[cap-talk] Security choices - human vs. automated (was: Google Chrome - browser sandboxed)

Jed Donnelley capability at webstart.com
Sun Sep 7 02:04:35 CDT 2008

At 05:51 PM 9/6/2008, Raoul Duke wrote:
> > Are there choices that can't be automated but are also
> > unreasonable for humans to make?  I can't think of any
> > off hand.  If we can develop such a category, then
> > perhaps we can work on shrinking it.
>interesting question.
>...what can be automated is a moving target as we improve the abilities
>of our systems.

I don't see any problem with that.  It points a way to improvements.

>taking your tax example, what are some assumptions about the scenario
>e.g. how trustworthy is the new tax program?

I don't see how it matters.  I made the decision that it was
trustworthy enough to process my current year's tax data.  At
that point the question of whether it is trustworthy enough
to have access to my previous year's tax data seems to me a
reasonable one for me to answer.

>if the new tax program
>were to attempt to illicitly transmit the old tax info to a 3rd party,
>would one deflect blame on the user who said "go ahead"?

I don't particularly see the relevance of such "deflecting of blame".
The user behind the power box had a choice and made it for obvious

>what if the
>access to the old returns were over some unsecured network connection?

That seems to me to be a technical issue that can be dealt with
by the implementors.

>or if there were an option to use a secured one, but the self-signed
>certificate makes the ui barf a little bit? etc.

Ditto - technical.

>i wish i knew how to say the devil is in the details in latin.

Certainly true.  There are some details that are "technical" as above
and can be engineered tight.  There are other "details" that seem
to me to necessarily involve a value judgement that I believe is
appropriate for people controlling power box interfaces.

--Jed  http://www.webstart.com/jed-signature.html  

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