fourth grade?"
I am Bob, and these are my 10 friends.
They don't even have to be friends -- just people who know you. You don't have
to tell them they are on your list and you can change your list as often as you


Posted by mbowen at October 14, 2003 02:23 PM

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Too easy to defeat.

Posted by: BTD Steve at October 14, 2003 08:59 PM

Isn't this a variation of public key? It's like asking you for signatures of other private people that are in your trusted circle.

Let's say that you are in my trusted circle. You could send a generic message that says 'this is cobb' which is encrypted by you as readable only by me. I publicly declare that you are in my trusted circle. When I swipe my card and enter my pin, (my private key) it has to decrypt your certification of who I am. Depending on how many trustees are required for the transaction, that many validations are made. I maintain my list of trustees at a website.

What we haven't done that we could is allow people to encode their own cardkeys. This is a peripheral that is well affordable by anybody with a computer. It's about time for that.

Posted by: Cobb at October 14, 2003 10:40 PM