[ISN] RISKS-FORUM Digest Review

From: mea culpa (jerichot_private)
Date: Tue Sep 08 1998 - 03:17:19 PDT

  • Next message: mea culpa: "[ISN] RSI.0009.09-08-98.ALL.OMNIBACK"

    From: Computer underground Digest    Sun  Sep 6, 1998   
          Volume 10 : Issue 49
    Subject: File 6--REVIEW: "RISKS-FORUM Digest", Peter G. Neumann
    MLRISKSF.RVW   980607
    "RISKS-FORUM Digest", Peter G. Neumann, 1985 - , , free
    %E   Peter G. Neumann riskst_private
    %D   1985 -
    %O   news:comp.risks http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks
    %P   ~ 20 articles 3 times per week
    %T   "RISKS-FORUM Digest"
    RISKS-FORUM Digest, generally referred to simply as RISKS, is not the
    oldest mailing list on the net, nor even the oldest moderated list.
    It is definitely long lived, extremely consistent in this most
    ephemeral of worlds, and, quite simply, one of the best.
    RISKS explores the hazards and failures of technology, and
    specifically computer technology.  However, this is no mere neo-
    Luddite decrying of the dehumanization of civilization, but is often
    written by the technologists themselves.  While the list is open to
    everyone, the names of those regularly posting to RISKS also tend to
    show up in conference catalogues around the world.  Computers and
    software are the main topic of discussion, but the involvement of
    computing in almost every area of modern life ensures that subjects
    discussed range from overripe tomatoes (calling emergency services) to
    rocket launches (lost because of missing punctuation).
    Many discussions in RISKS deal with stories ignored in the mass media.
    This is not because of any secrecy or confidentiality, but simply
    because the general press does not understand the importance of the
    issues involved.  On the other hand, a number of items that eventually
    appear in the media may do so because of discussion, and even
    movements, started by postings in RISKS and other similar venues.  In
    other cases, RISKS deals with news that is made public, but provides
    background, details, and analysis not available in newspapers (and
    certainly not on TV).
    While some of the credit for the status of RISKS has to go to a
    relatively stable international coterie of high quality contributors,
    the lion's share of the honour goes to the moderator, Peter G.
    Neumann.  Neumann's moderation is in large measure responsible for the
    continued support of these contributors, and in a net world of spam,
    junk email, and flame wars, RISKS remains an exemplar of mailing list
    maintenance.  Although an occasional hoax or diatribe gets past him,
    Neumann is generally attentive to each posting (not least because he
    is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to make pun-laden
    editorial comments).  Controversy and opinion are not avoided,
    although if it starts to generate more heat than light the discussion
    may be relegated to a "special edition."
    RISKS, as any other net entity, is subject to Usenet, mail, and IP
    spoofing, as well as diatribes, rants, mailbombing, and other breaches
    of netiquette.  Over the years it has managed to stay refreshingly
    free from these abuses, overall.
    The archives of the list (available at http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks)
    are an extensive and valuable resource.  Many of the dangers in the
    use of technology come not so much from specific technical details, as
    from social issues of use, testing, management, and so forth.
    Therefore, RISKS postings as not as subject to dating as those of
    other technical mailing lists.  The worth of this collection can be
    seen in the compilation recently used by Neumann to produce "Computer
    Related Risks" (cf. BKCMRLRS.RVW).
    For those with access to Usenet news, the simplest way to get hold of
    the Digest is to subscribe to the comp.risks newsgroup, which is a
    mirror of the mailing list.  RISKS is only available in digest format,
    even on the newsgroup.  Newsgroup access is also the technically
    preferred means of access.
    copyright Robert M. Slade, 1998   MLRISKSF.RVW   980607
    Subscribe: mail majordomot_private with "subscribe isn".
    Today's ISN Sponsor: Repent Security Incorporated [www.repsec.com]

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Apr 13 2001 - 13:03:27 PDT