[clug] FW: IAMEMS: Report on Canberra consultation meeting

Simon Cousins simon at simoncousins.com
Thu May 13 00:06:11 GMT 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: owner-iamems at isoc-au.org.au [mailto:owner-iamems at isoc-au.org.au] On
Behalf Of lance at cyber.com.au
Sent: Thursday, 13 May 2004 7:51 AM
To: iamems at isoc-au.org.au
Subject: IAMEMS: Report on Canberra consultation meeting

Hi everyone,

We held a meeting in Canberra on 22nd April, one of our ongoing
consultations with Internet users, and the report is below. Previous
meetings are on our website at http://www.isoc-au.org.au/TCCM/


    + Kate Lance -------------------- Executive Director ISOC-AU +
    | lance at cyber.com.au           Internet Society of Australia |
    | Tel +61 3 9525 7574       PO Box 152 Civic Square ACT 2608 |
    + www.isoc-au.org.au --------- The Internet is for everyone! +


     Report on Canberra Consumer Consultation Meeting, 22 April 2004

     The meeting was held at the Computer Science and Information
     Technology building, Australian National University, Canberra at
     5.30 pm on Thursday 22 April 2004, and we would like to thank of a
     number of local groups for their assistance, including ACT-PCUG, 
     ACS, CLUG, ATUG and CASE.

     Participants were advised that this consultation process is
     supported by funding from the Department of Communications, IT 
     and the Arts.

     Usage of the Internet

     The participants' discussion covered the pros and cons of Internet
     usage generally, with a focus on some recent Internet consumer
     fraud activities based upon vulnerabilities in widely used
     commercial software. Benefits of open standard software are
     discussed, with suggestions on comparison testing of operating
     systems. Spam and viruses are still a major problem. Censorship,
     copyright and intellectual property issues are seen as being
     poorly handled.

        * The Internet is a form of telecommunications, involves new
          techniques. The Internet is a hot issue in International
          Telecommunications Union processes involving settlement
          between carriers.
        * The Internet is important as a transport system - without
          doubt it is the coming platform, with next generation
          networks as the carrier-focused view of the world.
        * Users are agnostic about the technology and just want the
        * Some potential hazards from people who wish to dominate the
          Internet from commercial perspective, but also objections to
          commercial uses can be a problem.

        * Malware is a problem, eg spam and fraud.
        * Still a fantastic collaboration system - collaboration is
          becoming more effective, has moved on from a situation that
          the more programmers the more the project is delayed, but the
          Internet has undermined this concept.
        * Collaboration raises the question of copyright and is
          threatening incomes, but how do we work out how to not lock
          down the situation too tightly?

        * The Internet is used every day for personal and business
          matters, particularly for access to research.
        * Spam is the greatest annoyance, also the amount of unwanted
          porn that just pops up.

        * System administrator for ISP: doing research on `phishing' -
          spam that tries to fool people into giving out their banking
          details - most phishing exercises are coming from Russia from
          well organised gangs.
        * They are now moving to Trojans, focused on Internet Explorer
          software, using one of the thousand or so bugs in the code.
        * Software looks for IE windows with titles, eg a bank window,
          all information typed to the window is stored and emailed to
        * Users should transfer information securely, maybe avoid IE if
        * Avoiding deception relies on user understanding - see
          http:/www.codephish.info for information on these frauds.

        * The Internet is continuing to provide major benefit, but
          speaker was concerned about ISPs being forced to censor
          material - parents should be responsible for their kids'
        * New IE service pack will include popup locking - mail
          filtering can handle popup issues and ISPs are working to
          counter spam.

        * The Internet is now a vast library of information, with the
          capacity to buy many items, but there are still too many
          broken systems that don't follow RFC based standards - eg
          mail transfer agents, which if compliant would reduce the
          amount of spam.
        * Lazy system and network administrators are a problem when
          they do not keep systems up to secure standards.
        * Porn and paedophiles are family and social issues, not
          technology issues.
        * Increasing commercialisation is difficult because companies
          will avoid standards, so education of professionals is
          critical - some graduates only learn commercial products
          rather than standards.

        * Strengths of the Internet are acknowledged, but sensible DSL
          prices and products are still needed.
        * Net nasties are causing concern, with significant increases
          in the last twelve months.
        * IPv6 - when will it come? What is needed to prepare for it?
          Will IPv6 involve encryption by default?
        * There is too much USA domination, including legal

        * PCUG (PC Users' Group) Internet subcommittee - international
          organisation with 99% of communication on the Internet -
          cheap simple fast communication.
        * But disadvantages are viruses etc - must learn from the
          medical profession, telling the user to stop is useless, look
          to quarantine the source of infection - ie solve the
          technical dimension.
        * Some users are finding it too difficult and giving up, but
          some improvement is happening - can we put a bounty on
          malicious acts? There is potential for more effective action
          by law enforcement agencies.

        * PCUG has presented discussions on preventing computer
        * But casting our minds back we are forgetting how young the
          Internet is, there are now incredibly valuable facilities. It
          is analogous to the introduction of the car - at first
          sometimes dangerous, but now many dangers have been brought
          under control.
        * Look to a combination of factors - funding for good Internet
          social education and good engineering.
        * But digital divide issue is a concern, also concern about
          Telstra and competition.

        * Copyright issue is a problem because it creates a monopoly
          for a certain time, large corporations are buying extensions
          for perpetual control.
        * There is a significant difference between online application
          of copyright and paper application, constraints of software
          use licences are overly restrictive and accept no liability
          for doing harm.
        * Internet is a `road system' replacing the road system for
        * Need to think globally on that issue, Linux has built
          software worldwide under millions of eyes and has been
          established as a secure system. Can we do the same thing in
          relation to SPAM or viruses? eg We could abandon auto
          execution of email attachments, but would the cost of
          preventing viruses damage the shareholder value of Microsoft?

        * Whole consulting businesses are now being run over the
        * Academics are busy inventing new Internet capacity and
          devices, eg grid access, without attention to the social
        * The issues need a combined approach - could use the motoring
          organisation model, as in crash testing of cars - `crash
          testing' of operating systems. Could say `do not usE this
          operating system out of the box' - would mainly apply to
          software and perhaps ISPs.
        * When will ministers been seen to understand? Confusion
          surrounds technology - the Internet is just a pipe, the
          issues we are facing are the creations of people at the ends
          of the network.

        * ISPs are taking more responsibility in providing clean pipes
          to businesses, so this may filter down to average users.
        * There is excessive censorship - legal threats to ordinary
          users from censorship laws.
        * There is insufficient support from government for open
          standards and source software - could contribute 15% of
          advertising budget perhaps.
        * Government shows lack of understanding of unintended
          consequences of legislation - is continuing to follow USA IP
          laws that could do substantial damage to us through high
          price of user software, also allow the lack of software
          product liability.

     Tony Hill
     President ISOC-AU
     22 April 2004

You are subscribed to the iamems mailing list. To unsubscribe, send a
message containing "unsubscribe" to iamems-request at isoc-au.org.au.

More information about the linux mailing list