||Thursday, March 13, 2003
Infoworld : Putting p-to-p through enterprise movesGroove Web Services APIs (application program interfaces), says Wilsker, will extend data to more and more users and applications. Features such as files, discussions, documents, calendars, and online presence can be tied into Groove Workspace. Plus, the integration of XML and Web services offered in Groove's Version 2.5 will enable easier collaboration by making an increasing number of Microsoft applications available in a collaborative setting, he says
Press Release : Groove Networks and Intel "Unwire" Collaboration"The marriage of wireless Internet connectivity with powerful notebook computers, coupled with the growth of public Wi-Fi hot spots gets us one step closer to the notion of a global computer, in which every transistor is connected to every other, worldwide," said Ray Ozzie, Groove Networks' CEO. "Yet 'always on' connectivity does not guarantee increased productivity for the road warriors of today and tomorrow. Just as Intel has made it easier to get online, it's up to the software industry to provide intelligent Internet applications that make it easier to get things done online. This has been our vision for Groove from day one."
Dan Gillmor writes in his column today :
My immediate instinct was to praise Kapor for showing honor and principle. This implicitly suggested a lack of those qualities on the part of Groove's leaders, and on reflection I concluded I was being too harsh. They aren't bad people, and toolmakers can't always pick and choose their customers.Yet I'm troubled by many things about Groove these days. One is the company's deepening embrace with major investor Microsoft, which has effectively become an arm of the government with its monopoly software and cozy deals with the Justice Department and other agencies. Groove, too, has seen government as a major client -- and there's no getting around the fact that the company, which makes collaboration software, is acting as a willing accomplice in the formation of the surveillance society we should all fear.
John Burkhardt makes some good points
It is a tough issue and one that I've struggled with personally. I have no details, nor will I, of what exactly Poindexter is doing with Groove. But I don't quite see it as the same moral dilema as that of creating the atom bomb. From our perspective we are building collaboration software. What people end up collaborating about is their business - not ours. Maybe that's niave. Its hard for me to know where to draw the line. Should Bjarne worry that the project uses c++? Should Tim Berners Lee worry that it uses html? What if it uses email? The telephone? SQL? Groove provides a secure and decentralized communications infrastructure. It doesn't specifically help the government spy on us.
I agree, making collaboration software is by no means comparable with the creation of a weapon of mass destruction like the atom bomb. I used the quote, which was in the original NY timesarticle btw, to illustrate the danger of the shift in public perception of Groove and the moral dillemmas i personally might be facing as a Groove developer in time.
Creating infrastructure and providing tools to communicate doesn't mean your automatically responsible for unethical use of these tools. Like phonecompanies cannot be held responible for the ransomcall of a kidnapper, Groove cannot be held responisble for the fact that the US intelligence is smart enough to choose it for decentralized communication. I think for me personally the line is drawn when obvious "unethical" use is actively pursued. Being an enterpreneur myself i'm know the importance of a stable revenuestream to survive and thrive and i'm also aware that there is a huge commercial oppurtunity in the intelligence business in this post-911 world but what scares me, besides the obvious Orwellian nature of initiaves like the TIA, is that Groove might become too dependant on this financially very interesting niche of military and intelligence organizations and that in time this might change the nature of the product and the company i've been falling in love with in the first place.
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