[linux-elitists] Surveillance

Greg KH greg at kroah.com
Sun Sep 8 10:14:24 PDT 2013

On Sun, Sep 08, 2013 at 09:58:33AM -0700, Marc MERLIN wrote:
> On Sun, Sep 08, 2013 at 09:52:38AM -0700, Greg KH wrote:
> > "Small kernels" fall apart when they hit modern systems and real-world
> > devices and scenarios.  It's as if people never learn from past
> > mistakes, sad.  But it makes for nice research papers, so they continue
> > to be worked on.
> So I unfortunately do not disagree with what you're saying, although I can
> also see how some people haven't given up and are still trying to have
> systems that they can trust end to end as much as possible.
> Out of curiosity, what's your stance? Do you just accept that no system you
> can get is guaranteed to be secure on the hardware level, and hope someone
> high up enough isn't after you?
> (that's pretty much where I'm standing for lack of better choices)

Yes, that's where I am due to a lack of better choices as well.

> But I can see how companies like my employer or now foreign governments who
> don't trust anything coming from the US, or going through the US (like gmail
> just having been banned for all use by Indian officials), would want to try
> a bit harder, even if can seem like a losing battle if your opponent is
> sufficiently funded and motivated.

There's tons you can do to mitigate risk, and enhance trust, but that
wasn't the original question :)

It all depends on what type of threat model you want to protect from,
security, and trust, is in layers, not absolutes.

If you have the resources (like your employer and foreign governments),
then there are lots of things that can be done to mitigate risk and
enhance trust, it all depends on how much time and resources you want to

But, back to the original question that started most of this thread out:

	What can we, as developers of open software, be doing to help
	make systems that people can trust more?

Ironically, I'm arguing the other side of this type of thing right now
on the linux kernel mailing list, where people are trying to shut down
too many things, removing valid options at the expense of people who
have different risk models...


greg k-h

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