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ARCHIVE: 'Phage List' - Archives (1988 - 1989)
DOCUMENT: phage #342 [Appropriate material] (1 message, 1296 bytes)
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From: Gene Spafford <spaf>
To: phage
Date: Tue 21:03:07 06/12/1988 EST
Subject: Appropriate material
References: [Thread Prev: 351] [Thread Next: 346] [Message Prev: 338] [Message Next: 343]

OKay, I've had over 20 responses to my query about appropriate material.
Let me summarize.

About 2/3 of you feel that this list is not the appropriate place
to discuss the ethics of the act and/or actor.  Only one person
expressed an opinion that perhaps the worm author should be rewarded,
but everyone else either said it wasn't an issue to discuss or else
it was clear that that was not a point that could be debated with any
solid arguments. (From a purely technical point of view, that would
have to be done as an argument of deontological ethics vs. teleological
ethics -- means vs. ends -- and that is definitely out of place here).

Some people believed that my comments about filing a lien action were
expressing a viewpoint tinged with ethics, and as such I should allow
an "opposing" point of view.   Frankly, I don't understand how being
opposed to someone making $100Ks from breaking into our machines is
expressing an arguable point of ethics, but at least 3 of you claimed
it was.  So be it.

Two of you also seem to continue to think that I'm expressing a desire
for revenge.  I won't respond to that in an open posting, but you are
quite wrong.  In fact, you might be surprised at what I think is
appropriate in the way of punishment, and why.

Mel Pleasant pointed out that I stated some time ago that this list
was not intended to be an ongoing thing.  It is still my intent
that once the Internet seems stable again, and once the security
mailing lists crank up (I'm supposed to be on both lists and have
only seen 2 postings from the isis list so far), then this list
will probably die out.  In the meantime, let me encourage you
to join the security lists and help them get going with appropriate
postings.  If you want to drop out of this list, please send me mail
and say so.

In the meantime, I will try to avoid topics dealing with debate
over the ethics of the situation.  I'll ddo my best as moderator;
if I blow it, I'm sure you'll let me know :-)

In the meantime, there are many topics that we could discuss, but aren't.
There are the breakins at Mitre.  There are the breakins at LLNL.  There
were the breakins and shut-down of the DEC NE network over Thanksgiving.
There is the formation of the CERT.

Do any of you have anything to say on any of those topics?