A teeny tiny little conundrum.
It's basically DRM writ large. That's one.
For another, though I haven't read up on the details yet, it would be all too easy for various governments to start demanding you sign every single packet with your legal identity your government so graciously bestows upon you. Possibly using the RFID-enabled ID card law already requires you to have and carry with you everywhere in many a country, such as China, Russia, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and so on. Even the US is making headway in this. So it's averted for now in the UK, but will that last?
The problem, of course, is that people have multiple identities, or "faces". Your identity changes according to your environment; your relationship with your parents is different from the one with your friends or your colleagues, and much of the ruckus with facebook and the like --like when people get fired for blogging about a private pursuit-- is when work and play intermingle. With no way to separate those
And, this being the internet, I'm not sure the DRM will last. Even when undeniably useful to everyone and not just the big media companies. And once broken all you have left to protect you is a lot of very expensive snake oil.
I think it's very clear we need increasingly something. I'm not sure this fits that something. I'm even less sure the underlying assumptions are reasonable, desirable or tenable. There don't seem to be many people willing or able to seriously think about the issues in a large enough context, though. This, too, seems largely a technology-centered approach.
Essentially they're "smarting up" the network so that it knows about chunks of content instead of passing packets (ip, udp, etc.) or streams (tcp, sctp) of bytes (excuse me, "octets", and yes I know why) back and forth, so that you can address those "objects". That's nice because it ought to give you greater control over the individual chunks, but that doesn't address the identity conundrum.
It might make it more visible, so in another 25 years maybe it'll have grown large and unavoidable enough that we'll have to try and finally get it licked. Though I doubt the grey beards in this article will be around then. Who're we gonna call?
Personally I'd just as soon address it right now, for I can see it coming already.