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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Comment by Berend de Boer
by Berend de Boer on Tue 6th Sep 2011 03:16 UTC
Berend de Boer
Member since:
2005-10-19

Thom: Well - whenever the Dutch government does anything even remotely related to IT technology, they mess it up. And mess it up bad.

Except when they regulate mobile phone companies!

What a success that was...

I vaguely remember Thom pushing that here, so do I hear some buyers remorse?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by Berend de Boer
by Neolander on Tue 6th Sep 2011 07:10 in reply to "Comment by Berend de Boer"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Knowing your love of free market theories, I guess what you advocate instead is a public transportation network, without any form of government backing, or even regulations to make sure that they cover the majority of the inhabited territory with decent service.

Or perhaps no public transportation at all. After all, stuff which can't work well in a free market is not interesting, right ?

Reply Parent Score: 1

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.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Unlike you, I don't perceive the world as black and white. I can understand that what works in some cases, does not work in others. Government intervention can be both good and bad. In the case of mobile phones, it worked out okay. In the case of anything related to implementing actual technology (as opposed to just regulating said technology), things generally go wrong.

In the end, you still haven't answered the question I posed you so many months ago: point me to a truly free market which works. Any luck with that yet?

Reply Parent Score: 1

Berend de Boer Member since:
2005-10-19

Thom: point me to a truly free market which works.

Sorry, missed that. Your question is probably: point me to a free market that delivers me what I want.

But that's not what markets are. Markets are purely the free and non-coercive exchange of private citizens. They might not produce you an outcome you'd like (mobile phone calls for 1 cent per hour for example).

I would offer food markets as a market that is pretty unregulated. The outcome might be that we got too many obese poeple, but probably better than people starving.

If you had lived only 400 years ago, you would have been a peasant bound to the land. Market economies have improved lived drastically.

Reply Parent Score: 1