Re: Re. Spurious secrecy?

Subject: Re: Re. Spurious secrecy?
From: Joyce Flaherty <flahertj -at- SMTPGW -dot- LIEBERT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 08:36:48 EST

Geoff Hart wrote:
<big snip>
> I've phrased my argument as a tautology, so it doesn't prove
> anything one way or the other. Perhaps some specific examples
> would help focus this discussion?

Example--You manufacture a product, write a user manual, ship
it with the product, and put it on the web. You write a service
manual as well, because you are interested in not only selling
the product but also in the maintenance contracts. You do not
put the service manual on the web public access area because
it contains proprietary info that you do not want to share
with third party.

I believe that it is safe to assume if your competitor wants
the info, he will get it. OTOH, you don't want to make his
job easy. Someone posted to the list: put the doc behind
the firewall and assume your competitor already has a copy.
I like that response. However, if you deploy to the laptop
in the field, the firewall doesn't do you much good, except
in securing the distribution process.

Another consideration is cost.
I was told that the firewall software costs some $13,000 US.
This is what I was told. I did not see it in print. If
true, then cost is a consideration.

Another consideration is how well the firewall software works.
I have a writer friend who works at one of the major online
service companies. Recently, he attended an in-house
presentation. BTW, his attendance was mandatory. The
subject was the firewall software. The content was: *This
is what the firewall does. This is how the hacker gets
around the firewall. This is what we think we can do about
it.*

joyce flaherty
flahertj -at- smtpgw -dot- liebert -dot- com

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re. Spurious secrecy?
Author: geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca at INTERNET
Date: 3/27/96 3:51 PM


The discussion of "secrecy" in the context of documentation
interests me. If the information must remain secret, why
release it in the first place? User manuals strike me as
pretty much useless without the product they describe, and
if someone buys the product, they'll get the dox anyway.
Indeed, the oldest form of industrial espionage is to buy
the opponent's product and reverse-engineer it.

Where does the problem lie? Are we worried that someone
will file off our names on the dox and replace them with
their own? Writing is designed to be shared, and if you
know who you want to share it with, there's no problem.
Maybe the problem is that some of us aren't sure who we
want to share with?

I've phrased my argument as a tautology, so it doesn't
prove anything one way or the other. Perhaps some specific
examples would help focus this discussion?

--Geoff Hart @8^{)}
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca

Disclaimer: If I didn't commit it in print in one of our
reports, it don't represent FERIC's opinion.


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