These laws of computing don’t really exist in the sense of scientific laws. They’re made up by Jack Schofield, a technology writer for The Guardian; at least, these particular laws are. Schofield is attempting to create a third law, but as I see it, it easily be proven wrong, I’d say, if one uses data security products like full disk or file encryption.
The first law of computing is “never put data into a program unless you can see exactly how to get it out.” In other words, do you know how you’re going to get to those bits ten years from now? I have ten 5.25” floppies in a drawer somewhere without any means to get to the data—which I’m assuming couldn’t have been important to begin with, since I don’t remember what’s in them.
The second law is “data doesn't really exist unless you have at least two copies of it.” Have a backup ready at all times because crap happens: theft, loss, spontaneous combustion, cat peeing on your computer…the list is endless and mind‑numbingly diverse. If you don’t have a backup, then chances are you won’t remember the details of all the data that you used to have.
I don’t disagree with these two laws, having personally proven them at some point in my life. However, the third one that he’s considering leaves a little to be desired: “the easier it is for you to access your data, the easier it is for someone else to access your data.”
The reports in the world media are peppered with information security breaches, most of them caused by the loss and theft of small, portable, and easily concealable electronic gadgets. It’s hard to see how one could argue against it—the proof is out there, right?
This particular law breaks down because encryption software is actually designed to be easy for me to use and hard for someone else to circumvent. Not only is it designed that way, it actually works! If one uses AlertBoot’s encryption solutions like hard drive encryption, for example, the only thing he has to remember (and keep safe) is the password for decrypting the contents. Anybody else will have to try to guess the password or crack the encryption key, which is so hard that organizations like the FBI give up on it. Heck, they don’t even start.
Schofield can easily fix it, though: “the easier it is for you to access your data, the easier it is for someone else to access your data—unless you use encryption.”