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Salon: Embrace, extend, censor

May 12, 2000, 04:34 (13 Talkback[s])

"Yet another skirmish has broken out in the ongoing war between free-software hackers and proprietary-minded corporations -- and this one promises to be a doozy. On Wednesday, lawyers representing Microsoft requested the removal of a series of posts on the bulletin boards at Slashdot, the popular "news for nerds" Web site."

"Citing the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Microsoft asserted that the Slashdot posts, which reveal information about Microsoft's proprietary version of a popular security technology called Kerberos, include "unauthorized reproductions of Microsoft's copyrighted work" -- as well as information on how to get around access restrictions protecting Microsoft's "data specification."

"The Microsoft action is just the latest move in a long-simmering dispute between the free-software/open-source software community and Microsoft. The technology in question, Kerberos, is a security system that authenticates the identity of users logging into networks running the Unix operating system. It is an open standard, developed in part by Theodore Ts'o, a software developer who now works for VA Linux, a company that specializes in computers preinstalled with Linux."

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