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Re: is down

From: Tim McNamara
Subject: Re: is down
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2003 19:17:55 -0600
User-agent: Gnus/5.1002 (Gnus v5.10.2) Emacs/21.3.50 (darwin)

David Kastrup <address@hidden> writes:

> David Steuber <address@hidden> writes:
>> Well this sucks big time I must say.
> Complain to the involved criminals.  It is sad that scum like that
> does not even refrain from destroying infrastructure for the common
> good.  The FSF has to cope with the equivalent of finding that
> someone has gone to considerable criminal effort in order to achieve
> the equivalent of wiring explosives into a Red Cross building or
> poisoning the food in soup kitchens: it was a rather obscure
> vulnerability that the perpetrators used for that attack.

Except that it is unlikely that anyone will die or be maimed for life
by this.  Let's maintain a little perspective.  This is a bad
situation, but it is not a fatal one.

> So there is not much one can do except boost the security to levels
> one should normally only consider necessary for military or
> intelligence instead of charity operations.

Unfortunately any computer connected to the Internet must be treated
this way, even dialup connections are potentially dangerous.

> Maintaining a consistent high level of security causes a severe
> drain of usability and accessibility (as you have noticed), and it
> also requires considerable human resources permanently.

As has been noted by people smarter than I, the cost of freedom is
vigilance.  The FSF is doing a wonderful thing by making it possible
for people to have a complete operational information management and
data analysis system for free (software costs, that is).  IMHO the
people who write the code that I am using every day are everyday
heroes, who are rarely thanked and receive no compensation for their
efforts other than satisfaction.

> What kind of people gleefully cause a considerable permanent damage
> to a charity instead of elsewhere "just" for the hope of monetary
> gains?  I hope that they are found and dealt with in proportion to
> their crime and the impact it will have.

Unfortunately, the laws dealing with this kind of vandalism and
destructiveness are rather lax, and difficult to enforce given the
global locations of the perpetrators.  As for what kind of people they
may be, one presumes they are people lacking a good moral compass, who
are angry and have inadequate regard for others.  Punishment will not
be enough, they must also learn how to live properly.

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