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Whom Must You Trust? 120

Posted by Soulskill
from the mainly-just-late-night-infomercial-spokepeople dept.
CowboyRobot writes: 'In ACM's Queue, Thomas Wadlow argues that "Whom you trust, what you trust them with, and how much you trust them are at the center of the Internet today." He gives a checklist of what to look for when evaluating any system for trustworthiness, chock full of fascinating historical examples. These include NASA opting for a simpler, but more reliable chip; the Terry Childs case; and even an 18th century "semaphore telegraph" that was a very early example of steganographic cryptography. From the article: "Detecting an anomaly is one thing, but following up on what you've detected is at least as important. In the early days of the Internet, Cliff Stoll, then a graduate student at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories in California, noticed a 75-cent accounting error on some computer systems he was managing. Many would have ignored it, but it bothered him enough to track it down. That investigation led, step by step, to the discovery of an attacker named Markus Hess, who was arrested, tried, and convicted of espionage and selling information to the Soviet KGB."'
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Whom Must You Trust?

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  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday June 06, 2014 @01:23PM (#47181013)

    Trust is a necessity. People do not have infinite time and skill available. At some point, I must trust someone or something. I must trust my mechanic that he doesn't cut my brakes. I must trust the pizza delivery guy that he doesn't sprinkle his pizza with E605. Of course you can opt to trust NOBODY, but, bluntly, that would indeed leap over the border to paranoia.

    But just as you have to pick your battles, you have to pick who to trust and who not to. A good starting point is usually the "cui bono" approach. What's in it for my pizza guy to kill me? Nothing. So I guess it's safe to assume that he wants to continue bringing me pizza because he wants more of my money.

    OTOH, with the current situation, I wouldn't trust any government any further than I can throw up.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle

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