Re: [Fwd: Urgent Action Item: Help Kill the Carnivore!]

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Sun Jul 23 2000 - 01:15:52 MDT

Emlyn (onetel) wrote:

> > Har, har! For an instant I thought that Eliezer wants
> > us to fight those new "carnobots". This seemed rather
> > strange, actually, as this could be the break we've
> > all been hoping for; the AIs may keep us around after
> > all, *as food*. Then again, cows would probably be
> > more efficient...Damn!
> I can just imagine the FBI getting their orders mixed up, and putting a
> carnobot in an ISP instead of a carnivore. If you work for a major ISP,
> resign now!
> Emlyn

This is in regards to "major ISP".

I recently signed on to one of these major ISP's, a major label cable modem
access service, let's euthanize it as being "Desert Bird", or rather,
"Running Bord", thus that the anonymized acronym is RB.

I start using this cable modem, and it works fine for the first week.
Then, something goes wrong in their system and for almost the past week it
exhibits 5-20 packet drops on ping.

This has caused me to reexamine this system, my regular old POTS modem,
etcetera. I got some new drivers for my modem and changed one of the
access strings to better with my old POTS modem which I still keep, thus
that I can start to play StarCraft online, which for a game being more than
two years old has quite online active play.

So, I had had a problem which I was ignoring which had to do with e-mail
and RB. Basically, I use this Netscape e-mail client for better or worse,
although recent events leave to me to consider writing my own. Anyways,
the RB POP service is configured to deny Netscape e-mail POP, and the
service representative of RB told me that only MS Outlook e-mail client was
"supported". What that means euphemistically is that the Netscape e-mail
send function is configuredly not accepted by the Windows Exchange e-mail
server. Basically, I am quite sure that the Netscape POP e-mail client is
a standard one. When I addressed the fact that I had been able to send
e-mail, sporadically, through the RB account using Netscape e-mail client,
and not after some configuration change, the tech said that only Outlook
was "supported" and that Netscape wasn't compatible with the "LAN".

So, I think we've established that no U.S. citizen here needs a subpoena to
read any government e-mail, basically. The question is now: when using a
commodity ISP, should one expect and be afforded standard access to
standard commodity services using standard software?

In this context, I don't have any particular problem using the Outlook
client software except that I prefer not to use a client that allows buffer
overflows form any received e-mail as of last week. I'm sure the
alternative commodity web groupware software (Netscape) has it's own issues
with regards to security, yet by habit I use it.

Here's the second question: if you are sold or given software that has a
deliberate security flaw (security defined as the applet sandbox) of which
you are not made aware nor fix made available, have you been damaged?

If so, so has everybody else that used that software.

In regards to Carnivore: iff (that means if and only if) one e-mail account
is identified through other means as being used for illegal purposes and
iff that account has a judged warrant issued to monitor it, then the
warrantor(?) may keep a copy of that e-mail account's incoming e-mail,
commonly called its spool.

Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:

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