Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 8th Dec 2004 20:48 UTC, submitted by Nicholas
Editorial I just spent the last several days reading the lengthy essay "Ying and Yang of Security" which explores the origins of security on the personal computer and explains why the current models are outdated. It seems to argue that security systems designed to keep the system safe are relics of the days of mainframes when the system was more important than the user, but for a personal computer the user is more important than the system.
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by Joshua Brindle on Thu 9th Dec 2004 15:11 UTC

The underlying premise of this article is that filesystem permissions (and other security mechanisms that are inconvenient to the user) are outdated and not worthwhile in modern computing. This is dead wrong, not only are permissions entirely desirable (how many people share computers with others) but more access control (eg., Mandatory access) is necessary.

In a current Linux system (or just about any other OS you are running on a personal computer) the applications you run (for the most part) assume the same rights as you, and therefore can do anything you'd do (with any of your data).

A good essay rebuting this idea is The Inevitability of Failure available at