May 26, 2020

Archives for July 2004

Too Much Spam, Not Enough Identification

Lots of good stuff yesterday at the Meltdown conference. Rather than summarize it all, let me give you two random observations about the discussion.

The security session descended into a series of rants about the evil of spam. Lately this seems to happen often in conference panels about security. This strikes me as odd, since spam is far from the worst security problem we face online. Don’t get me wrong; spam annoys me, just like everybody else. But I don’t think we’ll make much progress on the spam problem until we get a handle on more fundamental problems, such as how to protect ordinary machines from hijacking, and how to produce higher-quality commercial software.

Another interesting feature, noted by Michael Froomkin, was the central role of identification technologies in the day’s discussions, both in diagnoses of Internet policy problems, and in proposed solutions. When the topic was spam, people liked technologies that identify message senders; but on other topics, identification was considered harmful. I hope to see more discussion about identification at the conference. (I’ll have another posting on online identification later this week.)

[Susan Crawford has an interesting summary of yesterday’s discussion. She says I was “wise in the hallways”, whatever that means.]

PFIR "Internet Meltdown" Conference

From today through Wednesday, I’ll be at the PFIR Internet Meltdown conference. I’ll post reports on the conference here.

Induce Act Hearing Video

If you missed yesterday’s Senate hearing on the proposed Induce Act, you can check out the video, thanks to Thomas Barger. (As a bonus, he also offers a video of the May 12 hearings on Rep. Boucher’s DMCRA.)

The written testimony of all witnesses, and the statements of Sens. Hatch and Leahy, are available too.