August 30, 2006
We need to make call to the Web police
My personal and business e-mail is clogged with unsolicited
filth, spam and intrusive advertising. Viruses are a constant
threat. Who can help restore business and moral integrity
to the Web?
No global authority has the power to control either
the uses or abuses of the Internet. Only you can. It
is an individual responsibility.
The World Wide Web stretches out before humanity as the
next great frontier. Unfortunately, for everyone already
plugged into and committed to the Internet's fantastic
promise, there are criminals, con artists and ego-driven
hackers who find pleasure and profit in messing up
this marvelous mechanism.
Unless or until Internet users decide to self-police,
unsavory characters (and businesses) will ride roughshod
over the unsuspecting. It should be common knowledge
that free markets - and the Internet and its users - must operate with integrity,
a culture of compliance, or face increasing government oversight.
The good news is that anyone can instantaneously access
global information, and that is also the bad news.
Anyone with something to sell - whether legitimate,
valuable, irrelevant, stolen, uplifting, filthy or frivolous - can reach out
worldwide with one keystroke. To combat the ambiguity of Internet-driven communications,
hundreds of "firewall" computer-security firms were created, and a
battle continues between them and devious individuals bent on breaking through
with time-wasting viruses and spam.
Firewalls have helped protect computers in large companies
for years. Now, they're a critical component of home
networks, as well.
In computing, a firewall is a piece of hardware and/or
software that functions in a networked environment to
prevent some communications forbidden by the security
A firewall has the basic task of controlling traffic
between different zones of trust. The ultimate goal is
to provide controlled connectivity between zones of differing
trust levels through the enforcement of a security policy
and connectivity model based on the least privilege principle.
In the meantime, protect your computer - along with your
personal and professional life - with appropriate filters.
A lack of integrity stands to cripple the World Wide Web,
perverting positive promise into nightmarish confusion.