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Re: "Decentralized Identifiers": Bitcoin Cargo-Culture and Land Grabbing for the Top Level Names

From: Jordan, John CITZ:EX <John.Jordan@gov.bc.ca>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2018 18:55:14 +0000
To: "public-credentials@w3.org" <public-credentials@w3.org>, Steven Rowat <steven_rowat@sunshine.net>
CC: Manu Sporny <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
Message-ID: <A83FEA0A-4886-4380-98F7-DD56845BB413@gov.bc.ca>
Hi Steven ....

I hear you .. there are certainly unfortunate situations occurring in areas that involve government. And it is even more clear that not everyone on this planet is experiencing the conditions where they can trust their government writ large, sometimes with terrible outcomes. 

However, I am referring to much more mundane aspects of the role of government in terms of its issuance of trusted credentials. Governments (generally) issue credentials (Government issued ID) which pertain to humans (birth, immigration, other edge cases) that are within its jurisdictional boundaries. As well, governments issue credentials for non-human legal entities such as corporations, not-for-profits and the like. Without these foundational credentials we would have a very challenging time operating in today's economic context. Our work is focused on enabling these issuances to occur in such a way as to empower our citizens and organizations while at the same time stepping up the level of "digital trust" our citizens and organizations need in order to more fully support digital interactions. 

So, I offer this for consideration. (


´╗┐On 2018-04-10, 9:21 AM, "Steven Rowat" <steven_rowat@sunshine.net> wrote:

    On 2018-04-09 9:02 AM, Jordan, John CITZ:EX wrote:
    >For example, government
    > (which I work for), underpins the economy by being the source of
    > truth for identity (both persons and legal entities) and setting
    > the ground rules (e.g. laws) for economic activity. Our incentives
    > are quite different and not a source of revenue but an enabling
    > prerequisite to a functioning economy. I would encourage the
    > community to think broadly about this and recognize that we need to
    > keep working at creating conditions which encourage the full
    > participation of government in the establishment of digital trust
    > for people and legal entities which, in my personal opinion, is
    > strongly needed.
    This is a wonderful ideal, that government is a source of truth and 
    laws in a way that will encourage the "establishment of digital 
    trust". Since you work in government, I'm happy that you're committed 
    to it. But IMO it's a big stretch to assume that government is 
    generally functioning like that in our world. There are many people of 
    all ages and types, including academics who have studied it, who 
    present evidence that there is something fundamentally mismatched 
    between that ideal and the current situation.
    They describe a revolving door between upper levels of corporate 
    executives and upper levels of regulatory government; food and 
    pharmaceuticals are egregious examples. There are also vast arrays of 
    lobbyists and campaign contributions supported by the corporate rich 
    or by those who are independently wealthy. And so the laws enacted by 
    governments, in these and other areas, are fundamentally guided by 
    monied needs in ways that are destructive of general human health and 
    happiness. Corruption of this and other kinds is creeping to the 
    highest levels (Trump, Putin, and others). Fixing this political 
    problem has become an emergency.
    Government will surely still be necessary in a DID/blockchain identity 
    based world, but guiding how the DID system is implemented to suit all 
    the current practices of government, many of which are unethical and 
    deceptive, might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
    I'm more hopeful that some of the things that are wrong with 
    government might be able to be corrected by DIDs, rather than the 
    effect going in the other direction.
    > John
    > On 2018-04-09, 6:02 AM, "Manu Sporny" <msporny@digitalbazaar.com>
    > wrote:
    > On 04/09/2018 03:56 AM, Dennis Yurkevich wrote:
    >> What are the economic incentives for implementers to store DIDs 
    >> forever?
    > Fundamentally, nothing is free and these decentralized systems
    > need money to operate. In every one of these systems, nodes are
    > compensated for participating in the network on an ongoing basis.
    > Fundamentally, if you run a node, money goes into your bank
    > account. That's the economic incentive.
    >> What stops method implementers not creating centralised and non
    >> SSI systems?
    > Nothing can stop that. The only thing the standards provide for is
    > that if such a system were to be built, it will be technically
    > interoperable with the larger system (but would lack some of the
    > decentralized characteristics that those of us in this community
    > would like to see). Market forces may doom such a centralized DID
    > Method, but that happens in the future... which is hard to predict.
    > :)
    > -- manu
    > -- Manu Sporny (skype: msporny, twitter: manusporny, G+: +Manu
    > Sporny) Founder/CEO - Digital Bazaar, Inc. blog: Veres One
    > Decentralized Identifier Blockchain Launches 
    > https://tinyurl.com/veres-one-launches


Received on Wednesday, 11 April 2018 18:56:01 UTC

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