Political rant ahead. Skip to next entry for Sailor Nothing news. Sorry to post more than one big item a day.
At Defcom, a hacker conference in DC this week, a programmer from Russia did a presentation about Adobe’s “Secure E-Book PDF System” and how its security is very weak and easily defeated. Apparently the locks that make these E-Books “100% burglar proof” according to Adobe are as effective as a big sticky note marked ‘don’t touch’.
He was immediately arrested by the FBI after his presentation for publishing information about the circumvention of an access control scheme, illegal under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. Adobe alerted the FBI and requested the arrest. Government by the corporations, for the corporations. Isn’t it ironic that a Russian citizen is the latest figure in the fight to retain our freedom of speech?
So, rather than expose Adobe’s shoddy programming and get them to fix it, Adobe will hush up any information about their poor security model and try to remain secure through obscurity:
“Poor encryption? What poor encryption? And if you tell anyone about the lump under the rug we’ll have you thrown in jail with our shiny DMCA law we fooled Congress into passing.”
This tactic has, of course, failed miserably — and it’s failed in Internet Time to make matters worse. Copies of the presentation are spread across the net with renewed interest by people who want to see what made it ban-worthy.
As a writer who wants to eventually make some greenbacks off online writing, I certainly don’t advocate pirating E-Books, but I’d rather get massive security holes out in the open like this through the press than allow the corporations to silence detractors and continue to sell me flawed, insecure products.
I’d be mad as hell if I found out the expensive encryption system protecting my latest novel was smoke and mirrors, and madder to find out the company had tried to keep me from finding this out by a law my tax dollars are going for. That’s getting it in both ends.