Sunday, April 02, 2006


Security and Obscurity, for Open Source, Military, and More

One of my principal research projects for the past several years has been to answer the question: “When does disclosure help, or hurt, security?” Open source experts say “there is no security through obscurity.” Military experts say “loose lips sink ships.” My research provides the first theoretical model for answering the question of when disclosure is likely to help security.

The Houston Law Review has recently published “A Theory of Disclosure for Security and Competitive Reasons: Open Source, Proprietary Software, and Government Systems.” It can be downloaded from the bottom of this page.

The new article adds to the first A Model for When Disclosure Helps Security: What is Different About Computer and Network Security, which was published as a chapter in a book on cybersecurity by Cambridge University Press and in a law review.

Another part of this research project has been about the proper level of disclosure in foreign intelligence surveillance law. Wiretaps should be secret, but what should the public know about wiretap law and practice?

Also, coming soon will be an article on “Privacy and Information Sharing in the War Against Terrorism.” A PowerPoint version is available here.

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