A Luddite Of Things

I’ve been deeply ambivalent about “the Internet Of Things” (IoT) for as long as geeks  have been jabbering about it.

Now, bear in mind, I work in technology; I design how people and technology (at various levels) interact.  My home office looks like Chloe O’Brien’s cubicle, or Vernon Reid’s effects rig.

But I gotta draw the line at an internet that communicates between discrete machines and the people who run them.

Net-controlled home security?  Cars?  Ubiquitous online connections to everything we interact with in life?

Well, not after last Friday, where apparently cheap, insecure IoT devices in various online-enabled appliances – DVRs, video cameras and the like – were harnessed by incredibly sophisticated hackers to launch a denial of service attack that took down vast swathes of the internet.

I’ll drive my own car and lock my own doors, thanks.

6 thoughts on “A Luddite Of Things

  1. I’m reminded of talking with a coworker about 15 years back about the possibility of smart guns, and his thought was more or less “I write firmware for a living–not a chance (in ****) that I’d want my guns controlled by it.” And I concur–I’m enough of a technological klutz to know that things could go disastrously wrong.

  2. Put a camera and microphone in your house that are on all of the time and connected to the internet. Great idea!
    The worse thing? Some of this krep is marketed as home security solutions.
    The companies that make these things will always value increasing revenue over customer security.

  3. There’s an easy solution: make the manufacturer liable for damages for products that aren’t updated after a vulnerability is reported. The problem for most of these systems is that the manufacturer just doesn’t care if there’s a vulnerability since they’ve already made the sale and gotten all the revenue they will get. If they’re on the hook for damages, they’ll actually put some effort into maintenance and support. Of course, the price for these gadgets will go up to cover that support, but maybe we can get them to use FOSS projects to cut their costs, similar to how Linux is developed these days (it’s nearly all commercial developers involved; amateurs just aren’t good enough for most parts of Linux).

  4. You mean like fine and jail malicious prosecution DA’s? Good idea, but will never happen.

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