[clug] FW: IAMEMS: Report on Canberra consultation meeting
simon at simoncousins.com
Thu May 13 00:06:11 GMT 2004
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
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
* The Internet is a form of telecommunications, involves new
techniques. The Internet is a hot issue in International
Telecommunications Union processes involving settlement
* 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
* 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
* 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
* 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
* 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
22 April 2004
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