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SecurityFocus.com: The Fine Print in UCITA

Mar 17, 2000, 00:49 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Poulsen)

"We already knew that the law is bad news for consumers, but what it does to computer security is a crime. ...as bad as UCITA is for consumers, another provision of the bill makes it disaster for computer security."

"It's called 'electronic self-help,' and it allows companies to remotely shut down software if the customer, whether an individual or organization, has violated their point-and-click contract. To accomplish that, software makers would install secret backdoors in their products."

" 'If the vendor can shut down a customer's system remotely, someone else may be able to do so as well,' warned Association for Computing Machinery president Barbara Simons, and computer security expert Eugene Spafford, in a recent letter to state lawmakers. Intruders who find the back doors 'could shut down hospital control systems, criminal record or fingerprint search systems, manufacturing assembly line control software, and other systems that are important to the safety and welfare of the public.' "

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