Friday, February 26, 2010

Why I'm the next super-empowered individual of note

I hereby declare myself a super-empowered individual. I'm one of those folks who can change the world if he so desires. I have decided there is a situation which needs to change, and I have started to change it. It will take time and focused effort, but things will change.

I'm just an average American... it the old school sense of things. Just one of "the folk". I have no special skills or resources... just a set of observations and a set of theories derived from them.

I believe one thing that I believe sets me apart from most people:

Computers can be made secure in the hands of the average user.

The average user is by far the most maligned portion of the entire computer security world. The commonly held belief is that if we were smarter, or more careful, we users wouldn't be in this mess.

To that I call bullshit. This blaming the user has to stop. Users have no sane set of tools with which to work. The current choices of tools are so poor the equivalent would be be like blaming a heart surgeon for not being able to complete a triple bypass operation with a pair of wire cutters and a roll of duct tape. If he were really smart, and inventive, like McGuyver, he could pull it off, right? Wrong!

The tools required by the user are simple... an operating system that allows you to specify a set of capabilities to be supplied to a program the user wishes to run. The operating system would then be responsible for making sure that ONLY those capabilities were used, and nothing else.

It's simple to state, but very hard to grasp if you've been immersed in the world as it is, with usernames, passwords, virus scanners, "trusted code", and a whole system designed to make things appear to be stable by listing everything that is bad code, and trying to filter it out.

I intend to provide examples and conversation and guidance to help ALL of us change things for the better.

I'm changing the world. You're already helping by reading this. Thank you for your time and attention.


Anonymous said...

The biggest issue is legacy software. Some companies are still trying to phase out IE6!

Have you seen the direction Fedora and SELinux have been taking?


Mike Warot said...

I like the SElinux Sandbox mode especially with the GUI support. It's a definite step in the right direction.

This would allow the user to finally be able to run code without having to trust it. 8)

Thanks for the pointer!