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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

& Debates - Truth and Fiction

The latest installment (registration required) in Q's never-ending supply of debating material, and this one's a whopper:
So, I've got this thing called a-p mail that I invented for one of the stories I'm writing. That's anonymous private mail: an e-mail system that allows a piece of encrypted mail to be routed on a public network from a sender to the intended recipient (which the sender must know) without the mail server ever knowing the identity of either. This is not to be confused with something like an Onion network, which can act as an anonymous, untraceable proxy server; this is a method of getting an e-mail to the intended receiver without so much as an e-mail address to identify the receiver.

This is something I invented from scratch; while I don’t know that no one else has thought of it before, I can say that I have no knowledge of anyone else ever implementing or considering this method. This brings up the question of whether I should look into patenting it.

However, if nobody has considered this method previously, a question of ethics arises. This method was invented as a means of secure and anonymous communication between terrorists and other underworld persons, and could, if introduced to the real world, be used just the same. Assuming nobody else has publicly described the method, would it be ethical to bring it into the real world?

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