Thursday, October 8, 2009

Richard Bejtlich on Technical Visibility

Security guru Richard Bejtlich's latest post describes a scale with which we can measure the Technical Visibility of a piece of technology. In the post he suggests that the technology we use is becoming increasingly feature-rich without a corresponding move toward open architecture, threatening our ability to trust what a device/application/machine is really doing behind the scenes. The question is how do you measure the true *need* for a certain level of Technical Visibility? In other words, I think we would benefit from a scale that relates both the properties of a piece of technology (for example, ip enabled vs non-ip enabled) and the context in which it is used (for example storing confidential information vs. storing my grocery list), to a specific level of Technical Visibility. The concept does, in my mind, bring up familiar questions about how certain companies decide how much access the consumer should have to study the inner-workings of a device like, for example, the iPhone...

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