[OS X TeX] MacTeX-2008 Status
dewatson at me.com
Wed Sep 3 16:50:36 EDT 2008
On Sep 3, 2008, at 3:21 PM, Adam R. Maxwell wrote:
> On Wednesday, September 03, 2008, at 01:11PM, "Joseph C. Slater PE,
> PhD" <joseph.slater at wright.edu> wrote:
>> So, while everybody was using bittorrent... did anyone pause to think
>> that, yet, the psu server is public, and you can get mactex there
> Yes, and I found it on the Wisconsin mirror also:
> Using p2p software is a major violation of security policies at
> work, so bittorrent wasn't an option.
Just to clarify some misconceptions about p2p and security that some
seem to have.
The use of p2p software to distribute any type of digital information
is not inherently insecure.
In fact, there is nothing more "insecure" about p2p distribution than
there is about distribution through traditional (ftp, uucp, http)
I understand the reasoning behind the policy: people distribute
viruses/spyware via p2p, therefor p2p==evil.
However, one could argue that people distribute the same sorts of
things through social engineering by relying on people to click on
URLs on webpages.
So we should also ban using http protocol, and therefor no one should
use the world wide web?
In the end, the only way to know for sure is to use a non-compromised
algorithm for non-repudiation and validation of the things we download.
As the years go by, this is getting harder and harder because of the
advances in computational power and methods for breaking long-
established hashing algorithms.
So, in short, the security policy is well-intentioned, as are rules
such as not having interpersonal relationships with students.
There must be exceptions to the rule, such as if I were to
incidentally be the instructor for a course my wife was taking.
I don't think there is a court in the land that would argue that I
should not have an interpersonal relationship with my wife simply
because the rules state that instructors should not have relationships
with their students.
I understand your predicament, and I would not violate any set policy.
I would, however, take a moment to educate the policy makers that, in
certain cases, distribution through p2p is a necessary evil and the
only real remedy is education and an honor policy.
David Watson • Graduate Student • Medicinal Chemistry • 425 Faser Hall
• University MS 38677 • 1.662.915.1663
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