[cryptography] Use of public systems

M.R. makrober at gmail.com
Tue Sep 13 00:29:30 EDT 2011


On 13/09/11 00:09, Marsh Ray wrote:

 > The more generally useful a communications facility that you develop, 
 > the less knowledge and control the engineer has about the conditions 
 > under which it will be used.

If that describes the current situation, it also tells us why
"software engineering" is still very far from being a ~real~
engineering discipline. To an engineer, this sounds somewhat like
saying: "building that system of safe pedestrian overpasses was
a failure, because people are now using those for motor traffic
and there are crashes, collisions and the bridges are collapsing".

Building of a public system *must* include building of safeguards
on the way it is used. And this is clearly impossible if we keep
(if I may stretch it, but just a little) what sometimes appears
to me to be the "first principle of computer security":

"The user is an uneducated moron, and must be treated accordingly".

Mark R.



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