A Website for the Computer Professional...and some not so Professional

The Next Wave: Virtual ISPs
Rose By Any Other Name is Magenta
Noel Sibayan

Last time, I spoke to you about two ideas on eliminating spam (and possibly viruses). By having programmers develop a program that will limit emails (and web browsing) to the United States and maybe even down to individual states as well. The second idea of course is for ISPs to give consumers the option of receiving information via checkboxes, using dating portals as a model.

Here are my other ideas, one that will revolutionize the Internet and put control back to users.

They are so simple I don't know why no one else came up with them. 

Using the combined ISP and online dating site model, imagine an enterprising company of Google and Yahoo's caliber implementing this idea. I call this fictitious service/company, Magenta.

Are you about to pee yet?

Okay, back to Magenta. Visualize a portal for emails and web sites. Magenta portals will
allow Internet traffic only designated by the users themselves.

For a small fee, users will have to specify a country (limiting to US for example) and maybe
even individual states, from which they want to communicate. Because let's face it, you can surf a thousand sites a day, but you only want to receive emails from people you actually know and talk to.

The same thing with websites. The filtering cookies I admit is almost impossible. How about saving the cookies offsite?

Okay, back to reality.

Magenta portals will serve another purpose-- Like proxy your identity. In other words, let's say you sign on at a website. The portal will automatically display your Magenta email account, instead of your real email account. You can also manually enter this information whenever you are filling out a form. 

A more ambitious implementation would be your IP address will not be exposed to outsiders. The Magenta portal will only provide their IP address, not yours (for law enforcement officers, read on). For simplicity's sake, any intruder will only see Magenta's seven layers of the OSI model.

In essence, if you want the information, you can use Magenta's email to filter through junk. If you so desire, you can enter a complete online identity, but one that cannot be traced back to your real identity.

An even more daring idea is the VNC model. Using the Magenta app that can be installed on top of any IE or Netscape type browsers, what you see on-screen is essentially a remote access. To the user, the browser still looks like a browser, but everything gets executed offsite. This means no crap on your PC! If the remote virtual PC crashes, all the user have to do is relaunch the browser (along with authentication of course). The Virtual PC can be based on some obscure portable Unix OS, which will do nothing but allow web browsing.

To balance all this cloak and dagger of course, a government grade clearance will have to be acquired before any law enforcement agency can have your offline information.

My idea is not really new, and there exists programs out there that already do this.
(zone alarm, ad-aware, spywebroot, anti-virus, etc, etc). The difference of course is centralization. Who wants to pay $30-50 or $99 for each of these programs? Having internet access should not mean that the average user have to be a network administrator to use his PC. 

Microsoft is making too much money to care, so it's up to the future yahoo's and Google's to do something about this. Hmmmnnn...maybe you should forward this info to Yahoo AND Google.

How does this work?

In IE, you make the Magenta portal the homepage (along with the initial sign-on, authentication, etc, etc), and from then on, all traffic not permitted is prohibited. Initial setting would be United States only. Or, our enterprising company can include countries that strictly participate to this model. It's as simple as clicking on checkboxes. And yeah, no pop-ups. Or, the pop-up(if you must) will be restricted to a background window.

A more complicated and intrusive idea is to have a small software installed along with Magenta. This software will create a directory which sole purpose is to contain all the cookies, scripts, web induced registry entries, ActiveX crap, etc). Nothing from the internet will get written outside this directory, and will be purged at a designated time interval.

The idea behind this is to keep your data out of prying eyes. A company want information
of your surfing habits? It gets forwarded to the Magenta email along with your fake address. What about your existing email accounts? You can set it so that only addresses in your address book comes through. 

What about emails you gave away to a booty call? The Magenta will intercept incoming but currently unknown senders. You can peruse these emails at your leisure and decide whether or not you want to include them in your address book.

Alright, how about co-workers sending you a virus? An option will be there to put attachments into Magenta's designated containment directory. If it's something that will write to the registry, it does not get executed. Antivirus and anti-spyware programs will automatically run in the background and scan the directory (Magenta will work with third-party software so that these companies do not try to kill the idea behind Magenta).

Doug, feel free to modify this article and add your own ideas. In fact, encourage your writers to pitch in. I sincerely believe that if we are to continue using the Internet unpestered, it is up to the individual users to do something about it.

Well, I should be studying for my CCNP and Checkpoint CCSA exams. I leave you to ponder all this.

Sincerely,
Noel Sibayan
Network Technologist 

 




 


E-mail your comments to dougchick@thenetworkadministrator.com
            
All rights reserved  TheNetworkAdministrator.com

Disclaimer: The Opinions shared on TheNetworkAdministrator.com are contributed by its readers and does not necessarily express the opinion of the creators of this publication.