Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 5th Sep 2011 22:26 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption So, people from within Iran have hacked the Dutch company DigiNotar, allowing them to issue fake certificates so they could listen in on Iranian dissidents and other organisation within Iran. This is a very simplified version of the story, since it's all quite complicated and I honestly don't even understand all of it. In any case, DigiNotar detected the intrusion July 19, but didn't really do anything with it until it all blew up in their face this past week. Now, the Dutch government has taken over operational management of DigiNotar... But as a Dutch citizen, that doesn't really fill me with confidence, because, well - whenever the Dutch government does anything even remotely related to IT technology, they mess it up. And mess it up bad.
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Berend de Boer
Member since:
2005-10-19

Neolander: After all, stuff which can't work well in a free market is not interesting, right ?

I wouldn't say not interesting, it might be. Certain things are necessary of course, i.e. the government has the monopoly on coercive force.

But for your particular example: if the free market doesn't provide it, it means it can't do it, either because it is forbidden by the government, or it cannot provide it at an acceptable cost.

So if the government provides that service, you incur a cost. At minimum the public should be aware that if the government steps it, the cost might potentially be draconian. If the government should do it, is obviously a political item.

A good reason to object is that the government uses coercive force to extract the money from its citizens. Coercion is generally bad IMO.

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