EC2’s most dangerous feature

As a FreeBSD developer — and someone who writes in C — I believe
strongly in the idea of “tools, not policy”. If you want to shoot yourself
in the foot, I’ll help you deliver the bullet to your foot as efficiently
and reliably as possible. UNIX has always been built around the idea that
systems administrators are better equipped to figure out what they want than
the developers of the OS, and it’s almost impossible to prevent foot-shooting
without also limiting useful functionality. The most
powerful tools are inevitably dangerous, and often the best solution is to
simply ensure that they come with sufficient warning labels attached; but
occasionally I see tools which not only lack important warning labels, but
are also designed in a way which makes them far more dangerous than necessary.
Such a case is
Roles for Amazon EC2.

A review for readers unfamiliar with this feature: Amazon IAM
(Identity and Access Management)
is a service which allows for the creation

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