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Words Matter: Privacy, Security, and Related Terms. Jim Horning Chief Scientist Information Systems Security Operation SPARTA, Inc. ISIPS, May 12, 2008. The Genesis of This Talk. From: Horning, Jim Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:47 PM To: Paul Kantor

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Words matter privacy security and related terms

Words Matter:Privacy, Security, and Related Terms

Jim Horning

Chief Scientist

Information Systems Security Operation

SPARTA, Inc.

ISIPS, May 12, 2008


The genesis of this talk
The Genesis of This Talk

  • From: Horning, Jim

  • Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 6:47 PM

  • To: Paul Kantor

  • … one thing bothers me: It seems to me that you have conflated some concepts that it is helpful to keep distinct…

  • In particular, “free speech” and “privacy” are not equivalent…

  • “Security” is a much broader concept than “intelligence collection and processing” …

  • From: Paul Kantor

  • Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 8:08 AM

  • To: Horning, Jim

  • … Would you be willing to give a talk on the importance and difficulty of making these distinctions, at the Conference? …

ISIPS 2008


Privacy and free speech are not equivalent
“Privacy” and “Free Speech”are Not Equivalent

  • Free speech is primarily concerned with public behavior, privacy, with information about non-public behavior.

  • The right of free speech was explicitly recognized in the Constitution. A constitutional right to privacy is only implicit, and was not made explicit by the courts until the 20th Century.

  • One could imagine complete freedom of speech even in David Brin's privacy-free “transparent society” (http://www.davidbrin.com/transparent.html).

  • One could also imagine a society with very strong privacy protection and no freedom of speech whatsoever.

  • Libel is one of the areas in which these two ideals tend to come into rather direct conflict.

  • There is also a question about the right to anonymous communication, which some feel is inherent in the right of free speech, but many do not.

ISIPS 2008


Security is broader than intelligence collection and analysis
“Security” is Broader Than“Intelligence Collection and Analysis”

  • Even within national/homeland security, intelligence is only one of a wide range of activities supporting security.

  • There is also proactive/defensive side to national/homeland security, that we probably won’t be saying much about here.

  • Even within intelligence, there is recognition that collection and analysis are part of a larger cycle that includes direction, interpretation, dissemination, and—ultimately—reaction.

ISIPS 2008


A verbal paradox
A Verbal Paradox

  • “Difficult trade-offs must be made betweenprivacy and security.”

  • “Governments have cited compelling national security needs for seeking to violate privacy.” —2005 Hard Problems List

  • vs.

  • “Security is necessary for privacy, and vice versa.”

  • Private credentials are essential for authentication at a distance.

  • Information stored in insecure systems is inherently non-private.

  • Both true, but in different contexts and with somewhat different meanings of “privacy” and “security.”

ISIPS 2008


Privacy and security
Privacy and Security

  • Both words have a variety of meanings.

  • Often, computersecurity means something like:

  • Reasonable assurance that the complete systemwill function (only) as required and intended.

  • Often, privacy means something like:

  • The system does not release personal informationto unauthorized entities.

  • But not always. Different assumed meaningscan interfere with communication andlead to unfruitful arguments and invalid conclusions.

ISIPS 2008


Definitions security and privacy

security noun. LME.

[ORIGIN Old French & Modern French sécurité or Latin securitas, formed as secure adjective: see -ity.]

► I1 The condition of being protected from or not exposed to danger; safety; spec. the condition of being protected from espionage, attack, or theft. Also, the condition of being kept in safe custody. LME. ▸ b The provision or exercise of measures to ensure such safety. Also (S-), a government department or other organization responsible for ensuring security. M20.

2 Freedom from care, anxiety, or apprehension; a feeling of safety or freedom from danger. Formerly also, overconfidence, carelessness. LME.

3 Freedom from doubt; confidence, assurance. Now chiefly spec., well-founded confidence, certainty. L16.

4 The quality of being securely fixed or attached, stability. rare. M19.

► II 5 Property etc. deposited or pledged by or on behalf of a person as a guarantee of the fulfilment of an obligation (as an appearance in court or the payment of a debt) and liable to forfeit in the event of default. Freq. in enter security, enter into security, give security, give in security. Cf. surety noun 1. LME.

6 A thing which protects or makes safe a thing or person; a protection, a guard, a defence. Freq. foll. by against, from. L16.

7 A person who stands surety for another. L16.

8 Grounds for regarding something as secure, safe, or certain; an assurance, a guarantee. E17.

9 A document held by a creditor as guarantee of his or her right to payment; a certificate attesting ownership of stock, shares, etc.; the financial asset represented by such a document. Also (US), such a document issued to investors to finance a business venture. Usu. in pl. L17.

†10 A means of securing or fixing something in position. L18–M19.

privacy noun. LME.

[ORIGIN from private adjective + -cy.]

1 The state or condition of being withdrawn from the society of others or from public attention; freedom from disturbance or intrusion; seclusion. LME. ▸ b In pl. Private or retired places; places of retreat. Now rare. L17.

2 Absence or avoidance of publicity or display; secrecy. L16.

3 A private or personal matter; a secret. Now rare. L16.

4 The state of being privy to something, privity. rare. E18.

— Shorter Oxford English Dictionary

Definitions: Security and Privacy

ISIPS 2008


Constellations of concepts
Constellations of Concepts

  • Security1: computer security, network security, information security, security classifications, communication security, operational security, physical security

  • Security2: national security, homeland security, intelligence collection, intelligence analysis, intelligence dissemination, publication, surveillance, interception of communications, datamining, …

  • Security3-n: job security, Social Security, financial security (retirement), financial securities (Wall Street), …

  • Privacy, secret communication, anonymity, trade secrets, witness protection, …

  • Civil liberties: freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom from arbitrary search, protection from self-incrimination, protection of sources, …

ISIPS 2008


Constellations of concepts1
Constellations of Concepts

  • Security1: computer security, network security, information security, security classifications, communication security, operational security, physical security

  • Security2: national security, homeland security, intelligence collection, intelligence analysis, intelligence dissemination, publication, surveillance, interception of communications, datamining, …

  • Security3-n: job security, Social Security, financial security (retirement), financial securities (Wall Street), …

  • Privacy, secret communication, anonymity, trade secrets, witness protection, …

  • Civil liberties: freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom from arbitrary search, protection from self-incrimination, protection of sources, …

ISIPS 2008


Interdisciplinary studies in information privacy and security
Interdisciplinary Studiesin Information Privacy and Security

  • Multiple disciplines.

  • Each with specialized concepts and vocabularies.

  • Multiple meanings of “privacy.”

  • Defaults change depending on discipline and context.

  • Multiple meanings of “security.”

  • Defaults change depending on discipline and context.

  • What kind of privacy are you relating to what kind of security using the perspectives of what disciplines?

ISIPS 2008


Questions characterizing security 1
Questions Characterizing Security1

  • What accesses/actions are being restricted?

  • To what resources/information?

  • Who1 is being restricted?

  • For what reason?

  • Who is enforcing the restriction?

  • By what means?

  • For whose benefit?

  • On what authority?

  • 1 I use the generic “who” to refer to organizations as well as people.

  • ISIPS 2008


    Questions characterizing security 2
    Questions Characterizing Security2

    • What accesses/actions are being sought?

    • To what resources/information?

    • By whom?

    • By what means?

    • For what reason?

    • At whose direction?

    • With what authority?

    ISIPS 2008


    Questions characterizing privacy 1 protection
    Questions Characterizing Privacy1 Protection

    • What information flow is being blocked?

    • About whom?

    • From whom?

    • By whom?

    • By what means?

    • For what reason?

    • With what authority?

      1 I use the generic “privacy” to include organizational intellectual property.

    ISIPS 2008


    Some interactions
    Some Interactions

    Security1 is fundamental to enforcing Privacy.

    Security2 is potentially invasive of Privacy.

    Privacy of certain information is necessary for Security1.

    E.g., Protection of authenticating information.

    Privacy of certain information is necessary for Security2.

    E.g., Protection of the identities of informants.

    Protection of detailed intelligence results.

    ISIPS 2008


    • “… There’s glory for you!”

    • “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said.

    • Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously.

    • “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant

    • ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ”

    • “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument,’ ”

    • Alice objected.

    • “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather

    • scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean

    • —neither more nor less.”

    • “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can

    • make words mean so many different things.”

    • “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty,

    • “which is to be master—that’s all.”

    • —Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

    ISIPS 2008


    • “… There’s ANK-DA for Alice (AL)!”

    • “What Humpty Dumpty (HD) means by ‘ANK-DA,’

    • is not known by AL,” AL said.

    • HD smiled contemptuously. “Of course the meaning isn’t

    • known by AL—till AL is told by HD. HD meant ‘there’s a nice

    • knock-down argument for AL!’ ”

    • “But ‘ANK-DA’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down

    • argument,’ ” AL objected.

    • “When a word (W) is used by HD,” HD said in a rather

    • scornful tone, “what is meant by W is just what HD has chosen

    • W to mean—neither more nor less.”

    • “Whether Ws can bemade to mean so many different things

    • by HD is the question,” said AL.

    • “Which of HD or W is to be master is the question—that’s

    • all,” said HD.

    • —Sonnets from the Pentagonese

    ISIPS 2008


    To dig deeper
    To Dig Deeper…

    • Engaging Privacy and Information Technology in a Digital Age,James Waldo, Herbert S. Lin, and Lynette I. Millett, eds.,National Academies Press, 2007.

    • Toward a Safer and More Secure Cyberspace,Seymour E. Goodman and Herbert S. Lin, eds.,National Academies Press, 2007.

    • IDs – Not That Easy: Questions About Nationwide Identity Systems,Stephen T. Kent and Lynette I. Millett, eds.,National Academies Press, 2002.

    • Trust in Cyberspace,Fred B. Schneider, ed.,National Academies Press, 1999.

    • Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be, (blog) “Security.” http://horning.blogspot.com/search/label/Security

    • Nothing is as simple as we hope it will be, (blog) “Privacy.” http://horning.blogspot.com/search/label/Privacy

    ISIPS 2008


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