The once and future grail: Interop

Thanks to Nathan Matias for a terrific liveblog of Berkman’s Interop book event with John Palfrey and Urs Gasser last night. The need for interoperability isn’t new (see Cesar Brea’s 2002 post on Competition and the Role of Standards) but the scale at which it can be achieved in a internet-enabled world of open APIs is dramatically greater.

Overall, Palfrey and Gasser find that the benefits outweigh the risks, and paint a picture of smarter cities and reduced redundancy (surely many people in the U.S. have a drawer full of obsolete mobile phone chargers). Before we realize the full value, I’d wager that there will be more than a few examples of interoperability information flow being used for nefarious purposes — particularly since so many enterprise IT security protocols are based on practices over a decade old.

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