When Cory Doctorow says it may be game over for the open web, we should listen.
We are Huxleying ourselves into the full Orwell
Try as I might, I can’t shake the feeling that 2014 is the year we lose the Web. The W3C push for DRM in all browsers is going to ensure that all interfaces built in HTML5 (which will be pretty much everything) will be opaque to users, and it will be illegal to report on security flaws in them (because reporting a security flaw in DRM exposes you to risk of prosecution for making a circumvention device), so they will be riddled with holes that creeps, RATters, spooks, authoritarians and crooks will be able to use to take over your computer and fuck you in every possible way.
As near as I can work out, there’s no one poised to do anything about this. Google, Apple and Microsoft have all built proprietary DRM silos that backed the WC3 into accepting standardization work on DRM (and now the W3C have admitted the MPAA as a member – an organization that expressly believes that all technology should be designed for remote, covert control by someone other than its owner, and that it should be illegal to subvert this control).
Once this is standardized at the W3C, all the alternative browsers (eg Firefox) will also have to ship closed, opaque, illegal-to-report-vulnerabilities-in software to support it.
And it’s basically all being driven by Netflix. Everyone in the browser world is convinced that not supporting Netflix will lead to total marginalization, and Netflix demands that computers be designed to keep secrets from, and disobey, their owners (so that you can’t save streams to disk in the clear).
We are Huxleying ourselves into the full Orwell.
I’m not kidding about any of this. I can’t sleep anymore. I think it may be game over.