suggest an icon for selinux (e.g. setroubleshoot)

Marc Schwartz (via MN) mschwartz at
Wed Aug 30 16:59:22 UTC 2006

On Wed, 2006-08-30 at 12:30 -0400, John Dennis wrote:
> On Wed, 2006-08-30 at 10:22 -0500, Marc Schwartz wrote:
> > >> We would like some suggestions, anybody have a good idea? Just remember
> > >> it has to be identifiable at small sizes. Images associated with the NSA
> > >> probably won't get warm feelings in a variety of places.
> > 
> > It seems to me that (notwithstanding the political overtones) this 
> > position would be denying their significant contributions to this 
> > effort.  Not just the organization as an entity, but that of key 
> > individuals.
> I did not mean to denigrate the contributions of the NSA nor anyone
> associated with it, rather I wanted draw attention to the power of
> images. Previous threads which considered a logo or icon for SELinux
> often saw suggestions related to the NSA, but this would be problematic.
> Perception is key in selecting iconography. Any visible suggestion that
> the software which has been installed on a user's system could be
> related to NSA monitoring will create barriers to acceptance. We're
> trying to dismantle the acceptance barriers, not erect new ones. Those
> of us involved in SELinux work clearly understand the technology has
> nothing to do with NSA monitoring but that is of little value when
> countering public perception fueled by uninformed conclusions. Bear in
> mind the iconography will be viewed not just by Linux geeks familiar
> with the technology and its history but potentially by any desktop user,
> domestic and international for whom this may be their first visible
> introduction to the technology. We don't want them to draw the false
> conclusion the NSA has tentacles into their private computer.


I appreciate the position. I did not mean to infer that the icon(s)
needed to be overt representations based upon their logo, which in turn
is tied to the commonality of official U.S. government logos. 

Something more subtle would still seem acceptable without invoking
negative reactions, here and abroad.

At some point, most security related iconography is going to be related
to the fundamental issues inherent in this discussion, whether they be
some form of badge/shield (police or military), swords (or more
generally, weapons of some type) or something similar.

That's why I referenced the key. It is something of a more general
security symbol, while still tying back to the NSA in a more subtle

As someone smarter than I once said:

 "Facts are negotiable, perception is reality"

Having a daughter who just returned from spending five weeks in northern
Uganda working with Invisible Children, I can certainly appreciate the
power and impact of images...

Thanks John.



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