My Faults My Own

…willing to sacrifice something we don't have

for something we won't have, so somebody will someday.

IN WHICH Ross Rheingans-Yoo, a sometimes-poet and erstwhile student of Computer Science and Math, oc­cas­ion­al­ly writes on things of int­erest.

Reading Feed (last update: June 21)

A collection of things that I was happy I read. Views expressed by linked authors are chosen because I think they're interesting, not because I think they're correct, unless indicated otherwise.


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Blog: Marginal Revolution | Which technological advances have improved the working of autocracy? — The big innovation in authoritarian governance has been this: subsequent autocratic leaders, most of all in China, have found ways of both liberalizing and staying in power.

Blog: Schneier on Security | Free Societies are at a Disadvantage in National Cybersecurity — "I do worry that these disadvantages will someday become intolerable. Dan Geer often said that "the price of freedom is the probability of crime." We are willing to pay this price because it isn't that high. As technology makes individual and small-group actors more powerful, this price will

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Crypto at Davos, or Harvard Profs vs. David Cameron

This semester, I'm a Teaching Fellow for CS 161, Operating Systems, taught by the legendary Margo Seltzer, former president of USENIX, advisor to Harvard WiCS, and mother of two.

She's quoted in an article by the Financial Times[1] alongside two other Harvard professors speaking at Davos[?], criticizing David Cameron's post-Charlie proposals to criminalize strong encryption:

If bad guys who are breaking laws cannot use encryption, they will find another way. It is an arms race and if governments say you cannot do this, that means the good guys can't and the bad guys can. End to end encryption is the way to go. (...)

Jonathan Zittrain weighs in:

This is not just about hardware but software. You would have to find a way for a phone not to be able to download any app that could defeat [the breaking of] encryption... That would be a referendum on our entire ecosystem. (...)

Making Zittrain's comment a little more concrete, messaging app WhatsApp would run afoul of Cameron's proposed securities policies, as

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