On Tuesday, an independent hacker and security researcher who goes by the handle Moxie Marlinspike and his Pittsburgh-based startup Whisper Systems launched free public betas for two new privacy-focused programs on Googles Android mobile platform: RedPhone, a voice over Internet protocol VoIP program that encrypts phone calls, and TextSecure, an app for sending and receiving encrypted text messages and scrambling the messages stored in their inbox.
Posts Tagged ‘Privacy’
I don’t know much about UK politics, though I’ve started to watch it a wee bit out of some sort of “citizen of the world” type interest. But I did love one line in particular out of Charles Stross’s overall entertaining Party Election Broadcast:
“However, the big political-philosophical question hanging over the 21st century is how we, as a society, are going to deal with having complete access to information about everything and everyone under our noses at all times. This is a social consequence of the technological changes now unfolding, but it has barely begun to impinge upon our politics at a national policy level. The problems of maintaining privacy and human autonomy while living in a panopticon are very real, and the risks of getting it wrong are enormous.” (emphasis mine)
We’re there now. We just have to figure out how to deal with it.
I read with great interest Tim O’Reilly’s extensive and thoughtful essay on The State of the Internet Operating System.
(The rest of this post just consists of my own musings on his article.)
Moving away from the operating systems for individual computers (e.g. Linux, Windows, Plan 9, etc.), he talks about higher levels of abstraction needed for the sorts of infrastructure services we build today. O’Reilly outlines some needed subsystems, like:
- Identity and the Social Graph
- Activity Streams
- Image and Speech Recognition
He also rejects the idea of the browser as OS and muses on additional things this sort of infrastructure platform might need, like synchronization and garbage collection.
I wish he’d addressed privacy and security a little more explicitly, though a few of his issues touch on this tangentially. But the concept — application developers using APIs or some analogue thereof to accomplish these tasks rather than redeveloping over and over — has obvious worth.
Do the things I do contribute to the development of the “new world infrastructure”? Or am I just tinkering with irrelevancies? The stuff I do tends towards the operational rather than developmental, but I don’t know that I will stay in this mode. My immediate future will stay in incident response and security, since that pays the bills pretty well and has lots of value in itself.
But I’ve also started chewing on Hamming’s idea to slightly shift fields of focus every seven(ish) years, and this article just fed right into it. I need to go brew this stuff in my head together with everything else I’ve dumped into my brain lately so that I can figure some things out for my own future.