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Security through Ubiquity

Another idea I want to get out and into at least my working lexicon.

Security through Ubiquity refers to the reduced vulnerability to attack that can manifest due to being part of a transcendently common multitude; in this context "attack" includes social approbation and the deleterious effects of a loss of privacy.

This apparent security comes from several sources:

  • An abundance of identical items/behaviors can make it proportionately less likely that one's own item/behavior gets targeted. ("Weak" security through ubiquity.)
  • An abundance of identical items/behaviors can lessen the desire to attack the item/behavior -- the item/behavior is not scarce, unusual or out-of-place. ("Moderate" security through ubiquity.)
  • An abundance of identical items/behaviors can mean that many, many people know how to recognize and potentially resolve or mitigate damage from misuses or abuses of that item or behavior. ("Strong" security through ubiquity, overlaps with open source security argument.)

    The example of this that comes to mind is the increasingly commonplace appearance of "inappropriate" pictures and personal stories on publicly-visible social networking sites, websites, and chat logs. In an era when such appearances were unusual and/or out-of-place, participants could be easily targeted and social norms readily enforced. In an era when such appearances are commonplace, it becomes harder to generate ongoing interest or opprobrium absent another factor that makes the appearance scarce or unusual (e.g., celebrity status).

    This is why I don't believe that the up-and-coming network generation will be particularly harmed professionally or socially in the future by "wild" behavior documented online today.

  • Comments

    Jamais, I think your excellent point also applies to energy systems.


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