NetPlusUltra®-Enabled Digital Rights Engineering, by Daniela BERNDT

Prevention is Better than Cure

From an ethical perspective, solving the prisoner's dilemma at each capitalization level means organizing the conceptual convergence of both quantitative and qualitative requirements, with a view to reprogramming the entire web system into generating statistics which are respectful not only of everyone's privacy (ethical dimension), but also of the author's double moral and financial right upon his·her work (legal and economic dimensions). For the user, taking this challenge before boarding the "Externet+" ring translates into choosing, replacing or updating his·her modem according to the type of IP address (dynamic or static) attributed by default by the Internet Service Provider.
To stay consistent in terms of the necessary multidimensional separation of contractual perimeters, let us step out of virtual reality for a while, in order to transpose (and extrapolate) the problem into the real world: from a conceptual standpoint, an e-commerce website refers to an author's private commercial domain, constituted of a front window (the homepage), and a shop (the rest of the website). When you step through the front gate into the shop as a potential buyer, you show a certain interest for the author's commercial argumentation, and seek to learn more about the product or service for sale before making a final decision. Considering that the first preoccupation of the shop's manager is to not get his premises ransacked, the server onto which the master franchising system's analytics module is bound to be installed will therefore first and foremost have to be configured so as to provide the same guarantees as a surveillance camera.
In terms of sustainable web development, the rationale of permanent auditing underlying the NetPlusUltra® approach aims at ensuring not only the surveillance of the visitor's behavior both in front of the door and inside the shop, so as to protect the manager from any kind of attempted fraud, but also the protection of the prospective customer from any attempt, by the managing author or a man in the middle, at misusing such statistics for unsolicited (i.e. illegal) commercial purposes. Which also means that a product or web service has more chances to be perceived as honest if it is sold through an unambiguous website certified compliant with the conceptual integrity principle, i.e. free of misleading appearances of the type to engage the visitor into erratic behavior.
Considering further that the obligation to respect enacted rules must be supported by a clearly defined reciprocity principle, if it is to work properly in a way which enables each party to the franchising agreement to benefit from the venture, the NetPlusUltra®-sustained statistical model is based on the following assumptions:
  • For the visitor: there is no entering the shop wearing a mask, unless you want to trigger off the alarm.

  • For the manager: there is no grabbing the visitor by the browser, unless you intend to make him run away.

The effective application of this twofold principle will depend on the IP address of the visitor (who could very well be a shop owner himself), insofar as this number is the virtual equivalent of a car's license plate in the real world: in case of a road traffic offense (or an intellectual property violation), it is indeed the vehicle registration plate (or IP address) which will enable the victim, not to supplant justice, but to take action with the competent (SSL+) authority to whom the infringement must be reported in order to identify the culprit (in case a surveillance camera has not already taken care of it).
Characteristics of the NetPlusUltra®-sustained statistical model:
  1. Legally speaking, it is the web hosting provider's responsibility to configure his web hosting servers according to the national intellectual property regulations that are supposed to be in effect, so as to ensure that the official (localized) configuration will be considered as prioritary over that of the browsers. For the end user, an "All rights reserved" notice will therefore translate into the impossibility to resort to unlawful practices such as those described under point 4 below.

  2. Accordingly, there is no point in hiding one's IP address, unless the objective is to make the law inapplicable: in case of a violation, reported automatically or by another user (the victim or a witness), it is the license plate which must provide for the identification of the culprit. Otherwise, we would live in a bumper-cars technocracy of idiocrats where hit-and-run is the national sport.

  3. Which also implies to conceptually review the "Do not track" request available in the general settings of most browsers, considering that masked visitors would trigger off the alarm and the automatic shutdown of the shop's entrance (i.e. the pure and simple inaccessibility of the website).

  4. Taking the above threefold requirement into account, the only tracking metrics whose real-time processing can be considered as legitimate are those which will enable both the server and the visited module to identify dubious practices typical of the plagiarist in action, such as - for the most common ones - copy-pasting, right-clicking to retrieve protected content, and downloading entire websites, so as to allow the (SSL+) authority in charge to take the appropriate real-time measures on the grounds of evidence.

  5. As for web analytics reports, they are useless for the managing author anyway if they do not enable the latter to aggregate patterns which will help him improve his contents: by default, such reports must therefore apply to periods of time prior to the current date (such as a day, week, month, quarter, year, or a customized time frame).

Major pitfalls of the statistical models under examination since 2013:
  • GoSquared (included by default in RapidWeaver 5; to be activated by inserting a string of code in the provided field): incompatible with NetPlusUltra®'s systemic optimization approach, insofar as GoSquared is a real-time analytics tool conceived for the people-focused social network platforms.

  • Urchin v6 (included by default in OVH's shared web hosting packages): on a Mac-1-enabled configuration such as mine, which does not authorize downloads from outside the Mac App Store and therefore excludes the installation of third-party modules such as Adobe Flash Player, the Urchin v6 graphics can't be displayed by the native browser, making the statistics even more unreadable. All the more so as Google's model is contractually incompatible with that of NetPlusUltra® anyway.

  • Piwik (open source software available for free download and installation on a compatible server, which evolved into Matomo into 2018): as an entirely customizable open source solution, Matomo constitutes at present the only viable alternative to all of the above, but is not as of yet included by default in OVH's shared web hosting supply, which, by creating a legal flaw right upon installation, restrains the use of such a module to web analytics pertaining to the websites (the IP address) of the testing user and his web hosting provider.

  • In more concrete terms of metrics, the pitfalls common to all these models are a direct consequence of the overall stockpile of structural misconceptions which flaw the internet upstream of the web production process.

Let us now review the conceptual step-by-step process by which data integrity could be aggregated along the value chain:
  1. When it comes to producing added value, it is the ISP which, by attributing an "IPv6+" address (the plus sign refers to the latter’s adaptative nature), provides the first building block. Just like a car's license plate, the purpose of this user ID is not only to anonymize your user experience, but also to authenticate your identity whenever necessary, which makes your online shopping experience safe and enjoyable, and enables you to sign in on websites without having to worry about how to switch from a dynamic to a static IP address.

  2. As all servers providing content hosting and sharing services are (supposed to be) localized according to the national laws in force, all you have to do at every step of the way, in order to make yourself compliant and keep it that way, is to activate the modules you need, and fill in the required form fields which provide for natural and statistical SEO of the information pertaining to you that you decide to publish.

  3. Don't bother to learn by heart the many intellectual property provisions applying to each format (): the operating systems must take those terms of use into account, and inoculate all functionalities corresponding to the rights to which you are not eligible. To trigger off an automatic incident report, it therefore takes to deliberately try to hack a lock by resorting to an unlawful practice which the systems must be (re)programmed to identify as an act of piracy.

  4. In case of a deliberate violation of your website's legal provisions by a visitor, an automatic alert immediately initiates an appropriate response, along with an upgrade of the learning system, and if necessary, informs you of whatever changes need to be made to your configuration in order to prevent the problem from arising again.

  5. The web analytics modules included by default in the shared web hosting plans satisfy all of the above requirements, and to the extent that they are installed on servers which provide for your safety, enable you, as the author and content manager in charge, to focus on the selection and customization of data collection and management metrics.

  6. Considering that most statistical solutions comprise an online management account, and a string of code to be inserted into a widget or a web editing app, with a view to web-based or source-to-target publication, the "IPv6+" address also serves the purpose of securing the access to your management account, since it is associated with your login and password.

  7. To the extent that the confidentiality of statistical data, which is no one else's business but the author's, is first and foremost a matter of encryption, it also becomes possible to envision an entirely app-based web analytics solution enabling customized management on the user's encrypted hard drive.

The Piwik module which I installed in 2016 on my shared web hosting server partition for the purpose of auditing produced the curious effect of aggregating, into a perfectly useless metrics dashboard, all defaults listed in the present Testfolio Omega, making it just as useless to try in vain to produce a customized demo. The point with a global resolution of this problem at server level is to provide each internet user, regardless of whether s·he intends to affiliate or not depending on his·her dominant profile as a consumer and/or a producer of web contents, with a statistical model that is securing both in terms of reliability and credibility. Which is why there won't be a specific benefit, for me as the master franchisor, to produce and publish a conceptual model serving as a demo tutorial until this requirement is fulfilled.