19.621 Google

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 05:46:20 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 621.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2006 05:26:53 +0000
         From: "Jochen L. Leidner" <jochen.leidner_at_ed.ac.uk>
         Subject: Re: 19.610 Google

On Fri, 17 Feb 2006, Humanist Discussion Group (by way of David Gants) wrote:
>Surely there are world class hackers at the various universities where
>most of the Humanist subscribers reside. The software and hardware used
>by the Chinese government couldn't be any better than that offered by
>most vendors. Rather than writing trivial viruses to annoy millions of
>users, why shouldn't they try to do something that is a real benefit to
>Perhaps graduate seminars on breaking censorship firewalls, free
>software to avoid them (perhaps embedded in commercial/free software) or
>academic prizes for the same?

There are certainly people capable of doing this, but I do not think
it is wise to advocate criminal activities that amount to (cyber-)

What _is_ possible that allows to anonymise messages so that the source
can be guaranteed not to be determined in the network, those are used
by political dissenters -- and paedophiles alike -- such as Freenet
designed by former MSc student Ian Clark from Edinburgh, which is now
widely deployed.

What is _not_ possible is to forget about the law and just turn grad
students into Cyberwarfare activists. In a democracy, such things are
left to the executive branch of the system, and it should be the
signpost of a democratic society that it uses only democratic means,
even against those who do not themselves subscribe to democracy.

A democracy that turns itself toward terrorist methods would not be
worth having.


Jochen L Leidner                                            leidner_at_acm.org
School of Informatics                               Jochen.Leidner_at_ed.ac.uk
University of Edinburgh                     www.iccs.inf.ed.ac.uk/~s0239229
Received on Wed Feb 22 2006 - 01:04:49 EST

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