[clug] Cleanfeed. Other Comsequences.

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Mon Oct 27 23:13:47 GMT 2008

Paul Matthews <plm at netspace.net.au> writes:

> There are another set of /*possible*/ consequences that no-one has
> touch on with the Cleanfeed proposals.
> Does a false positive block rate of 3% mean that 3% of Amazon's book
> catalogue will be un-viewable?

Almost certainly not.


> Going to www.theage.com.au involves 106 http requests, with a 3% error
> rate the chance of getting the whole page is only 97%^106=3.69%.


> Since anti-virus updates and OS patches all flow over http. What does
> not receiving 3% of them mean to the security of the normal household
> PC?


> Won't a 3% false positive block rate cripple games such as Puzzle
> Pirates that tunnel over http.

No, because they will almost certainly not be blocked.

The problem is that you are assuming the "false positive" rate is
completely randomly distributed; in practice it means that a proportion
of sites are completely unavailable despite being innocent, so 3 percent
of *websites*, not three percent of *content of all websites*.

This is bad, certainly, but not nearly as intrusive as you suggest
above.  (Though, in general, experience tells us that random "normal"
websites will be blocked for 24 to 48 hours every now and then.)


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