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NewsForge: Whistler could be the latest weapon in Free Software's arsenal

Nov 17, 2000, 14:26 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tina Gasperson)

"Whistler might be just the thing to convince Windows hold-outs to make the switch to Free Software. Thanks, Microsoft!"

"On the business front, Microsoft created Whistler with powerful security configuration for network administrators -- such as the ability to lock out any unsigned code, effectively blocking users from installing their own software at workstations. ... Systems administrators can set the network to accept and run only those applications that have obtained a digital signature from a certificate-granting authority like Verisign."

"Needless to say, that wouldn't create a loving atmosphere for the average tech-savvy network user. Sysadmins would have the power to block anything that hadn't been signed by their department, says Bruce Perens, webmaster and owner of the Open Source technology news site Technocrat.net. "I wouldn't want to work in that sort of environment, but I can see why MIS managers would like it." Sounds like a great work saver -- set the security level and walk away. No more worries about those pesky users trying to put their little utilities and games on the network."

"While users may feel put upon, professional computer criminals just might fall in love with Whistler security configurations. Rip-off a key or get one "legit" with a false identity, and once inside the network, with signed code receiving virtual carte blanche, there'd be wide latitude for looting and plundering."

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