Saturday, January 07, 2006

Do you trust your PC?

Doc worries about the narrowing of options when it comes to getting video content on the net. As with anything related to the internet, anyone can offer a new protocol, and if there is enough percieved benefit, it'll get adopted and and a new dimension to the internet.

Unfortunately, the ongoing saga of desktop insecurity is making people increasingly unwilling to try new programs, or new protocols. It is having a chilling effect on innovation, thus increasing the probability that we're going to have only limited options in the future. It's not just video that will fall victim, but pretty much any new innovation has a significant barrier to overcome, and the price is always going up!

Desktop insecurity theatens the ability of the internet to serve as a garden for innovation.


Now, you might think I'm full of shit when I say desktop security is still a problem. We have virus scanners, spyware scanners, and all sorts of lockdown tools.

Let me put it this way... do you trust your PC?

Are you willing to pick up any random CD, throw it in the tray, and run it?
Are you willing to give accounts out to random individuals on the internet?
Are you willing to expose your machine to raw unfiltered internet?

Why not? We have account security, permissions, and lockdown tools. Surely a savvy administrator, or the right set of tools could make it safe?

If we had real security, all of these would be no problem. You'd be able to strictly limit the capabilities given to a program, instead of being forced into the binary trust/don't trust decision you now face.

If we had real securty, you could give anyone an account, and limit the capabilites they could give to programs on your computer.

If we had real security, the kernel of the OS would limit the ability of even a compromised system application to do damage.

We need a better security model, we need it yesterday. I'd be happy to see it by 2010. Who ever gets there first stands in a position to control the nature of the internet for a long chunk of time. I hope it shows up in an open source form.

I believe it is only by securing our desktops that we can hope to free the net.


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