From: ericm @
com (Eric Murray)
Fred Blonder wrote:
I asked point blank: "How do you compile and run a
program on Sidewinder?"
The answer was: "You don't."
that seems pretty reasonable. i don't develop code on my
homegrown firewall host either.
in fact if i could do what sidewinder's doing and explicitly
forbid execution of any new programs on my firewall host, i'd
Agreed, however, with this restriction Sidewinder is obviously not a
general-purpose computer. There's no problem with that. There are
certain applications where this sort of security is exactly what you
want. I was just concerned that this major point was being missed in
this current discussion.
One of the more disturbing aspects of the system is the
'content based filtering'. . . .
This could be either: 1) More advertising hype, or 2) a
really powerful tool for controlling what information
your employees are shipping around. They'll want you
to believe #2, which I find very scary.
unfortunately a lot of employers would find it comforting.
there's also possibility #3: the demo 'filter' and 'offensive
mail' was cooked up by a marketing weenie who doesn't know what
a piece of mail to say trip sendmail bugs would look like, but
is familiar with the rules on sexual harrassment.
Actually, the demo was produced my an outside company, not SCT. The
credits for the demo were displayed each time through.
A policy such as this might have a desirable effect though: If you
can't use 'offensive language' to flame someone, you would be forced to
become more eloquent. A friend was wondering if 'content based
filtering' could flag the sentence: "Your father would be surprised at
the arrangement of your chromosomes." as offensive. If language such
as that slips through, we could install such a filter on the
news-posting software and have a 'kinder gentler UseNet'. Reading
flames could become positively fun! :-)
Fred Blonder fred @
Hughes STX Corp. (301) 441-4079
7701 Greenbelt Rd.
Greenbelt, Md. 20770