Police chief slams Yahoo! chatroom silence
11/17/2000; 12:56:34 PM
'It has been a difficult week for Yahoo!. Three children's charities including Childnet International, NCH Action for Children and Childwatch lambasted the company for its policy on Internet chat. Later, expert child psychologists warned that Internet chatrooms are likely to increase the number of attacks on children in the UK and urged Yahoo! to act before more children fall prey to the kind of attacks Patrick Green put his victim through.'
WriteTheWeb has good commentary:
'The real-time aspect is a crucial one here. According to ZDNet's article, Yahoo will only consider removing content that is found to be illegal. Chat environments are real-time. There is no way of "removing content" after the event - what's said is said.
'Policing chat rooms means exactly that - paying someone to monitor each and every one of them. And Yahoo, no matter how well it is performing compared to some of its corporate peers, cannot afford to do that just yet. Even if it wanted to.'
How do you explain that the only reason you can't do something is that it's impossible, when nobody believes it's impossible?
"Can't you just write some sort of program or something?"
'The workers hope to gather support from a majority of the 400 or so customer service representatives in Seattle. They hope to obtain union recognition and eventually a collective bargaining agreement.'
The dot-com boom is now officially over Dot-coms can't just throw more stock at their employees and expect them to work 70+ hour weeks. In my opinion, this was their greatest real advantage over so-called 'conventional' businesses.
11/16/2000; 11:53:54 AM 'In order to foster and preserve the openness of the Internet, it's imperative to make the right choices now. Mr. Lessig makes clear the danger from efforts to regulate the Internet, which will have long-lasting effects on its growth and development. But following a simple laissez-faire policy is also fraught with problems. Mr. Lessig maintains the approach that the openness of digital code can be used to restructure cyberspace. He also believes that the citizens of cyberspace must grapple with these issues, or else suffer the fate of being coded into a world they don't understand, designed without their help by software developers.'
Why Digital Signatures Are Not Signatures
11/15/2000; 11:32:10 PM
'The problem is that while a digital signature authenticates the document up to the point of the signing computer, it doesn't authenticate the link between that computer and Alice. This is a subtle point. For years, I would explain the mathematics of digital signatures with sentences like: "The signer computes a digital signature of message m by computing m^e mod n." This is complete nonsense. I have digitally signed thousands of electronic documents, and I have never computed m^e mod n in my entire life. My computer makes that calculation. I am not signing anything; my computer is....
'The mathematics of cryptography, no matter how strong, cannot bridge the gap between me and my computer. Because the computer is not trusted, I cannot rely on it to show me what it is doing or do what I tell it to. Checking the calculation afterwards doesn't help; the untrusted computer can't be relied upon to check the calculations properly. It wouldn't help to verify the code, because the untrusted computer is running the code (and probably doing the verification). It wouldn't even help to store the digital signature key in a secure module: the module still has to rely on the untrusted computer for input and output.'
11/15/2000; 11:20:25 PM
'Blocking software in general is vastly oversold. If censorware salespeople sold motor scooters, mining companies would be buying them, having been faithfully assured that a 50cc Vespa can carry 200 tons of iron ore up a 30 degree grade.'
OK, so we've covered how bad image filtering is... but this review is a really fun read.
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