Re: The Bill -- version A

From: Alan Dechert <dechert_at_gmail_dot_com>
Date: Thu Jan 26 2006 - 13:08:43 CST


> ... The point is that a regime like what is put forward in this
> draft bill is not nearly as easy or desirable of a proposition
> as you may think.
I'm not looking for "easy or desirable." Don't care about that. I see it
as necessary and challenging.

> Some of you will be disappointed to learn that I come away
> advocating mandatory disclosure of sources and technical
> information to a subset of the population (there would be an
> application and contract process for review) and that the results
> of any analysis done by people with access must be public.
Yes, I *am* disappointed, but I've heard your rap, and so I am not

Your position is often espoused by academics. I take it as a sign you're
becoming more of an academic ;-)

I think I also understand the pros and cons pretty well. There are plenty
of cons to the academic prescription. It may expand the community of people
saying "trust us, it's okay," but it may not even do that. Academics tend
to be very reluctant about putting a firm stamp of approval on something
like a code review. So the result is likely to seem ambiguous to the
public. Also, academics are not universally trusted.

Such a proposal misses the potential of a very large body of programmers to
make contributions to the process.

The process you describe also sets up potential conflicts and liabilities.
Disclosure to some is good, but there are many people that want to get their
hands on the code. Leaks are inevitable. Too much policing is necessary to
make this restrictive disclosure work smoothly.

I like our bill. It's gonna pass.

Alan D.

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Received on Mon Jan 8 20:24:34 2007

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