what about the thugs?
Posted May 30, 2006 2:57 UTC (Tue) by filteredperception
Parent article: OLPC hardware details posted
A few years ago I spent a week in the congo (DRC, kinshasa, kisangani), and though I had no little time away from work to really observe things, the one impression I came away with was this-
The country is run by 15 year olds with ak47s. Obviously this is not a strictly accurate impression, but it's not strictly inaccurate either.
So the primary concern I have reading about the OLPC project, and envisioning it's deployment in such an area is this-
What is to prevent primitive barbaric gangs (sometimes more powerful than, or effectively, the local government), from just stealing all of these laptops, and reprogramming them for military field use?
It's akin to the whole fiasco with shipping food and other aid to countries without responsible stable governments. I.e. the thugs and gangs steal the food, sell it to the people who were supposed to get it for free, and thus are able to fund their warlording activities.
I admit, I haven't done the homework and read everything up on this project, but it seems to me that if the linked page is going to tackle the practical issue of dust and rainstorms kids encounter while walking home from school, they should at least pay lip service to the rogue militias that the kids will also be running into.
Do we need trusted computing, a closed bios, and fingerprint authentication? Is it just an impossible problem to solve? I don't know. But I'd feel better if at least an attempt was made to address it.
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