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LinuxPlanet: .comment: Are We Asking for It?

Oct 04, 2000, 15:52 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Dennis E. Powell)

"And now pictures were appearing on my screen -- pictures that did not reside on my hard drive or the drive of any other local computer, pictures just a few hours old, pictures whose source I did not know. I watched the screen for a little while and noticed, off to the right, the LEDs on the little black box blinking as new pictures appeared. Along with the pictures came control buttons, advertisements, all kinds of stuff...."

"There are exploits aplenty, and they call for more, rather than less, user control. Yet the trend in Linux development is in the opposite direction: Automatically downloading things without having to know anything about them."

"Much has been made of the "features" in Windows applications, notably Outlook, that make the system vulnerable to all kinds of mischief. There are at least two Outlook-like projects for Linux in the works. I do not know how extensively they are built with security in mind. But unless they include unignorable warnings everytime a non-text message reaches out to a website or does anything other than display plain text on the screen, they'll be too dangerous for serious people to use."

"Somehow, I don't think that any of these projects will include the guarantee that no harm can come from their use. No, stuff will get pumped into your machine and you'll have little knowledge or control of what it is or does except in the broadest terms, and if something goes wrong you'll have only yourself to blame. The potential for misuse here is breathtaking."

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