This tape will self destruct
What would have happened if the first Mission Impossible movie was set in 2021? The NOC list? Instead of trying to find a physical medium to steal, it probably would have been a much fatter (thanks quarantine 15) Tom Cruise sitting at a computer with a hood on, because, you know, hackers….smacking away at a keyboard in a darkly light room until he successfully found his way into a secure server located in some foreign country, uttering the necessary “I’m in” as the screen flashed with green text on a black screen and numerous windows randomly pop-up on the screen like some early 2000’s adware infested website.
Then, after all that work and excitement, how would he get the list back to his employer? Surely this day and age you can’t just copy it to some portable medium and take it to him personally, no. That would be ridiculous. Instead Mr. Cruise/Hunt needs a fine and dandy way to encrypt that data, and send it to his boss without leaving his couch.
This is where an encrypted file transfer website like Crypter would come in handy. Well, jokes aside, I don’t know that this project will be the best tool to use to securely transmit the NOC List, but it is the project that I found myself assigned as my Cap Stone project, so there is that. At this stage of the game, I have not met with our project sponsor, so I don’t actually know a lot of the details of what this project is, or might become, outside of the name and a brief blurb about what it is.
From my understanding, we are going to be building an encrypted file transfer website, I don’t know if this will include any file hosting, or if it will be more of a service that delivers an encrypted file of unknown size from user A to user B. My guess is that there will be some kind of file storage so that user A and user B, or Alice and Bob, in the common cyber security vernacular would be able to access the site and upload and download asynchronously. What I am imagining is something akin to drop box, but maybe more purpose built.
Being that the entire name of the game is encryption, privacy seems like it would be a paramount concern. So much so that if handled properly and privacy is kept secure, a tool like this might be useful in countries with possessive regimes that monitor and police internet traffic, this encrypted file transfer sight might help activists in those areas.
The other side of that coin is that if it is truly that private, it could potentially be used for other nefarious things. I don’t know if this concern is in the scope of the project, but it is a moral concern that I have. I do not wish this project to further any less-than-savory people’s illegal activities. That also begs the question though, how much can we, or should we try to police against these kinds of things. Laws change, and are different from country to country, even region to region within countries at times, so catching and taking action on “illegal” activity is not just a daunting task, it is a bit of a gray area, as the first thing I mentioned regarding activists in certain countries using it, is an illegal activity, technically speaking. So at what point do we try to morally police the users of the platform? Is there any level of policing on our part that will retain the privacy of the users and maintain there trust to a point that we still have a platform and a tool that is used enough to be considered worth while?
Certainly much to consider and ponder over, but things that at this stage, I will not have answers to. Perhaps during the design process some of these questions will be answered and others will come into sharper focus. Until that time, farewell dear reader.