November 20, 2009

Chrome OS

No thanks. I’m hard­ly the tar­get mar­ket for Chrome OS, but I fear (FEAR!) the pri­va­cy and secu­ri­ty impli­ca­tions of mov­ing to a non-local-stor­age mod­el for every­thing I work on, espe­cial­ly when encryp­tion of my data has no long-term guar­an­tees what­so­ev­er.

I appre­ci­ate sci­ence fic­tion’s por­tray­al of the future as a ubiq­ui­tous info por­tal (Accelleran­do) but this stretch­es my trust beyond its lim­it regard­less of whether a com­pa­ny or gov­ern­ment is in charge of the buy-in.

Diver­si­fi­ca­tion is the only safe route here. I want to see a pletho­ra of phys­i­cal-body devices with unique, user-pro­gram­ma­ble, lay­ered encryp­tion sys­tems. I don’t want the data to be stored in a gener­ic inter­op­er­a­ble for­mat; design an inter­op­er­a­ble API instead. This abstrac­tion means I can dis­able API access and my data is phys­i­cal­ly protected.

Google and co have clear­ly deter­mined (I think cor­rect­ly) that the way to ensure long-term free­dom of the human race from tyran­ny is to enable unbro­ken com­mu­ni­ca­tion, access to infor­ma­tion and learn­ing resources, and demand us to be altru­is­tic and hon­est for fear of the greater trust-web being bro­ken. I seri­ous­ly think we’ll reach a point where the trust-web will be so impor­tant that it’ll become sacro­sanct, with vio­la­tors giv­en the future equiv­a­lent of cor­po­ral pun­ish­ment: the denial of access to information.

We see the roots of this in our eco­nom­ic sys­tem, where the greater good is served by main­tain­ing faith in the val­ue of oth­ers. Note how many reg­u­la­tions we need to hold this sys­tem togeth­er against the mul­ti­tudes who want to cheat and scam for per­son­al ben­e­fit; when exposed their pun­ish­ment is the denial of fur­ther influ­ence upon the system.

Until we make a diety of the trust-web, secu­ri­ty and pri­va­cy are the biggest con­cerns. We should always have an exit, an opt-out in the form of per­son­al encryp­tion and removal of our data from the pub­lic eye. I don’t trust cen­tralised systems.

posted by Andrew

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