Okay, so my first thought about this is that I'm worried that some asshole is going to swipe the President's password and start forging e-signatures on e-bills. I mean, your dog's name? Dumbass.
My next concern is that the evil robot AIs use these signatures to take over....
Actually, that sounds pretty good. Evil robot AIs are sexy. And maybe they
can put my junior high gym teacher in a braincase for unholy experiments.
Okay, Clinton used a smart card and a crappy password to sign a bill that
allows electronic signatures. It's a big pretty champagne-against-the-boat
thing, and I'm sure we all love his lame duck ass for being the President Who
Brought Us Onto The Steam-Powered Nanometric Retrovirus Freeway.
The problem is that electronic signatures can be foiled. Maybe it's not easy
to steal someone's card and learn their password, but it's also not *that*
hard - people get mugged all the time, and are often stupid about passwords,
like, say, naming them after their dog, which runs the risk that the dog will
sell the password out. Of course, handwriting can also be forged, and I
wouldn't be surprised if retinal scanning forgery became common once anyone
gives a shit about it. And, eventually, as we move forward into this Sexy New
Millenium, better techniques will be developed for forging biometric typing
analysis, voice printing, and so on. The fact is, Presidential bill-signers
and other upstanding citizens don't stand a chance of protecting their identity
from the fakery of Bad People.
In the end, the problem is that we cannot come up with irrefutable proof of
identity, because there is no irrefutable proof of identity.
So, I propose that instead of having electronic signatures, we should have
electronic Zen Buddhist monks, with 256-bit-encrypted mantras and e-prayer
beads, meditating on the lack of Self in the new Digital Era. Once we all
dispel the Illusion of I, we can be assured of safe, private transactions
Um, what was I talking about again? Oh yeah, President Clinton. Fuck you, you
Communications Decency Act-signing motherfucker. You're not getting on my good
side just for signing some incredibly obvious bill.