Articles on Security

18 03 2008

I have to clear out some of the tabs in my browser. Here’s fun stuff to share with you!

I’ve been reading Bruce Schneier who writes about securities. He wrote a short piece at the end of Doctorow’s Little Brother, and he also wrote a book which I am told is very good. He’s got this column in Wired in an article ‘The Myth of the ‘Transparent Society’:

“If I disclose information to you, your power with respect to me increases. One way to address this power imbalance is for you to similarly disclose information to me. We both have less privacy, but the balance of power is maintained. But this mechanism fails utterly if you and I have different power levels to begin with.”

He talks about how bullshit these arguments are for transparent society. Really good stuff. He references a previous column, ‘The Eternal Value of Privacy’:

“The most common retort against privacy advocates — by those in favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale surveillance measures — is this line: ‘If you aren’t doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?’ ….Two proverbs say it best: Quis custodiet custodes ipsos? (‘Who watches the watchers?’) and ‘Absolute power corrupts absolutely.'”

Then, there’s this weird interview with David Brin on some other site called ‘The beauty of a world without privacy. The article’s tagline intro:

“Noted science-fiction author David Brin — winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards for outstanding speculative fiction — says that privacy could be the ultimate danger to our society.”

I’m not entirely sure how to read the interview, but then again, I haven’t really had the time to actually read it. I just need to get it off my browser.

Also speaking of security—I just saw the movie The Bank Job. Highly recommended!

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3 responses

18 03 2008
siegem

One of the things I like the most is security, in a technical point of view. Like, how can we hide messages within images to transport via internet (forgot the name of this technic), and the sort.
“Quis custodiet custodes ipsos”, have I read it from a Dan Brown book? This definition is very interesting. Who would assert if someone that takes care of something is doing the right thing?
That’s a nice plot for Dan’s novel.

19 03 2008
Jacob

I think there’s a ton of really cool security-related stuff. One thing that fascinates me is they’ve made a long-range bluetooth gun. It’s a tight focused beam that can pick up on bluetooth networks at up to a mile or something. You could basically point it at someone and access anything of theirs—cellphones, laptops etc.

It’s kind of similar to the RFID reader. In Little Brother, Doctorow makes good use of people hacking RFID ID cards and making a lot of trouble. It’s real technology today which is why I found LB to be so intriguing.

I haven’t read any Dan Brown. All the pop-culture around the Da Vinci Code made me wary of his books. I don’t try to avoid good books, but there’s something about everyone going crazy over a book that makes it less attractive to me. Do you recommend his stuff?

19 03 2008
siegem

This bluetooth gun seems to be cool! How does it work? It can break into a bluetooth system without permission or only systems where would be lack of security (like that wireless networks with default access passwords)?
If you could tell, what those people hacking the rfid where doing?
Yes, I recommend his books. I never heard about Dan Brown before Davinci Code, but the first book of his that took a lot of my attention (and was the first I read) was Digital Fortress. It’s not a cyberpunk or the like book, but has some nice conspiracy about security and privacy over the web. (Da Vinci code is very good too).

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