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Re: SELinux removed from desktop cd spin?



Andrew Farris wrote:
Douglas McClendon wrote:
<rant>

I wish I could say that I'm sorry to crush your hopes, but I'm really not. Despite what I've said in the past, I have the utmost respect for selinux and security. But what I don't have any respect for is people of your mind, who myopically just see "increased security". People who view security that way IMO contribute to some of the worst cancers against humanity.

This is just standard rhetoric that I shouldn't be wasting my time repeating here, but security is ALWAYS a balance and a tradeoff against other *values*, and never an absolute.

Sounds like politically charged nonsense, not rhetoric related to computer security.

When selinux is the right tool for the job, bringing a greater benefit to the system at hand than the costs involved with using it, then great. But to claim that it should remain in "*all* of the fedora spins" is IMO utterly wrong, and a narrow vision of what fedora could be useful for. There are times and applications where selinux is JUST NOT WORTH IT. I'm not saying it's the majority of the time, or even >1%. But if fedora is (to be) used in tens of millions of systems, 1% of that is actually a *significant* number.

If only I could waterboard the fuck out of all the loyal bushies that see "national security" as the *only* value to be measured when making a decision.

Humanity and liberty are so important to you that you want to torture people (and evidently not to gather information because you know it already). Clearly we're learning something here.

There are times when you let innocent people die and get hurt by terrorists, because the values sacrificed in making a decision that could and does stop the terrorists, are MORE IMPORTANT than a narrow short term view of "national security".

"Essential Liberty vs. Temporary Freedom". Yes, liberty is important, but largely unrelated to whether you have selinux present in your favorite spin.

SELinux *should* be in every official Fedora spin, especially those to be used on networked computer systems. But it should also be possible to turn it off and/or uninstall it, and be possible to build custom packages for embedded processing applications without it... but if I want an embedded linux with selinux enabled why shouldn't it be there available?

Since I love politically charged discussions- What you just said is similar to the logical difference between

a) not mandating that evolution to be taught as a theory in schools

vs

b) mandating that evolution not be taught as a theory in schools.

I.e., I whole heartedly agree with you that if you want an embedded linux with selinux enabled, it SHOULD be available.

But my holding that opinion does not change the fact that I also hold the opinion that at some point down the road, there should be an official fedora spin that comes with selinux disabled.

Clearly since I work on livecd-tools and the like, I am all for making it as easy as possible to create variants.

But really, since I know how easy it is to just spin a distro of linux wiht 99.9999% the same code base as fedora, that just isn't called fedora, I don't *REALLY* care about this technical issue very much, and I *REALLY* was just doing some soapboxing. But I think the political and technical points I made (computer security, national security) are not so disjoint that it is useless to speak of them in the same breath.



Choice (somehow related to Liberty in your rant) does not mean you get to choose what is present all the time, it means you get to choose whether to use it or not. The presence of selinux does not infringe on your 'choice'. The preference of one person to have it in all spins does not infringe on your 'choice'. More importantly, the desire of some to improve computer security around the globe does not prevent you from running open boxes with blank root passwords... the choice is yours how insecure you want it.

I agree with every bit of that. Not sure what you thought I meant that was different.


I sincerely hope that what I've said will cause you to think a little more before uttering "I hope everyone agrees with me that more security is always better" again. But I welcome you to crush my hopes as I've just crushed yours.

SELinux can and very likely will protect computer systems for terrorist's use just as easily as anyone else, since it is 1) free, 2) available to the entire known universe; it therefore has nothing whatsoever to do with US national security in the context of your 'rhetoric' and poorly argued politics.

I was really talking about whether the choice to use torture to improve national security, without considering the other values lost in the decision, was a wise one to make.

The parallel was whether or not the choice to *ALWAYS* use selinux to improve computer security, without considering the other values (bloat/performance degradation/user frustration), was not a wise one to make.

But sometimes the subtlety of my logic goes over people's heads.

-dmc


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