Saturday, 30 May 2009

Google Wave Security

Have Google thought about security or got caught up in a Wave of enthusiasm?

The big advantage of email has always been the firmware independence; it doesn't matter if I'm using a Vista machine, a Mac Book Air or my mobile phone, I can always send and receive email. Google have argued that this is a 40-year-old technology that is ripe for an update. This is true, but if Google want widespread adoption of Wave, they need to have two things. Firstly, it needs to be open and platform independent - they have announced that it will be open-source, so that checks out. Although they say that they want to give something back to the community, this project would fall flat if the only way to communicate was via their web app that people have to sign up to. I don't need to sign up to Google to get my email or to receive gmail messages. I have choice. This is critical to the success of the new platform, but, as my wife says, it's always good to turn a necessity into a virtue.

The second thing that Google need is to have security built-in to the architecture from the start. If this is to be used by businesses, rather than become just another social media site, then it must support authentication, message integrity and confidentiality.
  • Login = authentication + confidentiality?

  • Can I forward message?

  • Is message encrypted at rest?

  • Can it be signed?

  • Can I change the attachment of another user?

  • Digital Leakage

  • Can I add another user to the thread?

  • Can it be read-only & non-forwardable?

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