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Meeting ID: 931 5138 7504
Humans have struggled with the authenticity of information in physical formats since ancient times when information breached the temporal and spatial immediacy dictated by speech. Secondhand consumption of information was riddled with source uncertainty as forgeries proved too tempting for malefactors to resist. With the onset of the digital information era, forgeries have proved even more pervasive and insidious. Encouragingly, new cryptographic tools have enabled digital information to be secured and authenticated to a greater degree than was possible with physical media such as paper. These complications with physical and digital information mirror similar headaches about money: authenticity, ownership/source, and accountability. Drawing from the solutions provided by monetary banks, we introduce the idea of an information bank. This proposed information bank acts as a intermediary between the individual and the physically distal "others" who may want to participate in the individual’s information. This decentralized, nongovernmental information bank can guarantee the authenticity of the individual producer of information while simultaneously providing both the option to preserve the individual’s anonymity and ensuring that individual's accountability for that information. We examine the implementation mechanics and implications of this information bank and explore possible scenarios and applications for this type of information management for society in journalism and politics.