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The original formulation is the following: every program and every privileged user of the system should operate using the least amount of privilege necessary to complete the job. From Jerome H. Saltzer in 1974.
In a particular abstraction layer of a computing environment, every module (such as a process, a user, or a program, depending on the subject) must be able to access only the information and resources that are necessary for its legitimate purpose.
See section contrary principles.
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