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Bill Woodcock had it right when he wrote: "_this thread reallyneeds to end_."

  • From: Gordon Cook
  • Date: Wed Apr 05 21:10:53 2000

There have been requests to stop this thread. I would be happy to comply but the snipping keeps coming and when I let some of the more inane remarks go by without answering others step in and continue to pile it on. To wit from Paul Ferguson:

Business practices, on the other hand (which is what people are building
around the Internet these days), and confidentiality, are not [mutually exclusive].

Let's be clear about what we are talking about here.

- paul (who promised himself he wouldn't add to this discussion, but lied)

Now Barry Shein, who has been around rather longer than I, answered Paul's question last night. Perhaps Paul didn't see Barry's answer:

On Tue, Apr 04, 2000 at 05:45:46PM -0400, Barry Shein wrote:
> Unless Gordon is an Exodus customer I'll assume he was sent the
> communique' by an Exodus customer. There's probably some truck with
> that customer, but if Gordon is only acting in his role as a reporter
> then, well, short of creating an imminent threat to someone's life
> (like revealing the whereabouts of someone in a witness protection
> program) or libel or a few other similar kinds of problems generally
> reporters report if they think something is newsworthy.
> Put another way, just about half of everything one generally finds
> interesting, from the white house's handling of certain emails to what
> the tobacco companies tried to do to thwart suits against them was
> once marked confidential. Almost everything interesting gets marked
> confidential.
> Put yet another way; If one's only plan is to mark a letter sent out
> to every customer (what? hundreds?) as marked "customer confidential"
> and hope that oughta stop it from getting out and that everyone who
> receives it agrees that it's in their best interest, or ethics, to go
> along with that confidentiality, then I think they need another plan.

Paul, as you know I am not a customer of Exodus and have therefore no business relationship with it. Barry's has shown that there is no logic in Exodus which has an embarrassing customer service problem (it can't give them the service for which they have paid) thinking that by marking its admission of the problem "confidential" it can get its short-changed customers to conspire with it to keep the news that they have been short changed from leaking

Other's here commented that having the data I provided was useful to them in doing customer support work of their own.

Then Valdis Kleinieks commented:

I think it's safe to conclude that at least
a good fraction of Gordon's listed sources were giving him information
fully aware of where it was going to end up.

To make the point that **all of them are fully aware** I wrote:" Further more I have always had a rule that a formal interviewee will have no surprises. I tape the interview and assure the person interviewed that he or she will get a draft asciii copy of what i propose to publish and have seven days to read that copy an return it to me with any mistakes or technical errors corrected and ***within reason*** things rephrased if the interviewee feels that he or she can say them better. "

The whole point of a technical interview is to let a technical matter subject expert provide information - yes content- describing how new technology or business works and why it is significant.

Now Henry Linneweh after I ignored his earlier remarks had the following additional shot at twisting my words.

It is kind of neat actually that someone actually cares enough
to let the content provider edit their article so that real news
content is provided.

The implication being that the interviewee has full control of the article which, as my interviewees well know, is not correct. The purpose is to get technical experts to explain their expertise so that the internet literate reader can understand that expertise with the greatest accuracy and greatest clarity possible. The purpose is NOT to trap and embarrass the interviewee by hanging around his or her neck in perpetuity every clumsily uttered phrase that he or she wishes to fix.

I would suggest to those on this list who dislike me that they have the simple honesty to say so rather than to get in their digs by twisted and out-of-context commentary. Let me close by saying that if some of you wish to continue to waste your colleague's time with continued smears, it's up to you. Paul has given me a worthy challenge to see if I can maintain the silence that he promised and then did not deliver.

Two days ago I offered this mail list a piece of information about the operational state of the internet - information unknown to most readers here and finally reported in the trade press only today. In two days we have had about 90 responses roughly 10 per cent of which contained technical follow up and 90% of which were opinions about the messenger rather than the message. The thread could have achieved a useful purpose in less than 10 posts.

Bill Woodcock had it right when he wrote:

Confidentiality exists whenever it is stipulated in a contract.

A contract, to be valid and enforceable, must define a reciprocal exchange
of value.

Exodus has conveyed no value to Gordon in reciprocity for expectation of
his secrecy.

Exodus has conveyed no value to the recipients of their unsolicited mass
mailing in reciprocity for the expectation of their secrecy.

Attaching a label which reads "confidential" to something which you then
distribute via unsolicited mass mailing does not make it confidential. In
fact, the opposite is true. This is, arguably, interesting.

Gordon is a journalist.

Gordon is an editor.

Gordon is a publisher.

Godon's job in each of these roles is to gather and sell interesting
information to his customers, and perhaps to promote the state of
customerhood by occasionally releasing small pieces of interesting
information to prospective customers.

If Exodus had _not_ labelled their unsolicited mass mailing "confidential"
in an attempt to create propaganda, it would be _less_ newsworthy.

A tactic of both advertisers and propagandists is to attempt to harness
the media by making their propaganda appear to be news.

Saying something does not make it so.

This is only obvious to those who have two neurons to rub together,

Information wants to be free, however _this thread really needs to end_.

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