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Re: legal question about certs


At 03:49 PM 7/15/97 +0100, Peter Williams wrote:
>Simple And Uniform legal authorization semantics seem a consistenly
>hard problem to solve.

I think you're right -- and that we're in trouble if we try to find some easy 
path to answering these problems.  For example, the use of names as if they 
were identities has a long legal tradition -- but hasn't been effective even in 
the 3D world for ages.

Have I told you the story of my friend who was about to be jailed in MA for 
having too many old parking tickets -- only to discover that the MA DMV had 
issued two cars the same plates?  I know: not people names, but names.  The
name was taken to be the identity of the car and therefore a pointer to
its responsible owner.

How many horror stories do we have to hear of a person falsely accused just 
because he had the same name as someone else?  ...or same SSN?

People *will* use names that in the world of 1997 are going to be ambiguous.  
There's no way we'll get people to use globally unique names in their own minds 
and daily lives.  This means that, thanks to the global village, any place we 
used names as if they were identities in our legal structure needs to be 

I don't know what to change it to, but I suspect we'll be the first to come up 
with real possibilities.

 - Carl

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