September 17th, 2001

Books

To a Man With a Hammer To a Man With a Hammer To a Man With a Hammer

The point of terrorism is to leverage the efforts of a small group in an attempt to modify the behavior of a much larger group. . .
"To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail," wrote Mark Twain. In the current, context this means that the organizations charged with reacting to this catastrophe will do so by doing what they have always done, only more of it. . .
Now here is an important point to be remembered: All these parties will want to do these things WHETHER THEY ARE WARRANTED OR USEFUL OR NOT.

Robert X. Cringely, in his column "To A Man With A Hammer"
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from Cryptogram's letters column

From: jjordan@unitechsys.com (Jason Jordan)
Subject: Adobe, Elcomsoft, and the DMCA

This is a scary quote from U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft: "There are many people of poor and evil motivations who are seeking to disrupt business and government and exploit any vulnerabilities in the digital universe."
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/sci/tech/newsid_1454000/1454489.stm>

There are many people of good intentions who are seeking to help business and government by exploiting vulnerabilities in the digital universe. Let's face it, if what Sklyarov did was "of poor and evil motivations," he would have kept it quiet and not gone public with it. He basically told Adobe that their e-book security was flawed. Instead of Adobe saying something like, thanks, we'll improve it. They said, government help! Instead of people taking the time and effort of making a security system correctly, they make third-rate security systems and depend upon laws to protect them from those who point out the flaws. If this was the way security worked, we'd still have doorknobs on safes in banks, and turning a doorknob would be illegal.

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