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C. A System that May Lead to More Truth Telling on the Internet

Narrator: This is Science Today. Computer scientists are working on a system that may lead to more truth telling on the Internet. The Truthsayer project was created and developed by Prem Devanbu and colleagues at the University of California, Davis. The goal is to protect important databases - such as those belonging to the military or medical industry - from being falsified and made available to the public on the Internet.

Devanbu: The problem is, when you put any server for serving information on the Internet, it's going to be under attack. The attack could be coming from the outside - like hackers or it could be somebody on the inside who is falsifying information. So for example, a bad guy might make sure the doctors get false information about drug interactions, which would be disastrous.

Narrator: Truthsayer uses an answer and proof system to compare 'signed' documents in the popular XML Web language. If data has been falsified, the proof will automatically be wrong.

Devanbu: So the goal of the Truthsayer project is to guarantee that a client using information will never accept bad information - that they will always be able to recognize information that's correct or not. Even if the person or the server publishing the data is a 'bad guy'.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.