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interesting ideas I heard from students in class

2 min read

3 February 2015 Edition (first in a potentially very long series)

“you can imagine a system” with an alternative design or different values

I like how both philosophers and engineers use that kind of phrasing: the philosopher in introducing a thought experiment, the engineer in describing an alternate implementation.

standards can prove problematic for security because of their homogeneity. what about the value of diversity?

Awesome. Also, I take this as a reminder to emphasize, when we talk about standards, how they typically exist to enable some kinds of diversity.

“26/11”, a term for the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai

and apparently used as a justification for limitations on BlackBerry messaging

“I could commit a crime right now”

In discussing the “zone of lawlessness” and how our classrooms are lawless in the sense that nothing is pre-emptively preventing criminal activity.

what is the violability of disk encryption or transport-layer encryption?

Per the advice I give at the beginning of every Crypto Party, the typical encryption tools we can easily learn aren’t so strong that you can keep the contents of your communications secret from a focused criminal investigation into your background. Even strong and properly implemented crypto is typically violable, via endpoint security if nothing else, in a particular investigation; it’s only inviolable in the sense of mass surveillance.