Authentication - Information Content

Information Content

The authentication of information can pose special problems (especially man-in-the-middle attacks), and is often wrapped up with authenticating identity.

Literary forgery can involve imitating the style of a famous author. If an original manuscript, typewritten text, or recording is available, then the medium itself (or its packaging — anything from a box to e-mail headers) can help prove or disprove the authenticity of the document.

However, text, audio, and video can be copied into new media, possibly leaving only the informational content itself to use in authentication.

Various systems have been invented to allow authors to provide a means for readers to reliably authenticate that a given message originated from or was relayed by them. These involve authentication factors like:

  • A difficult-to-reproduce physical artifact, such as a seal, signature, watermark, special stationery, or fingerprint.
  • A shared secret, such as a passphrase, in the content of the message.
  • An electronic signature; public-key infrastructure is often used to cryptographically guarantee that a message has been signed by the holder of a particular private key.

The opposite problem is detection of plagiarism, where information from a different author is passed off as a person's own work. A common technique for proving plagiarism is the discovery of another copy of the same or very similar text, which has different attribution. In some cases, excessively high quality or a style mismatch may raise suspicion of plagiarism.

Read more about this topic:  Authentication

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Information Content

The term information content is used to refer to the meaning of information as opposed to the form or carrier of the information. For example, the meaning that is conveyed in an expression (which may be a proposition) or document, which can be distinguished from the sounds or symbols or codes and carrier that physically form the expression or document. An information content is composed of a propositional content and an illocutionary force. See also Self-information

Famous quotes containing the words content and/or information:

    To me style is just the outside of content, and content the inside of style, like the outside and the inside of the human body—both go together, they can’t be separated.
    Jean-Luc Godard (b. 1930)

    Rejecting all organs of information ... but my senses, I rid myself of the Pyrrhonisms with which an indulgence in speculations hyperphysical and antiphysical so uselessly occupy and disquiet the mind.
    Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826)