WebCivics
Published in

WebCivics

Choices about the future of Knowledge Governance & alternatives Solutions to what appears to be how VaccinePassports are now being made?

I have recently written about my concerns with respect to the strategies that appear to be underway in relation to technology standards works that I have been instrumentally involved in, at the early stages. Essentially, i’m concerned about the possibility of mankind ending-up on a blockchain(s) because of me.

Protests in Isreal at a stage where very few could be expected to understand the implications…

So, i started by writing an article about my concerns;

And now, i’m trying to write something about how, if these concerns have merit, the problem might be ‘fixed’ (live to fight another battle, etc.). I figured, my concerns should reasonably only be considered, pragmatically, by contrasting the applied ideology of how these works have been employed vs. alternative methods of employing the technology ecosystems; per my underlying intent — in contributing towards the establishment of the works at all. This is in-effect a quickly written initial draft; but i hope its either unnecessary or if the opposite; a step in the right dirction…

With respect to this field of endevour, which relates to AI and how information is managed online in a way that powers societies, socioeconomics, our means to address almost anything present & future; how it is we are made able to intepret the past, and so many other complex things,

I guess, in the simplest of terms; there are two major ‘schools of thought’, one is about ‘globalist’ solutions; where an online product is globally commercialised world-wide, setting up ‘branch offices’ around the world as it grows. The other, is often scorned as ‘protectionist’, but relates to support for sovereign states or nationality; people who don’t understand the underlying technology to how these things are actually made, often think its about some sort of traditional form of database; but that’s because, they don’t understand anything about semantic web, how its grown; and what’s not documented well about the various options that are now possible consequentially.

Some stakeholders consider inter-domestic works to be the worst thing ever for their businesses. That can be understandable; but the stakes at play, are enormous.

(US) elections manipulated by online platform business models economically benefiting fake-news producers

Toilet-paper shortages as people seek safety from COVID-19

These sorts of issues; pale by comparison to what’s at play re: Digital Identity. Microsoft only got involved sometime down the track (after i was prompted by a friend, to make note of the opportunity to extend ‘active directory’), but now, the vaccine may as well be a ‘weeties packet’, to give immense power by clamping a ‘inter-corporate’ controlled ‘data collar’ on humanity, as may mean enormous ‘profit potential’ for the companies, upon us all (golden handcuffs).

Many people now, with the benefit of hindsight, may make various suggestions today; but few were involved back then, when the tools were being made. statements made today, have little impact on the events of the past, which are factually unable to change; only, better understood overtime.

Personally, I am continually subjected to behaviour I consider to be violent in nature, as statements are made abusively; that seemingly demand a similarly formed response, whilst pointing back to facts of history — things, said persons don’t want to acknowledge. I consider these experiences with a degree of philosophical consideration; therein, the problem that appears to be most dangerous to society at large today, is not technology but rather ideology. We can build a world where we are required to serve our tools, or produce tools that are designed to serve us, and more broadly; our natural world, our biosphere & us as part of it, making tech to help humanity…

but that’s not how many who are well funded work to serve, today…

Today, people who made sacrifices to promote the needs of humanity in poverty, are subjected to wrongs by others who believe the money they get for doing the opposite makes them better people… Last thing they want, is to be proven wrong. To be ‘outed’, and they make it so complex, who really understands? the people ‘selling’ it for a profit? often, not even them…

Now, i might be wrong. Perhaps there’s something i don’t understand; but i’m not prepared to do nothing, and then see humanity clamped with a digital identifier linked to a private key they do not have the capacity to ‘control’, or meaningfully benefit from in the same sort of way as is the intended purpose of having done this work, making enormous sacrifices along the way, over a decade (indeed far longer overall); to not say anything because my concerns may not have merit. I have checked with a few ‘associates’ from past, seems i’m not the only person with concerns.

There are only a few people who were involved in this stuff in the beginning stages of it. At the end of the day, a few humans were involved in doing particular things, making particular statements; that were taken-up in good faith by others, in-order for the work to progress. So i’m illustrating my ‘why’.

My statements in seeking to get the works chartered by W3C, in 2015. (links provided here)

And, if my concerns do have merit; a preface styled solution, that might offer a means to figure out how to get past this ‘next step’, and get onto the next.

In 2000, I started to work on an idea about how to manage information online in a way that put human beings at the centre of it. I first called this system an ‘information bank’, or ‘iBank’, networked in a form I initially termed the ‘crescent network’, but was later changed overtime.

My first attempt led to an array of documentation that was formed in a way that created a massive silo. This work was done long before facebook existed, in fact few sites offered ‘log-in’ related services in a way that is commonplace via Web 2.0 applications today.

The problem I found, was that the aggregation strategy sought by investors; was at odds with the purposeful intent of what it was I sought to make, something that would protect a persons interests; at a humanitarian level, a civic and civics level; and at a commercial level, associating their efforts to the meaningful benefit of their works. Overtime I learned about patent pools and all sorts of other associated factors relating to this body of work I started seeking to make, from way back in 2000.

In 2010, life circumstances led me to a situation, combined with the knowledge I had formed over the past decade; including but not limited to, the knowledge of ‘pieces’ that had been developed in a manner that I felt was ‘fit for purpose’ globally, via groups & people, most of whom I did not know at all. I had never been able to amass great wealth, or even enough wealth to buy a home. But life, led me to a situation where in poverty, in a hut out in the country; I became committed to solving some fundamental underlying problems that I felt had repercussive impacts on our society that were simply unacceptable. Choices, about how information that is collected for some legal purposes; was not made available to persons who needed that information, who needed business systems about how information is collected, managed and able to be presented to a court of law to support ‘truth telling’ that I felt — was a massively significant fundamental wrong upon humanity.

So, I started works that led to W3C, the international body for forming global world wide web standards. Initially, this was brought about in relation to a certificate concept; that linked a machine-readable document called a ‘web id’ to a certificate; that I felt was important piece for commerce. This in-turn led to further works, that looked into how to store information in a manner that related to an ecosystem that was called ‘read write web’, but was earlier tested out using server platforms provided by Openlink software called ‘openlink virtuoso’, alongside an educational / repository solution that was called ‘project hydra’ which is now called samvera. In-order to form a working ecosystem that supported communities; there were multiple parts that were required, including a means to support commerce or payments, which in-turn required tooling to validate the identity of persons involved in transactions; which in-turn associated to the means to form tools that could create forms of ‘digital evidence’, that could employ many different forms of digital information or media; in a way, that would result in a capacity to take a ‘claim’ relating to ‘facts’ to a court of law, for any matter that needed to be considered in such a form of venue; alongside many other use-case examples, for different reasons & purposes that still required ‘digital evidence’.

One of My Diagrams from 2013

This entire process was part of an underlying body of work to create a ‘knowledge banking’ framework. The evidentiary tooling is essentially what I thought Credentials or Verifiable Claims, would support; as part of a broader ecosystem, that was not simply about a claim, but rather how the underlying body of information about a persons life; was able to be associated to that person, so that they were provided an online environment that supported human agency & Truth-Telling, as may in-turn be connected to ‘verifiable claims’ or statements of fact as may be tested electronically.

Part of this journey, from a Web Science point of view, was about attenuating the complexity of ‘digital identity’, with tooling; that was sufficiently ‘rich’ via semantics. One of the earlier times i more fully described this (other than the trust factory video) was in my article about SOCIAL INFORMATICS DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS which went into some of the underlying logic about various forms of personhood related schema; as required for a software agent.

On the 29th of October 2013 (per the HTTP Headers, for those who know how to read them) i put together a basic outline here which sought a way to make a sufficiently rich means to define oneself as to reduce dependency on passwords for recovery but moreover, sought to apply the WebID-TLS schema to Devices rather than persons. Projects could be defined using ledgers alongside various ideas about how to deal with natural world aspects. Personas was considered as a means to define personally definable ontologies or schemas providing a means to support how a person wants to form rules about how and what they share with groups, but WebID-TLS did not ‘do it all’.

Later, (HTTP Header Date: 21 Jan 2015 ) i produced: http://dev.webcivics.org/ which illustrated the concepts of RWW (use dummy data to ‘log-in’) that is now called ‘solid’. As was part of all of this, there wasn’t any ‘verifiable claims’ solutions; essential for payments, but broadly required for many things; including, how to deal with media related signatures (inc. biometrics) which would in-turn render support for ‘improved governance’ (including means to resolve various societal issues linked to media); in a manner that considered the growth of the Mico-Project works.

The really critical thing, that became increasingly better understood, was the problem about building solutions that preserved freedom of thought.

in AI terms (powered by ‘ontologies’ such as this one for ‘search’ in relation to healthcare information) — this is about ‘ontological design’ at the operational level.

Herein — these ‘verfiable claims’ tools, were intended to be a constituent of a broader ecosystem…

Broader examples, whilst kinda poorly documented at times, can be found here.

People most often do not understand that W3C does not economically support persons who are contributing towards the growth of new technologies on the basis of ‘helping mankind’, rather, W3C’s standards seek corporations and other institutions who have essential intellectual property, such as patents, to contribute that intellectual property to a W3C Royalty Free standard; and as such, people who work for those companies (paid by those institutions, or funded via Venture Capital for shareholder returns) are the people best equipped to support how standards end-up being defined and documented; even though, there are many different ways technology can be applied — many, that may not be very well documented at all. Particularly if any such form of alternative method — isn’t ‘best suited’ to the ‘desires’ of patent holders and major web companies; from the portals & Web 2.0 global providers; to the companies who produce & provide browsers (in particular).

The challenge in W3C is not to ‘define a product’, but rather, to define open-standards in a way that means its possible to make products, without getting sued; or moreover in a way that means its possible to bring to market at scale.

A very old lesson i learned was to always ensure public works had (known) faults. The old story was, that a luminary, i think it was davinci, but i’m unsure who; wrote patents that always missed a part, so that only a person who properly understood the nature of the invention knew how to make it work.

As these works progressed, the value of bitcoin & other blockchain works started to grow much bigger than its early days when coins were collected by persons who most often wanted to use those coins for sites like silk road. Whilst this is not the case for all persons, it was the case for many.

As this occurred, those who had been involved early ended-up economically benefiting in ways that led to their ability to fund the cost of building businesses, that sought to further the growth of blockchains, that had the capacity to in-turn have a built-in revenue model for them.

Blockchains or decentralised ledgers have an array of very useful features. This is particularly the case, in my opinion, for decentralised ledgers that are not ‘blockchain’ based; but there’s an array of opinions about it.

Therein, in W3C, one of the most remarkable persons / works was HTTPA that provided early leadership, in ways that have augmented since then.

Broadly speaking; The thing that i saw emerging, was the idea that companies could set-up big businesses that through the growth of their blockchains would become increasingly essential; and that the greatest form of ‘golden handcuff’ was human identity. A means to manage the ‘digital identity’ of a person, with their ‘blockchain’, suggesting that the management of the private key required to ensure continual beneficial ownership of that essential ‘identity instrument’ was something that their solution provided the best opportunity to solve.

This was not my opinion, but the thing is; standards are built, they have many different ways they can be implemented; similar in a way to HTML, the standard for web-pages — which leads to all the different webpages working, that are in-turn — all different, different ideologies, different concepts, different forms of creative works, different forms of ‘online infrastructure’.

From my point of view, the ability to create ‘verifiable claims’ or ‘minted’ credentials that were signed by ‘authorities’, which could be any legal entity; but the legal entity most responsible for the statements made in any such claim, would be most trusted by a court of law; which is where the most significant decisions about persons, should be made; in those ‘credentials’ or certificates, that have a series of tamper-evident ‘markings’ in them; the thing about using them every day, is that its sub-optimal to continously send messages across the internet (or the web) detailing to web-servers what a person is doing, based upon the requests being made as a consequence of being. (long sentence, apologies).

To describe this better — In-effect, the participants in a decision tree, human beings most of the time; Whether acting as an agent for a company (a company does not make decisions itself, rather, its the persons who work for a company who make decisions on behalf of, that company) or as a natural person (ie: two people ‘minting a credential’ that says, they were talking; and the recording & perhaps also, transcript, is agreed by them via a credential to say — this happened); in-effect, human beings, in various different types of roles are the active agents (aka “human centric” as noted on credentials lists in feb 2016 here & better described here ) as companies neither make decisions by themselves without human beings; nor can companies go to prison. It is not a company nor government that makes bad decisions, its their employees. Decisions about others have consequences. If those consequences are bad / criminal, then the person who has been harmed should have the right to resolve the problem in a court of law.
This was the fundamental purpose of how ‘verifiable claims’ was designed, from my point of view; working with others, who often had different objectives.

Therein — part of how that may be solved, is by distributing ‘commons’ information; whether it be law, or flora/fauna (inc. AI / Image Regonition signatures, etc.) on different ‘ledgers’, that can be stored locally; so that the ‘software agent’ (often now considered an ‘AI agent’) doesn’t need to make public requests to ‘assess’ or ‘understand’ the context of the instrument.

So fundamentally, i didn’t really have an objection to the technology being built; i just figured, that i didn’t need to go into detail, with a bunch of people who showed me time and time again that they’d take any idea and claim it economically for their own benefit (harming me to ‘defend their right’ to do so in the process, more times than i like to remember); so, i just let it go.

Video i prepared on Christmas Day 2016 for my Trust Factory conference

Code As Law pop’s up as a ‘concept’, not to worry — i think i had that sorted in the approach; As is the case with many parts kinda defined along the way.

But what was needed, was a legal structure that was appropriately defined in such a way that could be employed in a protective and lawful manner, to build solutions that were able to bring to market, an inter-domestic ‘knowledge banking’ industry; that supported the means for persons to be supported, with dignity, via means that made use of our advanced technology for human kind. This was considered in relation also to various ‘flaws’ that were considered with respect to normative standards for the duties of company directors amongst other issues; Yet as was different to the situation in 2010 when i really started-up my works on this ridiculously ideological venture; so many ‘luminaries’ had been involved and were becoming increasingly involved, even a TV Show called ‘silicon valley’ mirrored many ‘experiences’ in wierd and wonderful ways, i thought it was possible, that better progress could be made.

But that’s not what’s happened.

What’s happened, is that a solution, said to be humanities only salvation from the scourge that is Covid-19 — can only be solved, if we build a health information system that requires us to have a ‘digital identity’ built, merely, as a ‘credential’. Will this mean we have a place where we store digital records about our lives, our transactions with others; our lived experiences with others, evidentiary records about how institutions of trust engage with us?

No. it won’t. This ‘vaccine passport’ thing, may well eradicate any opportunity to make anything like that; by cementing the use of technology, for the existing global platforms who collect vast amounts of information about our lives, fail to provide it in a way that would be meaningful for a court of law or means to ensure exploitation and/or abuse of persons is known to have consequences; which would in-turn change behaviours (fewer court-cases),

But in a way, that given the sensitivity of health information; as is sought to be provided to commercial providers; likely both online (uber, tinder, AirBnB, etc.) and offline (gynasiums, cinemas, etc.); leaves all that data for the silos, whilst providing a new type of ‘log-in’ thing, that becomes essential to life.

I am not at all happy about it.

SDG 16.9 by 2030 provide legal identity for all including free birth registrations

There is a massive difference between deploying #DataCollars upon humanity vs. the use of advanced networked technology linked to AI, that supports the growth of personhood, sovereign states whether they be democracies or otherwise; rule of law & human rights or any other ‘rights’, as is distinct in-effect to solutions that focus on the desires of would-be rulers.

The problem that is presented to us, is whether we accept ‘global rule’, by ‘globalists’ or whether we accept a ‘temporary’ solution that breaks seperation of powers. in-order to resolve this problem, the evidence of what happens to human beings as recorded via ICT infrastructure should be independent of government; other than being furnished via domestic infrastructure (by defult) and in-turn, being required by law to respond to domestic proportionate ‘law enforcement requests’ but not as to extinguish access to justice, in association to any and all evidence pursuant to a matter that exists.

A video about the PEO description from Australia, noting the importance of ensuring citizens are able to independently store ‘evidence’ that may not be in the interests of ‘government’ (or government employee) for the benefit of a court; where the means to settle disputes relating to injuries (& law) should be resolved (without violence).

The train has left the station; what can we do about this now?

This is a question i’ve been asking myself. Indeed, i am quite fearful about saying anything about this situation irraspective of my role with it; as there has been a narrative created that is about “comply or crazy” or binarism, as i put it. There is a complete lack of responsibility by those provided by employment a voice; and everyone else, is in-effect told to ‘shut-up’ & comply.

‘reality’ or ‘reality check tech’ is not in-vogue at present, this seems to be a clear choice that is being made by people in society we look-up to, in trust.

There is a very short window / timeframe, in which an alternative may be able to be deployed. I think, that it would need inter-domestic diplomatic negotiations as these ‘instruments’ (or ‘data systems’) need to work internationally — much like GSM Phones enabled for travellers.

Presently; it appears that the focus is in seeking to build a ‘data fabric’ that’s focused on growing the capabilities around ‘health information’ of persons, which is in-turn a higher ‘bar’ (sensitivity, inclusive to considerations relating to people who are famous, or politically / governmentally engaged, etc.) than financial information; the rapid transition between ‘speculation’ to ‘implementation’, appears to be tactical, in my opinion.

regardless; a way that may work, is to issue the ‘credentials’ to businesses or legal personalities; rather than human beings, or ‘natural persons’. Governments (depending on how a countries health system works, without seeking to force models from one country upon others elsewhere); could have an app / ecosystem that supports the needs of their citizens; domestically and abroad, and this could in-turn be used in association to the payment network, which could suppliment existing ‘NFC Functionality’ with QR CODES linked to the legal personalities place of business.

In-turn; the government responsible for the citizen (via citizenship, in-effect), would get the information about where the person is, and provide that business a ‘tick’ without having to produce or provide any further personal info. The way i think this kinda looks is something like the below image, where the top part of the image represents my concerns about how various vendors are seeking to deploy a scalable solution upon humanity; and the lower part of the diagram seeks to illustrate an ‘inter-domestic’ approach that is better equipped to deal with the underlying nature of how this impacts trade, knowledge economy, knowledge assets, sovereignty & socioeconomics.

In Australia we have a thing that was made called ‘covid safe app’ which was the subject of an Federal Act that may provide a basis upon which something could be further developed. In Australia, we have state & federal governments (local government is an instrument of the states & territories); there are components of a potential solution that has various implications to both, and i’m not really in a position to fully form an alternative solution in isolation.

If businesses did not want to have one of the ‘digital identifiers’ on offer via the present solution, an earlier solution was defined which is now used in the education market called ‘open badges’, here is a link to the specification.

The circumstances in America for Americans are different in a range of ways, from the circumstances of how Americans are provided healthcare, how their healthcare systems work, the relationship between American Companies / corporations, the US Constitution and their citizenship (as citizens, not legal aliens as relates to people outside of America); and whilst it is of course desirable to ensure America can overcome its challenges and grow, as is the case for all parts of our world; the concept of ‘self sovereign’ has a different kinda meaning in the commonwealth, who in-effect has a ‘sovereign’, who signs important documents, such as this one outlining commonwealth values.

If there is interest in my works or if people want more information, her is a link to my linkedin profile and a link to a ‘discord’ channel (web civics) that i’ve assigned 100 uses (and can re-make if required) to futher discuss.

There are many other issues relating to the difficulties of this time for people in many parts of the world. I hope, we’ll be able to forge a conversation about sustainability moving forward; but for now, if i’m involved in any of this global ‘nonesense’ (fairly upset about it); i’d like to focus on the ‘vaccine’ / ‘health’ ‘passport’ (digital identity) that’s now being commercialised; and not anything about the effocacy of vaccines, how medical stuff works, whether 5G creates bats; or any of the other polarising topics, that i think, simply take our eyes off the ball and diminish our capacity to have a meanignful conversation at a time where there’s a few very powerful groups seeking to get the foundations of a global system for digital identity implemented upon humanity.

From my point of view, deploy it on companies first; its a much better solution if you’re looking for a way to start a conversation about ‘new money’ & power.

With respect to the ‘knowledge banking’ works, described in my APH Submission that can be found here, alongside my WebCivics publications on medium, the simplist approach that was first tested long before i got involved with W3C to make parts that did not exist when i started, is to look at the work done earlier by OpenLink and how that now translates, given the new ‘components’ that have been defined since, that may work with openlink virutoso but also, with an array of other solutions based on these standards; that kinda means, a choice is being made, not due to a lack of technological options, but rather as a consequence of ideology.

Its important we understand both why these decisions are being made, and the consequence of said decisions upon the future of humanity.

Last edited: 5th March 2012 (Draft: 0.03). There may be errors…
if you like this article, please ‘clap’, it helps ensure others can see it…

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store