Personal software agents versus the rise of the bots

Back in the 1990s there was much talk about Software Agents — autonomous software that would be running around the Internet, all working on behalf of the individual and not a corporation. Today the Internet is awash with “bots” — running around harvesting data and information on people, companies, products, and prices. According to the latest report from Imperva Incapsula, nearly one-half of all Internet traffic is due to bots — and these come in two varieties: good bots and bad bots. The good bots are not necessarily “good,” they are just the well behaved bots from Google, Yahoo etc, they identify themselves and will respond to site preferences. The bad bots have many nefarious reasons to be in disguise, scraping and jiggling security systems looking for weak spots, placing…

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