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[liberationtech] Ideas for MSc research into HCI, security tools, and privacy.

Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb ei8fdb at
Sat Sep 22 08:56:50 PDT 2012

Hash: SHA1

Hi Michael,

Thank you for replying.

On 22 Sep 2012, at 16:41, Michael Rogers wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> Hi Bernard,
> There are two areas where I'd love to see some research. The first is
> the effect of provenance on perceptions of security: when deciding how
> secure they believe a tool to be, how strongly are people influenced
> by their knowledge of who created the tool, versus their knowledge of
> how the tool works, or other factors?

Yes, an excellent question. 

I have the feeling (backed up by observation) there is a similar approach by some people open source software, where the argument of 
"the developer is good so s/he wouldn't do anything bad".

> The second area is how people reason about security boundaries - or to
> put it another way, how people reason about the security properties of
> data as it moves between devices, between locations and between
> applications.

Again, an excellent question.

> For example, if someone believes that Skype is in some sense "more
> secure" than AIM, will that person treat files received over Skype
> differently from files received over AIM? What concepts will they
> refer to when explaining why they do or don't treat those files
> differently?
> Knowing more about how people reason about these issues would help
> developers to design tools that actually have the properties people
> think they have.

Do you have any information or resources on this?



> Cheers,
> Michael
> On 22/09/12 16:06, Bernard Tyers - ei8fdb wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I am currently researching ideas for my masters in human computer
>> systems thesis. I am a mobile telecoms engineer by profession, but
>> am interested in HCI, tools that help maintain your security,
>> secure communications, and privacy concerns.
>> There have been some interesting threads here that have brought up
>> some interesting questions for me: ∙ The thread discussing the
>> usability of tools, such as cryptocat. How it was (originally) easy
>> to use but may not have been as secure as possible. (NB: This is
>> not a jab/poke at anybodies work, or an excuse to bring up any of
>> the previous discussions about Cryptocat) ∙ The perception of tools
>> which are easy to use but may not be secure, eg. Viber, whereas
>> other tools are seen as secure, ∙ There are no shortcuts to being
>> secure.
>> I am developing some ideas at the moment, which are mainly around
>> mobile, privacy, security, encryption tools, people's use of these
>> tools (and why some people don't use them), how to present
>> information such as  possible interference with Internet users
>> traffic.
>> I would be very interested to hear from anyone (on or off-list) who
>> has any suggestions, "I'd love to know XYZ" questions, or projects
>> that are currently on-going that may benefit from a MSc level
>> research project into the intersecting topics mentioned above. I am
>> open to discussing any ideas, so please let me know if you have an
>> idea.
>> thanks in advance, Bernard
>> -------------------------------------- Bernard / bluboxthief /
>> ei8fdb
>> IO91XM /
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- --------------------------------------
Bernard / bluboxthief / ei8fdb

IO91XM /

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