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Hacked in a public space? Thanks, HTTPS

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

"In their wish for no control, we got an insecure by design but masterfully self-healing interconnection of all the computers in the world and have been applying bandaids and sticking plasters ever since in an attempt to provide security and privacy. Good luck with that!"

Yep, that's about the size of it. But I'm not sure that it could ever have turned out differently even if anyone had wanted to.

The Internet has two conflicting requirements.

1) Allow people to transfer data, browse and do whatever they want, with no identity check for network access, control or prevention. (this is for the good guys).

2) Stop people transferring data, browsing and doing whatever they want, having established their identity and applying control and prevention (this is for the bad guys).

Contradictory, no?!

Technology fundamentally cannot resolve that contradiction because the Internet cannot distinguish between good guys and bad guys. Only humans can do that, but even then we almost always disagree on who is good and who is bad.

It's made harder because there's really no way of working out who is at the end of an IP address without going round there and knocking on the door. There is no technology we have than can irrefutably establish the identity of the person originating some network traffic. We can get close, passwords, biometrics, etc, but passwords get written or down or lost/stolen, and biometrics are too easily fooled. Short of having some sort of ID chip implanted at birth somewhere where no one would be prepared to have surgery at a later date (another contradiction), there's no irrefutable way of doing it.

And without that there's no way on the network of reliably telling who's who, and without that we're doomed to have a network pretty much like the Internet currently is.

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