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Trust circles, reputation and the perception of trust.

Studying trust and perceived trust I came across this excerpt in the brainstorm group

the only reason i am waiting, is because i see certain things which these people are planning to do half done technically and i know how easily they can be undone by people who know how to buck the system…and we do know of people who are VERY GOOD at bucking the system

i hate cloak and dagger myself, and to be fair, the information has been liberally shared with all the people who were there in the meet over a phone call, so i do not really think it is only being given to a few privileged members….

but i do understand that some information on a forum like brainstorm might defeat the purpose…i myself am cagey about spelling out some of the stuff i would be involved in (when they are of the sensitive nature) on this forum as i know who are the people watching this group…

A couple of keywords caught my attention “Cloak and dagger” “Bucking the system”

What does bucking the system mean? And how does Cloak and dagger come into the couchsurfing equation.

Cloak and dagger is a term sometimes used to refer to situations involving espionage, mystery, or even assassination. The
phrase dates from the early 19th century.
cloak-and-dagger cloak-and-dagger – conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods; “clandestine intelligence operations”; “cloak-and-dagger activities behind enemy lines”; “hole-and-corner intrigue”; “secret missions”; “a secret agent”; “secret sales of arms”; “surreptitious mobilization of troops”; “an undercover investigation”; “underground resistance”
Some of reference I found about “Bucking the system“. So I am not sure what cryptic message where hidden in those words.

Bucking the system: Andrew Wilkie and the difficult task of the whistleblower

Buck the System, Cosby Tells Teachers — nytimes
I want you to realize who you are and stop these people from grading you until they grade the system,” he said. ”How can you teach if you have no books? The system ties their legs and says, ‘Run.’ It ties their arms and says, ‘Defend yourself.’ ”

The post was very interesting because of the trust matrices involved and a the different in the perception of trust on a global scale.

Effect of Culture, Medium, and Task on Trust Perception Qiping Zhang

Most of hypotheses were confirmed except that the interaction effect of culture and media on trust perception.
The results of higher level of trust perceived by Americans than by Chinese actually contradicted with our hypothesis.
The theory of nationality trust and social distance provide a possible explanation. In our study, AA pairs seemed more willing to treat each other as a temporary in-group member instead of a “real stranger”, while CC pairs seemed treating the partner as an out-group relationship due to lack of longterm relationship.

The ambassador system is placed on the two factors perceived trust and reputation .It is perceived and not real trust as you can see the scales fluctuating so wildly. People going from best friend to no friend to being deleted from the friends list. A trust metric is a technique for predicting how much a certain user can be trusted by the other users of the community.

But by the above interactions you can see the perception of trust.

A recent definition of trust has been put forth by Grandison and Sloman [Grandison and Sloman, 2000] who define trust as – the firm belief in the competence of an entity to act dependably, securely, and reliably within a specified context.

Related to trust is the concept of reputation. Abdul-Rehman and Hailes define reputation as an expectation about an individual’s behavior based on information about or observations of its past behavior

The cloak-and-daggercloak-and-dagger – conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods; “clandestine intelligence operations“; “cloak-and-dagger activities behind enemy lines“; “hole-and-corner intrigue”; “secret missions”; “a secret agent”; “secret sales of arms”; “surreptitious mobilization of troops”; “an undercover investigation”; “underground resistance

Got me thinking on trying to see if Kerckhoff’s Principle can be applied to member safety and perceived trust.

The following article relate to cryptography and they have been used before by kasper to highlight security concerns. In the code. I feel these laws are universal and can be used to highlight global social networking trust perceptions as related to global member security.

Kerckhoff’s Principle states.
“a cryptosystem should be secure even if everything about the system, except the key, is public knowledge”

The team moves on trust and this perceived trust fluctuates wildly as shown above. The weakest link needs to be located to gain trust.

Social engineering reloaded
Kevin Mitnick,in his book The Art of Deception, goes further to explain that people inherently want to be helpful and therefore are easily duped. They assume a level of trust in order to avoid conflict.

“anyone who thinks that security products alone offer true security is settling for the illusion of security.”

Risky business: Keeping security a secret —
If you depend on a secret for your security, what do you do when the secret is discovered? If it is easy to change, like a cryptographic key, you do so. If it’s hard to change, like a cryptographic system or an operating system, you’re stuck. You will be vulnerable until you invest the time and money to design another system.

How to use cryptography in computer security –
Myth 3: Secrecy is important for security.
The prevalence of this myth may be attributed to the historical confusion between keeping your data secret and keeping your security algorithms themselves secret. On the contrary, the only worthwhile insurance of security comes from having your algorithm published and well analyzed by as many cryptographers as possible. The principle that security should not rely on algorithms being secret has been well-established for over a century, and various pithy restatements of it are often cited:
“Security should reside only in the key” (Kerckhoff), “The enemy knows the system” (Shannon), and “Anyone can design a cryptosystem which he himself cannot break” (Schneier).’_principle

At this juncture, we need to move forward in one of two directions. One path that has been advocated by a number of researchers is to work toward increasing public trust in risk management. While it is much too soon to express either optimism or pessimism about the likely success of this strategy, it is a significantly challenging problem that at the moment appears to have no easy answers.

Now what we need to find out is, does it help making the system public knowledge .Or does it help having a system which is continuously leaking information due to the perception of trust.

Would a system be more secure with the system being public knowledge (only the system not the cases)?

11 Responses to “Trust circles, reputation and the perception of trust.”

  • I’m not sure I understand much of what you posted, 29a, but I think that CS would be perceived as more trustworthy if the managers adopted higher standards of professionalism and responsiveness.

  • Looks like the fear of being compromised is just making the trust and goodwill shared between csers worse. This fear is on the verge of paranoia.

  • Ah looks like rachel deleted a couple of posts from “Security issues – it’s dangerous to sweep things under the rug!!” Definitely sweeping it under the rug :) . One dumb thing they forgot .The proof is there in 100′s of mail boxes.

    Posted by Monolita from Cochin, India
    I had posted something yesterday and i am sure i saw it posted and now i do not see it…i am very difficult to shut up, so i will post it again…

    Blocked Site Error. is not available in the Wayback Machine

  • Now lets do some back tracking Anick-Marie Bouchard & Little Green Hobbit(Kalliope Tsouroupidou )from the safety team were following the thread “Security issues – it’s dangerous to sweep things under the rug!!” and all of Little Green Hobbit(Kalliope Tsouroupidou) have been deleted from the thread :) . Also i can see 4 threads deleted.
    The words (cloak-and-dagger – conducted with or marked by hidden aims or methods; “clandestine intelligence operations”) seems to be making sense now :)

  • @29a
    If you want to make a record of what got deleted, the OCS Wiki would be a good place to do it.

    It looks like the new safety team members are getting up to speed! This is going to be so much fun… NOT.

  • 29a could you please send me those posts which were deleted send it to srandall at yahoo[dot]co[dot]uk.

  • Do those deleted posts contain personal information or allegations?

  • Whoa, people! Whoooa!!!

    Firstly, it could be just that I’m tired and sleepy but I can’t make much sense out of this post. I find it rambling, poorly written, and just plain crazy-making!

    Secondly, maybe I’m missing the profile/personal link somewhere but these comments and the post itself were written anonymously, correct?

    Finally, I’ve have followed that “Security issues – it’s dangerous to sweep things under the rug!!” thread quite closely, yet do not recall one single post from Little Green Hobbit. Perhaps there’s some confusion with the “Sim[p]le as FUCK!” thread where she does post twice. Where you find that “rachel deleted a couple of posts” in the group, however, is waaay beyond me.

    Personally, I’m glad to see other members of the Safety Team (LGH and Anick-Marie) popping in and taking an interest. Isn’t that what we’re asking for? What all well-intentioned Couchers are asking for? Well, at least I know that’s what I am asking for. For all the screaming I’ve done, I appreciate the fact that at least my voice is being heard. What happens to whatever message that voice is carrying, however, is not within my control.

  • Hey thanks for that Greg!!. Looks like 29a jumped the gun . Look like there are trust issues on all sides lol.

  • My interest is purely in safety.

    that’s the bottomline.

    The worst thing i can imagine is for a trust network to be perverted so that ppl let down their guard because there is supposedly trust (friendships/vouches/refs) .. and in fact it is UNtrustworthy people on there who have formed their own subnets or otherwise gamed the system. That’s the reason for appropriate safeguards, or reasonable guidelines, and as we know from computing, hiding everything is not the best way to attain security.

    As an aside, i can’t tell that anything has been deleted – if threads have been, please post them! Let’s not get caught up in meaningless tangles.. what we want are trust networks that live up to their potential.

  • since my posts have been quoted twice on this page and i only came to know about it when someone referred me to this page, i just want to clarify a few things.

    cloak and dagger: you gotta be kidding me if you do not know how many things are not shared with the general public in CS under the guise of Safety. there is a whole confidentiality agreement which i disagree with thoroughly when it hampers effective dissemination of relevant information which can be used to arm members against possible dangers. i have no clue what the legal standpoint on this could be, but i can quite assume that it may be serious, if some situation happens in my country for example and CS’s names are splashed all over the front pages. However, I am talking about some reforms of certain systems which should somewhat be able to strengthen security measures and I want them to happen and effectively nullify certain elements who have majorly undermined safety and security issues regarding women in my country. I hope they do, and I know that if they come to know of some of these measures they are going to try and go around it (buck the system), as they have done before. I do not want that, and so I am not shouting from the top of my roof about them. I hope that clarifies my post and ends the need to read too much between lines.

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