Linux Gazette 58: The Answer Gang (TWDT)

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Greetings from Heather Stern

Hello everyone, it’s the month for trick-or-treating and we have some real treats for you this month.

The feast of All Hallow’s Eve is a time when the spirits of the past and the present cross the borders between each other’s worlds. One might even say they’re passing into a new security context.

As you don your costumes (hey, those devil horns can double for BSDcon this month, October 14 to 20 in Monterey – and plot what kinds of eye candy to scatter across your web pages, don’t forget to consider security.

Now security is a tricky thing, many people think it just means locking stuff down. But that’s not really the case – you also want to continue to provide whatever resources you normally do. Otherwise we’d all lock ourselves in closets with our teddy bear and an IV drip of Jolt cola and call ourselves secure.

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It is as important to establish our rights and continued power to do things — to be secure in our abilities and privilege — as it is to establish our privacy — the confidentiality of our data and thoughts, whether we’re talking about GPG keys and email, or business plans, or schematics and algorithms. We also need to avoid squelcing the abilities of others — since it’s by increasing the products of our community that we grow more capable and self-sustaining. So a real sense of security lies in defining all of the requirements and all the constraints of what we want to make sure to serve as well as what we want to make sure to protect. Otherwise, we may have failed to protect our future, in the name of present security.

Well, that’s it for now. Onward to some fun answers from the Gang!

— Heather Stern

Copyright © 2000, James T. Dennis
Published in the Linux Gazette Issue 58 October 2000
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Tuxtops, Inc.,