Your request for a better metaphor is premature. A
description of the real thing is adequate.
> From reh @
EDU Wed Jan 5 14:07:35 1994
< much deleted >
> Since we still, apparently, have to think of things like net access in
> terms of what precedents have been established about "boundaries" and
> tort statues, it seems to me that a better metaphor is one where we don't
> have a vast gray area.
We have an electronic communications system, researched
and funded from taxes, and now open to the public. Not a house.
No living-rooms, dens, bedrooms, or even wall safes. An electronic
communications system. No one has to move from their chair to
access any host on the net. The medium of data protection is the
software operating on the host. No walls, No cops with guns and
dogs, just zeros and ones in the cpu.
It may seem satisfying to anthropomorphise the net, but
the direction that takes us is away from the purpose of free and
easy access to information. Even the politicians are calling for
an 'Information Super Highway' to set the tone for open access.
The other mistake is that the furhter we get from the truth,
with metaphors and analogies, the more rigid the response from
'outraged and offended' users and administrators becomes.
I don't think anybody makes money by locking up the
information that helps inform decisions. Many for-profit
companies have anonymous ftp, dial-in bulletin boards, etc., and
they manage to handle their proprietary information with secure
Networked file access is here to stay, and even grow.
Don't bemoan the attempt to inform. Set your machines to do what
you want. The software is all out there on the net, much of it
free, and all it takes is spending the time to learn how to use
it to do what you want.
Please, no more houses and bedrooms, huh?