Aug 31 2010

Alas! Poor SCADASEC. I knew its horror ratio.

"Route 666" is paved with good intentions
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One year ago, I railed against computer security mailing lists that pirate copyrighted stories & op-eds. “These scabs collectively believe the need for computer security outweighs the profit of copyrights,” I spat.

My column pointed out a typical mailing list known as “SCADASEC,” a news site run for anyone who Speculates Creatively About Dastardly Attacks (“SCADA,” get it?). I should note that Bob Radvanovsky, the site’s moderator, is a noble gentleman. He addresses everyone as “sir” or “ma’am” when you meet him or speak on the phone. You won’t find a more humble, more honest, more helpful person. He really is one of the good guys.

Let the record show Rad­vanov­sky is far more gentle­manly than I.

I believe Radvanovsky when he says he never intended to steal from hard-working reporters who expect a fair wage. As so often happens, his good intentions paved a road to copyright hell — something Radvanovsky only realized after I published my column. This noble gentleman put aside his bruised ego and turned his thoughts to contemplative introspection.

And then, without fanfare, he shut down SCADASEC. “I revisited your web site blog again today and agree completely with what you have to say regarding copyright infringement,” Radvanovsky wrote me last December. “I am a man of my word and honor… ALL archived material has been removed.”

Radvanovsky went on to say “I am not a ‘bad person,’ and hope that you are lenient and compassionate in your statements about me, and our cause, in the near future.” Indeed, let the record show Radvanovsky is far more gentlemanly than I. In fact, I’m so anti-gentlemanly (ALL: “How anti-gentlemanly are you?”) that I once got drunk and shoved a champagne cork where it didn’t belong (listen to the MP3 podcast for a great laugh).

Radvanovsky’s introspection forced me to do a bit of it myself. Once again, I’m forced to realize that — as a critic — I pave my own Route 666 in a noble quest to shine a light in every dank corner of the computer security industrial complex. The anti-gentleman in me can’t even say “I’m sorry” for opening the eyes of a noble man. Rather, I can only say “I regret” the fact I focused on Radvanovsky’s mailing list as one of many typical examples.

Radvanovsky pulled a major course correction on the path of good intentions. Now if all the other computer security copyright pirates would follow his noble lead…