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Communications of the ACM


I Can't Let You Do That, Dave

HAL's eye, illustration

Credit: Gualtiero Boffi

It has been 25 years since the Electronic Frontier Foundation was founded to ensure the civil liberties that mattered in the real world followed us into the online world, and it has been a heady quarter-century, with many significant victories, and we have learned some alarming, important lessons on the way.

First among these lessons: there is no distinction between the "virtual" and "real" worlds. The Internet is the nervous system of the 21st century. This was obvious even before the Internet of Things (IoT) turned our cars and homes into computers that engulf our bodies, but the IoT has made the issue especially urgent.


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