Andrew Esh wrote:
>I take exception to the use of the words "amusing" and "peeved" in the
>above. I am in the same situation. I am behind a firewall which seems
>fairly secure, but also forms a fairly tight system of denial of service, as far
>as many PC networking programs (Mosaic included) are concerned. Is it
>possible we PC users are viewed as "amusing" in our petty, scratching
>attempts to obtain access to the network in a fashion that is normal
>among Unix users?
The issue is not about the platform one uses, but about the protection of
the information and functionality of the network a user is priviledged to use.
I agree that Mosaic is a wonderful tool to use, but it can also open a
Pandora's Box of security threats. From my perspective, these threats are
the same whether Mosaic is running on a PC, Mac, Unix system, or any
Andrew went on to say:
>Effectively, a firewall is a way of banning the whole Internet, as a
>suspected Hacker Site.
>Do not misunderstand me. I am not denouncing firewalls, just their
>misuse. In fact, due to my personal (negative) experiences with them, I
>plan to become a great deal more educated in their use. My hope is to aid
> the design of better ones which provide both security AND common user
>access. I feel we must guard against the mindset that security is worth
>(even partial) denial of access. We must also guard against becoming
>passive, and content with a secure network. We must employ the same
>passion that went into the arguments against Hacker Site Lists into
>making sure that the users we are responsible for protecting are not
>protected to the point of suffocation. If such a thing happens, and the
>net becomes useless to a majority of the users, it will cease to exist.
I sympathesise with much of this but there is a time when individual
freedom has to be tempered with the good of the community. As an
analogy consider the humble automobile. As a society we build
automobiles that can travel at 200 km/hr. We also agree that automobiles
hurtling down residential streets at 200 km/hr poses an unacceptable
threat to the lives and well-being of the residents. We therefore adopt a
policy (law) which limits the speed in residential streets to 50 km/hr. You
are still at liberty to take your automobile else where and drive it at
200 km/hr if the local policy allows. It also means that the residential street
tends to be less used which significantly benefits the residents. If your
"street" does not allow Mosaic (or any other tool) and it really is essential to
getting your job done, then take it to another place where it is allowed for
those few times you really do need it.
It would be wonderful if we lived in an ideal world where firewalls were not
necessary (I bet everyone on this list could find plenty of other useful
things to do!), but unfortunately we do not.
(And now for the sarcastic part.) Oh, and by the way, thank you for this
need for firewalls, all you crashers, break-in artists, and information thieves.
Your contribution has been noted. I find it interesting that many of your
type consider information to be free, and so justify taking it, while failing to
consider how the world will change in reaction to your misguided crusade.
The reaction is to make all of us less free. Thanks, guys.