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(U) Replacement column
From: InfoSec News <isn () c4i org>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2001 03:56:29 -0500 (CDT)


by Rob Rosenberger

(U) FIRST, I WANT to thank the three uniformed federal police who
visited me in the middle of the night. I appreciate the fact they
knocked politely and never drew their guns.

(U) Second, let me offer a note of thanks to the plainclothes federal
agent who interviewed me. I appreciate the fact he didn't haul me off
to an interrogation room.

(U) Third, I want to thank the antivirus vendor who helped put this
ball in motion. An embarrassing column about them will never see the
light of day for {ahem} "national security reasons." The war against
cyber-terrorism requires utmost secrecy. Or at least that's what I

(U) Yes yes yes, I know embarrassment shouldn't justify national
security protection, but things changed in the computer security world
on 11 September. Our country needs action right now, not criticism. Or
at least that's what I hear. America cannot afford to lose any more
faith in the antivirus industry -- because only they can save us from
Osama bin Virus. (You think the U.S. military can protect our
computers? Don't make me laugh.)

(U) You win some, you lose some. I lost a column; the antivirus vendor
saved face.

(U) An absolutely true story, by the way. I'd gladly tell you one
extra detail which takes me down a notch in this farce -- but telling
you would likewise harm national security. So, ta da! This replacement
column makes me look positively great and makes the antivirus vendor
looks embarrassingly bad.

(U) Purely by coincidence, editor-at-large George C. Smith asked for a
special Tips () Vmyths com email address. Anything you send to it will go
to at least two of us here at Vmyths. Your tips & rumors will always
reach at least one person who never signed an "SF 312" document. I
once signed such a document -- and Smith feared someone might try to
use it against me.

(U) Your tips & rumors will remain anonymous, as always. An "SF 312"
doesn't force me to reveal my sources & methods. It only affects my
ability to report on the global antivirus industry's influence over
U.S. national security. The document I signed doesn't censor anyone
else around here.

(U) Let me repeat: we set up Tips () Vmyths com purely by coincidence.
What happened to me simply validates one of Smith's many concerns.

[Editor's note: the "(U)" before each paragraph is an inside joke.]

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