Read a book and let the bots fight it out

Activist coders aim to deafen Phorm with white noise | The Register

The beta release comes with source code, allowing security experts to verify that it does only what it says on the tin. The app features “natural time delays” and throttling so that computer generated traffic would be difficult to distinguish from the real thing, as explained below:

AntiPhormLite runs independently and silently in the background of your PC. It connects to the web and intelligently simulates natural surfing behavior across thousands of customizable topics. This creates a background noise of false information disguising and inverting your own interests.

Assuming for the moment that this thing does what it claims to (and that phorm or the ISP isn’t going to notice a whole lot more traffic coming from antiphorming machines), I wonder what the next step will be. Will phorm and other advertisers start inserting code that requires user response (like those popups that block your whole screen, or superloud music) to distinguish bot-loaded pages from the ones you’re actually looking at? Will they be able to distinguish bot from real because the bot doesn’t download all the bandwidth-hogging parts of a page? Or maybe they’ll write code that tickles various browser bugs (which the bot presumably won’t have).

And then the bot will evolve to mask those differences, and phorm et al will revise their software, and pretty soon we’ll have full-blown fighting AIs wondering what those puny things generating keyboard interrupts might be.


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