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Extended talk (45 min): No IT Security without Free Software

How openness contributes to security

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IT security is one of the most important global issues of recent years. However, apart from the establishment of "cybersecurity" authorities, politicians are not coming up with much. Yet, Free Software can be the solution to many pressing security problems. We look at the advantages and disadvantages and use concrete examples to illustrate why security and openness are not contradictory.

Trojans are shutting down hospitals, security concerns regarding Huawei are causing the 5G expansion to slow down worldwide, and all of this during a phase in which societies are forced to speed up digitisation. There is a lot at odds with IT security, which is also demonstrated by the inflationary rise of "cybersecurity" authorities and centres. But it is only recently that the importance of Free Software (also called Open Source) for security has become known outside the narrowest IT scene.

Free Software is an important component of IT security. However, experience has shown that the license alone does not correct critical programming errors and design weaknesses. Max Mehl will therefore show in this lecture how and in what form Free Software can provide a plus in security and why it is so important to make decision-takers understand this as quickly as possible.

But where there is light, there is also shadow. The presentation will therefore also deal with potential disadvantages and cases of weighing up the pros and cons as well as typical counter-arguments.


Day: 2020-10-10
Start time: 15:00
Duration: 00:55
Room: Online / ETH (RED)
Track: Interdisciplinary


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