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Privacy and Security

It’s probably obvious, but I’ve never seen anyone talk about the connection between privacy and security.  Without one, the other isn’t possible.

Consider “the privacy of your own home”.  What would that privacy consist of without locks for the doors, or without doors for that matter?

The offline world has a rich history of security techniques, processes, and conventions that broadly permit privacy.  Locks and keys.  Identification.  Ways to detect tampering.

The online world is much newer and rawer.  In some senses the “ecosystem” of security online is a monoculture consisting of encryption, or maybe encryption and digesting.  Guess someone’s password and you can invade their private areas with impunity and, in many cases, undetectably, or at least undetectably for some time.  That can’t happen offline because even a key to a lock is only part of the security ecosystem that underpins offline security.

We need fundamental research into new methods and modes of security and identity online.  We need the online equivalent of Venetian blinds, of unfalsifiable powers of attorney, of notaries.

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About the author

an Gordon is Research Director for Valhalla Partners, a Northern Virginia venture capital firm. Dan has twenty-eight years experience working with technology, as a computer scientist, software developer, manager, analyst, and entrepreneur. Prior to joining Valhalla Partners, Dan was a Director and senior staff member at the PricewaterhouseCoopers Global Technology Centre, analyzing technology trends and consulting on technology-oriented strategies in the software, e-business, wireless, optical, networking, semiconductor IP, and life sciences arenas. He worked with clients from North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Australia. Dan was a Contributing Writer and Contributing Editor to the Technology Centre’s annual Technology Forecast, and a frequent speaker at industry and general business meetings. Before joining PwC, Dan spent 20 years in Silicon Valley as a software technologist, manager, director, and entrepreneur, including senior technical roles at well-known Silicon Valley firms like Symantec, Intuit, and Oracle. Dan has also been involved in startup companies in the applied Artificial Intelligence and Web applications fields. Dan has a B.A. (cum laude) from Harvard University and an M.S. from New York University in Computer Science. He is a Professional Member of the IEEE and ACM. Dan lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife and two children.