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Computing The Value of Trust

posted Jan 26, 2016, 7:31 PM by Jer Cox
The stability of the world's economy relies on trust.  This trust exists between consumer and supplier, business and partner, financial institution and investor, and many other relationships that exist within the ever changing economy.  Loss of trust between a significant number of entities and a business, often results in the demise of that business.  Companies live and die based on the trust that exists between them and those they provide services or products to.  Trust is the key factor and the crux.

Trust extends in to many other aspects of how we do business and how the financial system functions.  Ultimately and generally people trust the system.  They trust the system when they order a product from an online store or login to their bank account.  They trust that the process is safe, secure, and that they are communicating directly with the company with which they intend.  The system that makes all this work is TLS public / private key encryption.  TLS encryption replaced SSL as the standard method for encrypting data on the Internet.  The purpose of public / private key encryption is two fold.  One, it provides private point to point communication.  Two, it validates who you are actually communicating with.  This system of communication has created trust for communication online.  Because of that trust, the economy has shifted to a online dependent environment.  Even brick and mortar stores process transactions and run management systems through the Internet, and they use those same encryption protocols.  Without that trust in the system, individuals and businesses would change their current processes of obtaining products and services.  This change would cause disruption, chaos, and many businesses would go out of business.  Besides the obvious impact on all online stores, this would impact credit card companies and processors (which process their transactions almost exclusively via the internet), financial institutions, investment companies, and many brick and mortar stores who use the internet to manage their business.  So in essence, public / private key encryption is a critical system in today's economy.  Without encryption, communication on the internet can be intercepted and even modified mid stream.  

That all being said, lets break TLS encryption.  The first thing will happen is that the public will loose trust.  After that, roll the dice on the economy.  Plan for another depression (not just a recession).  Convert all your money to gold, and go live off the grid.

Washington, please compute the value of trust, and put that in your rubric when deciding if you want to break the underlying foundation of the economy.