LXNY General Meeting:

Simson L. Garfinkel will speak on
Privacy and the Net

Tuesday 1 February 2000

LXNY will have a general meeting Tuesday 1 February 2000.

This meeting is free and open to the public.

In particular, all members of FUNY, NYLUG, LUNY!, AnyNIX, the Brooklyn Bunch, and all other Free Software Groups are welcome!

The meeting starts at 6:30 pm and runs until 9:00 pm.
Enter the IBM building, 590 Madison Avenue, on the corner of 57th Street and Madison Avenue and ask at the front desk for the room number.

At exactly 9:00 pm many members will repair to our traditional place of refreshment.

Simson L. Garfinkel will speak at this meeting.

Biblio: close to 400 articles and 9 books.
Practical Unix and Internet Security by Gene Spafford and Simson Garfinkel
PGP: Pretty Good Privacy
Web Security and Commerce with Gene Spafford

Bio: Simson's own bio He is an entrepreneur in addition to being a writer.

Garfinkel's latest book is now out from O'Reilly & Associates:

Database Nation: The Death of Privacy in the 21st Century
1st edition January 2000
ISBN: 1-56592-653-6
320 pages, $24.95

Last month the largest ISP issued an update to its collection of client software. The ISP admits that, by design, installation of this software disables all other internet connection software. Apparently there is a general impression that the civil law of the United States and the individual states has been suspended, else a class action suit in the name of millions of victims would already have been brought.

Last week a large company in the advertising mediation business admitted that it had directly lied to millions of web users when it claimed not to track individuals who view ads managed by the company.

Next month a well known OS maker will issue another source secret OS which the company hopes will be used by millions of people in their homes and small businesses. This company has repeatedly lied about the security, rather complete insecurity, of its OS. This company has also claimed not to track the contents of the hard disks of home and business users. The lie was exposed and the company admitted that it was indeed spying on millions of users of its product. This company has said it would not spy any more. Nonetheless today the source code remains secret.

Here is the blurb from the official web page for "Database Nation":

As the 21st century dawns, advances in technology endanger our privacy in ways never before imagined. Direct marketers and retailers track our every purchase; surveillance cameras observe our movements; mobile phones will soon report our location to those who want to track us; government eavesdroppers listen in on private communications; misused medical records turn our bodies and our histories against us; and linked databases assemble detailed consumer profiles used to predict and influence our behavior. Privacy -- the most basic of our civil rights -- is in grave peril.

Simson Garfinkel -- journalist, entrepreneur, and international authority on computer security -- has spent his career testing new technologies and warning about their implications. Database Nation is his compelling account of how invasive technologies will affect our lives in the coming years. It's a timely, far-reaching, entertaining, and thought-provoking look at the serious threats to privacy facing us today. The book poses a disturbing question: how can we protect our basic rights to privacy, identity, and autonomy when technology is making invasion and control easier than ever before?

Garfinkel's captivating blend of journalism, storytelling, and futurism is a call to arms. It will frighten, entertain, and ultimately convince us that we must take action now to protect our privacy and identity before it's too late.

Only free software allows the full and free examination by thousands of interested and disinterested hackers of all the code on your machine. And only a world wide project to audit all code for trojans, viruses, worms, etc., offers end users any chance at all to remain private in their use of the net.

As always, and particularly at this meeting:

All who wish to volunteer to bring Free Software into schools and libraries are invited.

All who wish to tell of successes of Free Software are invited.
All who wish to tell of failures of Free Software are invited.

LXNY will meet regularly
the first Tuesday of each month at IBM throughout 2000.
LXNY and its supporters thank IBM for the donation of this meeting space.
LXNY also thanks those who,
inside and outside of IBM,
worked in favor of this gift.