[risks] Risks Digest 21.52

From: RISKS List Owner (riskoat_private)
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 12:21:48 PDT

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    RISKS-LIST: Risks-Forum Digest  Tuesday 17 July 2001  Volume 21 : Issue 52
       ACM Committee on Computers and Public Policy, Peter G. Neumann, moderator
    ***** See last item for further information, disclaimers, caveats, etc. *****
    This issue is archived at <URL:http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/21.52.html>
    and by anonymous ftp at ftp.sri.com, cd risks .
    Subject: Re: WashingtonPost.com real estate database (PGN)
    Abridged info on RISKS (comp.risks)
    Date: Tue, 17 Jul 2001 11:19:12 PDT
    From: "Peter G. Neumann" <neumannat_private>
    Subject: Re: WashingtonPost.com real estate database (Hudson, RISKS-21.51)
    My humblest apologies for letting the 2600 Pennsylvania Avenue item slip by
    my usually more alert moderation.  Moderation in the defense of moderation
    is no virtue, and I should have caught that one.  
    However, perhaps we can consider the episode a successful test of your
    collected readership alertness.  In the entire history of the Risks Forum,
    we have never had the volume of responses from you all that Tramm Hudson's
    contribution received, and thus it seemed appropriate to put out this
    one-item issue.  There is also a correction note in the official archive
    copies at SRI and Newcastle.
    We received lots of comments about 2600 Pennsylvania Avenue *not* being the
    most famous address in the DC area, and some analyses of the actual listing
    for the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.  Andrew Brandt (PCWORLD)
    noted that the correct listing for the White House gave a Total Assessed
    Value: $340,000,000, Assessed Land Value: $314,975,600, Lot Size: 787,439
    (18.1 acres), a blank ZONING field (ergo, no zoning violations there, eh?),
    and Property use: Special Purpose-Misc, General use: UNKNOWN.
    There may have been some wonderful humorous notes as well, but I could not
    begin to read each of your over 100 messages.  For example, one of you
    suggested that the author might have been the same guy responsible for the
    targeting error that caused the U.S. to bomb the Chinese Embassy in
    Yugoslavia.  In addition, a few messages noted that this kind of database
    provides publicly available information, so what are the risks, and why
    are we running this in RISKS in the first place?  Indeed, my relevance
    criterion seems to have slipped in this entire thread.
    Reflecting upon all of our past issues, I am actually delighted that the
    Risks Forum has been so participatory.  Indeed, I hope that the occasional
    slip-ups on the part of our contributors -- and your moderator -- have all
    been rectified by subsequent postings (of which this is clearly an example).
    Unfortunately, the volume of submissions has increased enormously, so I am
    also guilty of not being able to give each and every message enough
    scrutiny.  Consequently, your responses to errors are particularly
    important.  If I do not get to them in a timely fashion, please resend with
    a suitable SUBJECT line alerting me to my possible oversight.
    Date: 12 Feb 2001 (LAST-MODIFIED)
    From: RISKS-requestat_private
    Subject: Abridged info on RISKS (comp.risks)
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    End of RISKS-FORUM Digest 21.52

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