Fun_People Archive
29 Jan
NTK Bits, 1999-01-29

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 99 13:10:26 -0800
To: Fun_People
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Subject: NTK Bits, 1999-01-29

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
Excerpted-from: NTK now, 1999-01-29

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             "You have zero privacy anyway. Get over it."
             - SCOTT MCNEALY,, +01 650 960-1300
     (to wife, in bathroom of personal residence, 1999-01-26 09:32:04)

                                >> HARD NEWS <<
                               with armed crews

	 the no-really-very-soon-now cursed E-COMMERCE crypto legislation.
	 Director General John Abbott said that a number of serious criminal
	 cases had been hampered by the perps' use of encryption. To back
	 this up, three vague case studies were presented. You know, even
	 we lunatic extremists here at NTK do accept this argument - that
	 law enforcement needs assistance in crypto cases. We become even
	 more convinced they need help when we see the NCIS picking three
	 tales where the proposed new law would be *no* use at all. All
	 three were nasty individuals (terrorists, child pornsters,
	 murderers, PGP users) encrypting data on their permanent hard
	 drives, an area where the new law has very little purchase at all.
	 So, two questions for the NCIS: how would a voluntary system stop
	 this (or do you want to make it illegal to use any encryption, even
	 on home computers, without key escrow?). Secondly, why is it that
	 none of the cases address what everyone in business is worried
	 about - the deliberate weakening of encrypted communication over
	 the Internet? Getting into secret files, sure: desirable, but
	 impossible to enforce. Crippling of government-supported commercial
	 and personal transactions on the Net to allow transparent tapping
	 of anyone's communications? Possible, but is that what you really
	 want? Yeah? Then argue the case.
                                            - no names, no pack drill
                                - memo to NCIS: scarier examples here

	 It's good to see that the new brooms at the TIMES INTER//FACE
	 section haven't damaged its reputation for clear, honest, factual
	 reporting. While we usually keep our coverage of their work to
	 Antinews, we thought this week's excelled itself so admirably that
	 we'd give you a full run down. Inside: The supplement welcomes the
	 arrival of the new Star Wars prequels, featuring "Luke Skywalker
	 and friends".  Evil virus writers are planning to tie-in their work
	 with the Y2K bug (what?). A "new online guide to virtually every
	 movie" is premiered: it's 1990's very own
	 And finally, an impartial piece on Open Source Software, which says
	 "there are alarming parallels between a fanatic organisation and
	 the way the Open Source movement can behave. Journalists have been
	 known to receive death threats for daring to question the
	 movement's ideology". Nigel Powell, journalist, writes that Eric
	 Raymond himself "flew into a rage" when Nigel suggested that open
	 source culture embodied the communist ideal. Well, he seemed very
	 calm a few minutes later when he discussed "some clueless hack"
	 with us. And we believe the words were "oh, fuck off". Maybe you're
	 not asking daring enough questions? All this *and* Dr Keyboard -
	 check the floor of your nearest train carriage for that free copy
         - Lotus launch $100 million marketing campaign? Hold the front page!

	 And finally... shopping around for local Internet access took on
	 a new dimension on Wednesday, when UUNET opened its Manchester
	 Point-of-Presence to incoming calls *and* incoming cars. An
	 out-of-control vehicle embedded itself into in the wall of the
	 Manchester Telecity building, and ended up parked in the UUNet
	 suite of machines. While the machines did not suffer any downtime,
	 Telecity operations did manage to inform the UUNet technical staff
	 with a brief e-mail. "There is a car in your pop. All fine."
      - okay, so it's a slow news week. You wanted the Lotus story, maybe?

                               >> SMALL PRINT <<

       Need to Know is a useful and interesting UK digest of things that
         happened last week or might happen next week. You can read it
       on Friday afternoon or print it out then take it home if you have
     nothing better to do. It is compiled by NTK from stuff they get sent.
    It is registered at the Post Office as "rather tiresome" [Edge Magazine]
        Subscribe? Mail with 'subscribe ntknow'.
             NTK now is helped by THE ILLUMINATI and UNFORTU.NET.
              They worry about us, but we don't worry about them.
           (K) 1999 Special Projects. Non-business copying is fine,
                        but retain SMALL PRINT. Contact
       for commercial license details.

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