A mutual aid framework could also make the Internet secure in other ways. PCs can alert others not to run code that just sickened them, signaling health levels to others. Internet providers could also develop technologies to validate their relationships to one another and ferret out misleading data, the way Wikipedia volunteers can quickly act to roll back thousands of acts of vandalism a day.
We rightly fear our networks and devices being attacked—but we should not let this fear cause us to destroy what makes the Internet special. We have to become more involved and more subtle—and soon.
This article was originally published with the title Freedom and Anonymity.