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Jonathan Zittrain on Operating Systems - Dictionary of Arguments

I 163
Operating System/OS/Zittrain: Hardware and OS ((s) operating system) makers are right that the mishmash of software found on even a two-week-old Internet-exposed PC precludes easily identifying the source of many problems. However, the less generative the platform already is, the less there is to lose by imposing legal responsibility on the technology provider to guarantee a functioning system. To the extent that PC OSes do control what programs can run on them, the law should hold OS developers responsible for problems that arise, just as TiVo and mobile phone manufacturers take responsibility for issues that arise with their controlled technologies. If the OS remains open to new applications created by third parties, the maker’s responsibility should be duly lessened. It might be limited to providing basic tools of transparency that empower users to understand exactly what their machines are doing. These need not be as sophisticated as Herdict aims to be. Rather, they could be such basic instrumentation as what sort of data is going in and out of the box and to whom. A machine turned into a zombie will be communicating with unexpected sources that a free machine will not, and insisting on better information to users could be as important as providing a speedometer on an automobile.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.

Zittrain I
Jonathan Zittrain
The Future of the Internet--And How to Stop It New Haven 2009

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