Security Researchers: How to Critique a Tech Story Without Being Arrogant and Exclusionary
Two Fridays ago, Wired published a 2,000 word feature story by Quinn Norton about Cryptocat, an online chat system that’s working to make encrypted chat as simple as loading a web page. Norton profiled its creator Nadim Kobeissi, the intimidation from U.S. officials he’s claimed to have faced, and the difficult technical challenges that such a program entails.
The piece delves into Kobeissi’s motivations, the initial pushback from the security community and his dedication to making a security tool that’s actually usable by someone outside the rarefied world of crypto geeks.
I was quite pleased the story gathered a lot of attention, including making it onto the front page of Reddit. A few days later, Christopher Sogohian, a well-known and widely respected voice in the security community, penned a response entitled “Tech journalists: Stop hyping unproven security tools,” lambasting Wired’s story, laying it side-by-side with other sites’ coverage of security vaporware. He called it “bad journalism.”
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