After a fairly long delay ....
One of the issues that came up during the discussion was that different users have different requirements for their browser. And, even if a supplier makes the effort to create a very secure platform, there will be some users who dislike the restrictions that this imposes. This leads to the desire for users to undermine the platform's security, as with the jailbreaking of iOS devices. I therefore choose to exclude from my comments (in this thread) the need for more flexible browser solutions, where security is perceived to be less important. This could be the case for those users who have never experienced internet difficulties or who take the view that all internet threats are limited in their scope or are containable.
Just briefly, it has been my experience that, in practice, software can be used to break hardware. Putting that another way, malware can be used to prevent successful factory resets of devices. In short, some devices can be killed by malware.
This brings me to my revised thoughts on what this thread is trying to achieve and what the requirements of the browser device should be. Thank you to those who contibuted last year - your comments have (I hope) been included.
I've tried to identify a small list of requirements where each requirement is stated in a single line. That's the high-level view, which I intend to expand upon in later posts. It's a draft - your comments are welcome.
Draft requirements for an extremely safe browsing hardware and OS
- Ability to easily reset the device back to factory settings (i.e. malware-free)
- Allow user data to be safely introduced to the machine (for upload) or removed (after download)
- Ability to update the OS with NO risk of installing malware
- Stop user data being leaked out (exfiltrated) to a third party
- Prevent the machine being used in DDoS attacks
- Warn when the machine or user data is being attacked in any way
Another consideration is whether a browser device such as this would be commercially viable, or actually necessary. In the latter regard I think the only assumption that I can make is that I will continue to access the internet in its current form (or similar) for quite a few years to come. That probably means HTML5, TLS1.2 (or 1.3), the remainder of TCP and IPv4. I suspect other constants could be added here.
Edited by palerider2, 17 October 2015 - 11:25 PM.