1993-03-23 - FWEE! premature testing

Header Data

From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 9d68766d14de061b6e2f9b7a5af7dcee4edba8ed99de72b9ee13340e4d86114a
Message ID: <9303231835.AA14090@soda.berkeley.edu>
Reply To: <9303121624.tn02614@aol.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-03-23 18:40:07 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 23 Mar 93 10:40:07 PST

Raw message

From: Eric Hughes <hughes@soda.berkeley.edu>
Date: Tue, 23 Mar 93 10:40:07 PST
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: FWEE! premature testing
In-Reply-To: <9303121624.tn02614@aol.com>
Message-ID: <9303231835.AA14090@soda.berkeley.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Dave Del Torto writes regarding Tim May's whistleblower test:
>I know you
>really wanted to post that nifty F-117A thing you OCR'd _somewhere_ but that
>was not particularly helpful.  

I think it was extremely helpful.  Especially when we are in a design
phase, it is good to know just how strong a reaction there will be to
some of these posts.  It benefits us to have had the experience, not
just an awareness of the problem.

>Someone suggested a set of WB guidelines should be posted. 

Any guidelines must remain completely neutral about content of
postings.  A whistleblowers group is for expressing outrage.  The
things you are outraged about will be necessarily different from what
others are outraged about.  It is certain that one act of outrage will
itself be outrageous to another.  We have seen this already with Tim's

A whistleblowers newsgroup must remain value-neutral with respect to
all values except the freedom to speak.  When all agree in advance
that freedom of speech is a good thing, then we avoid problems when
specific speech is to one party's disadvantage.

Value neutrality must be taught; it will not come automatically.
This, and the ability to teach the defense of privacy, are in the long
run much more valuable than any one specific whistleblowing.

>Nicholas Johnson, the former head of the FCC (under Johnson) 
>Ralph Nader's organization 
>Jim Settle (FBI Computer Crime Squad) 
>a fellow from the CIA  [his name's Ross Stapleton]

Dave mentions all these people are in favor of whistleblowing.  The
place where they can help the most is by affixing their signature to a
document that defends the whistleblowers group in advance of
"problems" with it.  If we can gather enough signatures from a wide
enough spectrum of the political process, the publication of the
document alone will be worth press coverage.  It might also be
worthwhile to take out a few big ads in major newspapers and print a
position paper.

[Re: comments from Ross Stapleton]
>done "correctly," the system can 'perhaps be somewhat protected' from posting
>by pranksters/attackers with bogus revelations - it might require someone to
>preview postings 

There's no need to preview anything.  Let people say whatever they
want.  Then, should the CIA wish to confirm something, they can issue
a statement with a digital signature attached to it, referencing the
post in question.

Review and verification is a valid concern; pre-review is not.