Since each of these functions already enforces guardrails required to keep the 
OS safe, what is the motivation to have the mode set to 0700 instead of the 
more permissive 0755 ?

 As you said, it would do no good for normal users to run these
programs, so there's no point in giving them the necessary permissions.
To me it serves as useful metadata: "this binary is only meant to be
used by root" - permissions on the binary itself have always felt like
a better indicator to me than location in /bin or /sbin.


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