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The early days of mainframes had some groups of individuals who advocated for no passwords or just your username again as a password: https://www.oreilly.com/openbook/freedom/ch07.html

you're confusing mainframes with UNIX microcomputers, and 1983 wasn't early.

Also, I rememebr when FSF hosted UNIX machines at MIT that you could telnet into without a password. It was a total mess.

Cliff Stoll's The Cuckoo's Egg grapples with this a bit. The fine line between open systems that anyone can use, and closed systems that protect your privacy and data.

It's obviously a settled question these days, but back in the 70s and 80s, this was a bit of a hot topic.

I disagree. I don't think this is at all settled, and in fact is a bit topic right now. The debate has just moved on past personal passwords.

For example, chat systems. Do you want an open one where anyone can get on with a minimum of fuss and participate? Or do you want an open one, with controls to manage spam and harassment so that people are able to be open while using it?

(I work at Mozilla, where we are moving off of IRC because, while it encourages participation from any rando who comes by, it is inaccessible to a number of people because they will be attacked if they log in. Many have moved over to Slack, which is very much closed (but open). Not to mention the channels that have been abandoned because they are overrun with spam, which makes them inaccessible or at least useless to everyone. As someone who does not get harassed, I don't really like either of those points on the spectrum even though IRC works great for me if I don't think about the people who are no longer there.)

Why not make an anti-spam/harassment ITC bot, and Take Back The Web from Slack?

It's really hard for me to understand what Mozilla's mission is these days.

You're right, my mistake!

In the future, there won't be any need for passwords.

In the future there will be no identity theft because we all will have one identity. Resistance is futile...

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