Towards Data Security

Jul 04, 2013 Posted Under: computer programming

My son mentioned a talk he heard by Marcel Molina about applying Thomas Aquinas’ characterization of beauty (Clarity, Proportion and Integrity) to computer programming.

Which got me thinking about code integrity, which according to Geodel’s Incompleteness Theorems, is not possible to prove.

But, nature does it anyway, or something close, with DNA. Species too far apart are infertile immediately or within one generation. And, some plant species employ messages secret to themselves about their ongoing invasion of another plant’s living space. Could we do something like that with data security?

Data could have properties like Expiration Date, Viewable By, Transmittable By, Modifiable By to specify its intended use.

Then we would need a Digital Rights Management system at least as uncrackable as DNA. That’s the tricky part, but we know it’s sort of doable, by nature’s many examples.

The theoretical impossibility of absolute data security is that, barring absolute zero temperature, data is always copyable. At the limit of that claim is its final receipt in a human brain, whose signals we can discern from outside that brain.

And even though we can’t currently read those signals very clearly, marketers would LOVE to get their hands on what we can do now, as it displays at minimum pleasure and rejections.

So, an authentication system based on multiple biometrics, and an appropriately secure digital rights management system are needed. But way better than the banking and state secrets versions we have now.

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