Lack of the Trust

4 minute read

Hello reader, nice to see you here again.

Today it will be great to show some concerns about our surrounding reality.

Around us we have a lot of systems that make our life easier: messengers, search engines, social networks, taxi. And it’s not just about IT systems: banks, government services, stores - but they are going online more and more.

Current status

The one common thing about all these services - is centralization, which is not so bad, until you start to think about your privacy. All these guys are collecting your personal information and we have to trust them that their systems are protected enough to resist multiple attacks. And that’s far-far away from reality.

Business is working in a wrong direction - it’s not trying to build a product, it just tries to get IPO and to do that will use any dirty methods. And the customers of such businesses are the first victims.

Any business is about money and security is one of the most expensive parts of any business expenses that usually lacks expertise, time or budgets. How is it looking at the big companies? Someone promised to build a security system, building something and after that saying - “it’s secure”. Security department could check some common cases using existing tools, but overall it’s just a minimal security check. If the system is not built protected and not architecture well from the beginning - it has no security at all.

It’s impossible to secure the system when it’s already built - and usually developers and the other guys just have no clue how to build a protected system. Multiple companies are driven by the guys who don’t want to spend money to protect your data - of course on paper, it will be perfect, but under the hood it’s a mess.

Proprietary systems are dead

Probably it’s a little bit early to say such harsh words, but we need to be prepared - the future is ruled by OpenSource and OpenHardware. Corporations just don’t have enough resources (money, expertise, will) to build really secure systems.

All the high-level professionals are already tasted the freedom of open source and the community - those projects are doing good and not going to go away.

With Facebook - you can’t check where your data is going, how it’s managed and who is using it. You can’t be sure Facebook will be available tomorrow - servers could just go away and you will never see your data again. Of course the possibility of such an outcome is relatively small - but what if? Just imagine and you will be terrified - all your likes and photos are gone, all your beloved connections and history is gone.

The even bigger story is about “the real world” - mobile operator shut down? How you could be ensured that your bank account will not be blocked today? What you will do if the entire financial system, managed by “very smart people”, will go down?

Ok, so the future is doomed?

The answers are developing their way forward right now - alternative systems of free communication, doing business, finances - it’s a parallel universe that will replace the current broken one when it will fail again. And many of us are living in both universes right now.

Unfortunately, there is still no really good system for communication, but they are going forward to enforce our privacy and we can really trust them. Such systems is quite complicated (and we’re still working on one system) and p2p encryption is still not enough - we’re living in a really scare world which requires us to protect ourselves, so we have to have a way to hide our identity from the others, store the data locally, way to control the known information and a way for plausible deniability.

Sharing data is still too complicated and many ones are afraid of the torrent system. But p2p synchronisation of the files is working good enough, we just need to adapt the interface for users.

Business applications are still too custom and proprietary, but the ways of making money transforming right now (and we’re trying to make this happen sooner).

About the financial system there is just one, but huge player - Bitcoin. Seems like it will win the cryptocurrency race and will change the world we see right now - no matter how banks or government will try to resist - it’s too good an answer for the issues we have right now to finally store some trust in the automated monetary system.

When money will be automated (means everyone will use it) - decentralized applications will finally get some base to build on - and this is a totally different story of internet 2.0.

But what to do right now?

Oh, it’s quite simple:

  • Avoid proprietary systems if there is a good open source alternative - for example, it’s always a good time to start to learn more about Linux.
  • Make sure you own your data - proprietary platforms are allowing you to download your data, so use this to be ready if something will go wrong.
  • Don’t trust centralized services - even if the client and server are open sourced, the central server is always a point of disconnect.
  • Don’t rely on the existing centralized dependencies - for example, if a messenger account creation requires you to provide a phone number or email - that means it’s a broken system.
  • Don’t share too private information - delete your account in Facebook is too suspicious for the others, so have something about you there, but not it all of course - just enough for plausible confirmation.
  • Know how to process the incoming information, be flexible and rationale - in two words: stay alive.

You always should be ready and calculate your risks properly - just remember, there are still enough issues to solve and we’re waiting for your experience to make this world better.