Letters; July 2011; Scientific American Magazine; by The Editors; 2 Page(s)
FREEDOM AND COMMERCE
The commentary by Jonathan Zittrain on “Freedom and Anonymity” [Forum] misses the point. His proposed solution of caching linked pages on referring sites ensures redundancy but not security. The fbi officials who worry about Internet attacks do not care whether I can access WhiteHouse.gov or Wikipedia. Instead they worry about disruption of sites such as Amazon.com, which in 2010 averaged more than $90 million in net sales a day. The linked material on these sites is worth nothing compared with the flow of money and orders to their back-end servers and the value that is inherent in their customers’ personal and financial data.
While the Internet plays an important role in spreading ideas and encouraging political thought, it also constitutes a significant fraction of our global economy. It is commerce, not content, that drives the quest for better Internet security.