Being safe on the internet (was Re: Here we go again - ISP DPI, but is it interception?)

M J D Brown mjdb at
Sat Aug 7 16:12:22 BST 2010

We could debate the difference between 'safe' and 'secure' code, but 
assuming that you will be working and researching in the open arena for 
a publishable PhD thesis, you might care to take a hard look at the 
functional safety domain covered by the IEC 61508 standard.  The 
normative parts of that standard may not be relevant to your subject 
area, but I think you will find Part 7 of the Standard  'Overview of 
Techniques and Measures' of particular interest.

One method that has its adherents is to employ a widely-used language 
and compiler (on the basis that compiler faults may well have been 
exposed in the course of widespread use), in conjuction with a 
pre-processor that detects and thus excludes defined dangerous language 
constructs.  Annotated Verifiable ADA (AVA), for example, employs the 
'significant comment' concept to provide semantic instruction of the 
programmer's intentions.


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ian Batten" <igb at>
To: "UK Cryptography Policy Discussion Group" 
<ukcrypto at>
Sent: Saturday, August 07, 2010 10:47 AM
Subject: Re: Being safe on the internet (was Re: Here we go again - ISP 
DPI,but is it interception?)

> So, if I'm three weeks from starting a PhD in which the production of 
> a large slab of secure code (let us gloss over whether that's formally 
> secure or pragmatically secure), what toolchain should I use?  I'm 
> guessing my favoured "first to reach for" tools at my advanced age of 
> C and Perl aren't cool, C++ horrifies me aesthetically, Java is dull.
> I think it's time for a Lisp revival.

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