The Internet of Things is sending us back to the Middle Ages


The intruders were able to copy 10 gigabytes of data to somewhere in Finland.
The computer manufacturer Lenovo, for instance, used to sell its computers with a program called “ Superfish ” preinstalled.
The way it did so was downright dangerous: It hijacked web browsers’ traffic without the user’s knowledge – including web communications users thought were securely encrypted , like connections to banks and online stores for financial transactions.
Apart from a few basic government rules like environmental protection and public health, ownership comes with no trailing strings attached.
This system means that a car company can’t stop me from painting my car a shocking shade of pink or from getting the oil changed at whatever repair shop I choose.
The same is true for my television, my farm equipment and my refrigerator.
In this 21st-century version, companies are using intellectual property law – intended to protect ideas – to control physical objects consumers think they own.
We need the right to kick invasive advertisers out of our devices.
Recent years have seen progress in reclaiming ownership from would-be digital barons .
The idea of property is still powerful in our cultural imagination, and it won’t die easily.
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