[thelist] how do we hide contents?

Ken Schaefer ken at adOpenStatic.com
Wed Dec 11 00:48:01 CST 2002

From: "the head lemur" <headlemur at clearskymail.com>
Subject: Re: [thelist] how do we hide contents?

<various bits of philosphical ranting deleted>

: The web is the last place in the world to attempt to hide anything.
: The code is against you.
: The browser is against you.
: The computer and it's connection is against you.
: The structure and protocols used in the internet are against you.
: I am against you, but I did offer you a solution that I know works.


Well, the main problem seems to be that data is sent to a machine under the
complete control of another user. That other user can then access all the
data. Nothing to do with code/browsers/computers/connections/protocols etc.

You see, if I control both the website, and the machine you use to view it
(and I'm just letting you use the machine), then I can "hide" things from
you. Lots of organisations work this way. They own the computers. Employees
are permitted to use them to perform work they've been hired to do.

: But hell, Let's hide stuff!
: After all, hiding stuff has been responsible for more wars, hatred,
: injustice, bigotry, and evil since folks have begun communicating.
: Hiding stuff has been good business for religions, companies,
: and even so called democracies. One of the most interesting ideas and
: strictures that still exists is the 'wisdom' that people can't handle the
: truth. This is usually promoted by a self appointed group whose aim is to
: restrict information in such a way as to continue  a  structure of power
: themselves.

It's not always about "hiding" things - sometimes it's about controlling
access to sensitive information. There are malicious people out there.
Security's about keeping them out (or working out that they got in, and
doing something about it). Do we do this because "people can't handle the
truth"? No, we do it because the information is none of their business.

: If you want to hide things the web is not the place for you.

In general I agree. In reality, life (or the Web in any case) is not as
simple as you make it out to be. Statements in the vein of: "the web is xyz"
always make me laugh. The web is what, collectively, we all make of it. If I
disagree with you about what the web is, then it isn't what you say it is.


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