Security Through Obscurity is a Bad Idea

Digg, a popular social networking site where alpha geeks vote up or down stories, is having an issue today. Specifically the "users" are voting up stories that link to the codes to unlock HD-DVD videos. This code, no longer secure of course, allows people to copy the full resolution of purchased HD content. Once unlocked they can be shared across pirate bay or whatever.

So the codes are out there and digg needs to stop deleting content that mention them. What IS funny is that the top story on digg as I write this has a simple link to an image. A pretty picture. The picture at the top left. It only makes sense (to a geek) by also referencing this image which provides the translation.

Take aways? First – don’t fight a mob with censorship when they are busy copying and pasting content. You ain’t gonna win that battle. Second – rethink the whole "security through obscurity" idea. It doesn’t work long term.

For more on this particular story, try this post on Digg fights user revolt over HD-DVD ban. And a definite shout out to dsilverman for the twitter heads up!