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Fiber-Optic Map: A Classified Dissertation?

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the 'cause-knowledge-is-power dept.

Censorship 299

An anonymous reader writes "So you spent all that time researching, compiling and formatting your dissertation ... now what if it became classified information? That's exactly what may end up happening to Sean Gorman's dissertation. He's compiled a detailed map of American companies and the networks that bind it all together, right down to the very last fibre connection. The government wants it classified in the interest of national security. Large financial institutions want it classified/destroyed in the interest of economic security. But terrorists would love for this to be published ... it would make their job so much easier." If Gorman can map the fiber network though, doesn't that mean someone else could do the same? Update: 07/09 13:06 GMT by T : Sorry, I blinked past the story as posted yesterday.

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299 comments

Whoops (4, Funny)

General Ishmoo (468273) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399520)

Seems awfully familiar. Slashdot should look into applying some AI to submissions to see if it shares a high number of key words with a recent submisison.

Re:Whoops (3, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399540)

the on-duty editor should read the e-mail that subscribers send to him about duplicate stories.

Someone is sleeping.

Re:Whoops (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399594)

(some text edited to protect the guilty)

William:

You're right, apologies.

> this was posted yesterday.

Re:Whoops (-1)

ShadeARG (306487) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399802)

Stories really should be moderated in the trench before they are posted. With the number of users present at any given time, dupes would never make it to the front line.

Re:Whoops (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399831)

I already made that point with my post about subscribers e-mailing the on-duty editor to remove dups.

Re:Whoops (0)

ShadeARG (306487) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399845)

Slashdot already has an excellent moderation system in place, why bombard the editor with e-mail?

Re:Whoops (0, Redundant)

AssFace (118098) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399542)

Or even make use of the fact that subscribed users get to see it early - so if some threshold of them mark it as a dupe, then don't display it to the masses.

Re:Whoops (-1, Redundant)

javatips (66293) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399589)

If they need an AI to find out duplicate submissions, then they either have no brain or they don't read slashdot!

dupe? (-1, Redundant)

Bizzarobot (442358) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399521)

isn't this a duplicate... (FP?)

Re:dupe? (-1)

notque (636838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399634)

Hrm! Maybe it is!

Perhaps you should expand on your idea, and we will discuss the plausability of such!

I R0X0R! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399726)

Firstus Dupus, beeeeeotchii!

isn't this a duplicate... (FP?)

It's a dupe! (-1, Redundant)

jjh37997 (456473) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399522)

I wonder if his database could stop Slashdot from posting duplicate stories. This was posted yesterday, man!

Well... (5, Funny)

dereklam (621517) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399525)

So you spent all that time researching, compiling and formatting your dissertation ... now what if it became classified information?

Once it's posted to /., the dupes will ensure it never goes away!

Dupe! (-1, Redundant)

Tax Boy (75507) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399526)

Dupie Dupie Duplicate Story. Make it stop! Please please please please read Slashdot before posting stories!

DDDUUUUUUPPPPPEEEEEE!!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399535)

But so's your time isn't wasted, here's an awesome animation [albinoblacksheep.com] I found in the cruel.com discussion forum.

ARG. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399538)

If you are going to dupe the story, at least have the decency to provide a link to the disertation in question. Damn people!

A dupe, but so what ? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399545)

Quick, everyone. Post as many redundant comments as possible about a story being a dupe. It makes for some great reading.

Morons.

Re:A dupe, but so what ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399606)

This story is a dupe.

Re:A dupe, but so what ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399620)

This story is a dupe

Re:A dupe, but so what ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399648)

This story is a dupe!

Re:A dupe, but so what ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399692)

This is a dupe story!

Re:Posts about a dupe, but so what ? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399784)

Quick, everyone. Post as many redundant comments as possible about relevants commments about another a story being a dupe. It makes for some great reading. Moron.

Classified? (2, Funny)

shr3k (451065) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399548)

I'm sure technology for detecting duplicate Slashdot stories is classified as well. Slashdot editors want it to stay secret. Trolls would like to see it stay secret as well else they'd have less to troll on about.

Only die-hard Slashdot readers would like to see such a technology because it would make our lives much easier.

not suprising (5, Interesting)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399552)

Not suprising considering that its well known little secrete that half of the scientists at Livermore labs did their disserrtations and had them classifeid on basis of National security..

In some Universities in US it happens every year regularly..

Re:not suprising (-1, Funny)

banzai51 (140396) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399659)

The real reason they want this classified is so they DON'T have to protect it. If everyone knows where it is and something happens to it, then everyone will know law enforcement and the government failed because of incompetence. They would rather this info is secret so they can say, "we had no idea it was there." Plus, if everyone knew where these are, we can't have a backhoe in BFE take down the east coast.

Re:not suprising (5, Interesting)

GMontag (42283) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399844)

After reading the DT Washington Post article yesterday, I fail to see what the problem in this case is.

Actually, the problem I see is that it looks more like a scam.

Every bit of the information this guy is using is publically available, but they have a fancy "security" setup, go through all the motions to have a poor-man's SCIF, they smash old HDDs and degauss them, etc. BUT, every bit of the information they have is available to anybody that wants to dig it up themselves.

They have taken this information and made maps of it. WOW! Whoopee! Yes, they spent the same amount of time, maybe more, that any modern cartogropher would take to map the same thing.

The article did not mention that you can get your basic US maps free, in electronic format, from various government agencies. Just check the various OSS GPS projects. Above ground power lines appear there. Link this to a list of power company addresses and vola! a beginners map of the power system. Underground lines, pipes, fiber, etc all appear on some sort of map someplace.

Want to add wireless points to the mix? Go to the wardriver websites and add their maps to yours. Poof! Another infrastructure layer!

Want to add the "command structure"? Go get that GIA project (or whatever it is called) that was announced the other day, add that layer, TA DA! more crap on your map!

How this even counts as something to get a degree in is beyond me. Yes, it is very useful in general but it is nothing ground breaking, it is basic, classic mapmaking and he uses a computer instead of an offset press.

I know (-1, Redundant)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399556)

Patriot Act should define submission of a dupe article to /. as a terrorist act... this way there will be no dupes any longer.

Re:I know (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399673)

There also wouldn't be any Slashdot editors left...

Researching? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399560)

The slashdot article talks about "all that time researching, compiling and formatting your dissertation". Why didn't they spend some time researching their own story, because then they would realize that they've posted it twice?? Hmm.. Maybe people looking to treat Alzheimer's disease might want to talk to Taco to talk about some trial runs of Alzheimer's drugs.

Classified dissertations.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399572)

Not the first time it has happened. It is only the latest example. I had my thesis classified (1972) - to this day I still can't distribute the damn thing. I did my work on image enhancements through atmospheric perturbations. Being an amateur astronomer I wanted to be able to see images more clearly and the subject seemed natural for my thesis. In under a year I found it classified. Little did I realize what it was going to be used for.

Here we go again! (-1, Redundant)

TCQuad (537187) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399573)

I've still got some moderator points; can I mark this story as redundant?

Dupe - or Dope??? (-1, Redundant)

jkrise (535370) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399574)

I'm inclined to think someone sent a heavy load of dope to the editors here - for testing, probably. Possible explains why interesting stories such as MS withdrawing stock options, and the EMC buyout of Legato aren't getting any attention.

Instead we have 2-month old SCOries and dupes. Oh well..

You're all a bunch of hypocrites (0, Redundant)

tbase (666607) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399575)

Does anyone else find it ironic that a dozen or more people post duplicate messages complaining about this being a duplicate post?

Ow- that made my head hurt!

Re:You're all a bunch of hypocrites (-1, Offtopic)

Captal (687904) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399695)

What's even more ironic is that the majority of the posts are about this being a duplicate post.

But now I've made a duplicate post of a post saying that everyone is complaining that this is a duplicate post... hmmm

Re:You're all a bunch of hypocrites (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399755)

No, Sir. I won't mod you up as Funny. It wasn't.

Re:You're all a bunch of hypocrites (-1)

NotJeff (181459) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399778)

Right, but the BEST best part is that for a few minutes before the story made it to the frontpage, I could have seen it EARLIER by subscribing.

In fact, it's but a matter of time before subscribers can see the dupe before nonsubscribers see the original post...

-NJ

Re:You're all a bunch of hypocrites (-1, Redundant)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399816)

A duplicate post is like discovering a Karma Mine. In order to reap the karma, you may have to repeat the motions of those before you, but as long as you get a gleaming nugget of +5, Funny, you won't complain.

Hey Lois. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399579)

diarhea. hehehehehehe

Re:Hey Lois. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399664)

Oh, Peter! I'm carrying lemonade!

Does he have to keep anything secret? (4, Interesting)

irving47 (73147) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399580)

Aren't the government and big business pretty much stuck asking him to be 'patriotic' about the whole thing? Isn't it a pointless argument unless he's taken a security oath of some sort?

Re:Does he have to keep anything secret? (4, Insightful)

Chexum (1498) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399677)

The weird thing is when some random guy compiles a lot of traditionally public domain data, he's almost threatened to not do it, but when a business compiles customer data, and can tell what is the last fart of mine composed of, every "patriot" is silent? I hate this country... Oh wait, I'm a dumb foreign guy, phew.. :)

That's why it must be classified. (5, Insightful)

NetDanzr (619387) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399590)

If Gorman can map the fiber network though, doesn't that mean someone else could do the same?

And this is exactly why his work must be classified or destroyed. Remember, kids, most recent laws are here not to prevent the bad guys from doing something (by deffinition, they are bad and thus expected to break those laws), but to prevent the average citizen from doing something.

Re:That's why it must be classified. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399691)

No, dumdum, they're there to make sure the bad guys can be caught and punished.

Definitely a Duplicate Story (-1, Redundant)

HidingMyName (669183) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399593)

Evidently the editors missed their own original posting [slashdot.org] of this story. It might be a good idea for editors to adopt a policy of browsing the recent stories (1-2 days old) to verify they don't duplicate (editors should not degrade content).

copy available online? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399607)

Is a copy of the map avalaible, online?
Would make a way cool apartment wall poster.
Or maybe it would have to be pasted to the
ceiling.

Re:copy available online? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399724)

Your life must be really shitty to wank on this sort of crap, get a life guy.

I Know! (1)

GypC (7592) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399631)

Let's get the story on all the major news channels!

I sure hope no terrorists get wind of this and get any ideas about blowing up fiber optic trunks... that would be bad.

if he can do it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399636)

if he can do the research what's to stop other from doing the same thing. Keeping his work secret won't do any good if you leave the sources out in the open, where someone else can peace together the information for themselves.

Last Sentence, As Applied To Slashdot. (-1)

Quarters (18322) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399646)

If Gorman can map the fiber network though, doesn't that mean someone else could do the same?

If one Slashdot editor can post a story though doesn't that mean that some other Slashdot editor could do the same?

He can publish AND not go to jail (4, Insightful)

SleezyG (466461) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399653)

Having just finished an advanced degree in Computer Engineering, I feel that I may have a little more experience than Mr. Gorman in the matter of PhD-worthy work. I'd like to point out that a computer program, whether in source or binary form, is not enough to earn a PhD. A dissertation, to earn one's PhD, is a written work that documents the research and describes the methodologies used to arrive at the final product (the fiber map program, in this case). Often, when the product is a computer program, the source is included as an appendix.

Considering that it's the data in the program that is sensitive and was time-consuming to compile, the algorithms themselves are pretty harmless. Why not call his dissertation "A Method for Mapping National-Scale Fiber Optic Networks," get his degree, feed the source to his dog, and get a job with the NSA?

Re:He can publish AND not go to jail (5, Interesting)

Onanismous Coward (688065) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399718)

It is easy enough for anybody to find out anything that they want about the US, but it is not due to ease of access. It is that we are a hetergenous society. Anybody can move easily here and simply look. This article, and some of people act like this info is difficult to obtain. It isn't. Want to locate fiber optics? Follow the rail system, the high tension power lines, and the highways. The installation involved obtaining ROWs which were almost always easier to follow other ROWs. As to finding out a set of central offices, simply get a job at a rboc or a power company. Once inside the company, the info is freely available.
For those who think this is bad, look at the old soviet union. Even for all their hard security (which seems to be the direction that we are headed), we knew most of their soft spots. So even if we truely implement the same society that Soviet Union had, we would still be a main target. Any time you have fixed assets, it is a target. period.

I agree (1)

paranode (671698) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399654)

I don't like it much when the government suppresses our rights. However, we all know that one person's rights end where the next one's begin. And if this paper was published, it could jeapordize a lot of people and information. I wonder how he was able to get all this information unchecked if it's supposed to be so secret? Did he have permission, or could any Joe Terrorist go find this stuff out too? It's scary to think what a malicious person or group could do with this information.

Re:I agree (1)

daoine_sidhe (619572) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399812)

The whole point of the article is the fact that it all is public information. Currently. All it took was the public taking an interest in it to make it secret. It's scary to think what a malicious person or group could do with that kind of power to suppress information.

Something's wrong here... (-1, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399655)

This story's a dupe but everything's all screwy - Taco posted the original story and not the dupe.

How can this be? Surely everyone knows that posting dupes is Taco's territory.

Either one of three things is happening here:

1. Timothy's looking to replace Taco with in a Macbeth style takeover;
2. Time is moving backwards and Slashdot's been flooded with tachyons (B definitely came before A in this case); or
3. Timothy's a dupe of Taco.

Re:Something's wrong here... (-1, Redundant)

notque (636838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399818)

3. Timothy's a dupe of Taco.

I think you may be on to something.

We must hope that Surak will get all of the Slashdot Gossip for us!

Subscribers Supposed to Catch? (2, Interesting)

tarsi210 (70325) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399662)

Uhm....aren't subscribers supposed to help catch these things? I mean, after all, you get to see the damned article BEFORE it's published and if you see problems, email daddypants@slashdot.org [mailto]. Or are there just not enough people awake when the stories are previewed to catch them? Just a thought. No, it's not our responsibility to be editors, but a little help couldn't hurt anything.

Re:Subscribers Supposed to Catch? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399727)

Or maybe some subscribers did indeed email the editor, and it still happened anyway?

Re:Subscribers Supposed to Catch? (-1)

lobsterGun (415085) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399729)

sounds like slashdot needs a new batch of subscribers. the ones they have just aren't working out.

subscribers, consider yourselves fired!

This Has Been A Test (-1, Offtopic)

your_mother_sews_soc (528221) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399663)

This Is A Test. Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.

This is a test of the Emergency Double-post Detection System.

In the event of a Real Emergency, you will be directed to link to another site, such as The Mystery of Britney's Breasts [liquidgeneration.com] or The Mystery of Britney's Breasts [liquidgeneration.com]. This is only a test.

This Has Been A Test of the Emergency Double-post Detection System.

Fiber-Optic Map: A Duplicate Post? (-1)

veddermatic (143964) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399667)

So you spent all that time researching, compiling and formatting your /. submission ... now what if it became a duplicate post? That's exactly what may end up happening to timothy's latest news.

Terrorist Threat (0)

Kandel (624601) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399678)

"But terrorists would love for this to be published ... it would make their job so much easier"
Isn't this is a good point? I mean, Open Source and Communism are closely linked, and the only way we can get to a world where Open Source / Communism rule, terrorism has to partially exist. So using this logic, all open source buffs are terrorists, in one way or another. hmm...darn. :'(

Re:Terrorist Threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399834)

If you publish it, at least you would know where to start looking at terrorists instead of conquering half the world and don't find anything.

If it's valid information, CIA may learn something. Theire info on Iraq mass destruction weapons was completly invalid. I hope they hire this guy. At least somebody who produces something with value and nearly got punished.

Mirror here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399679)

mirror here [slashdot.org] for those of you that were unlucky enough to miss it...

Are they on dope? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399686)

Geez, even my faulty memory remembers what I read YESTERDAY! Get off the smack Slashdot!

Hopefully ... (4, Insightful)

Onanismous Coward (688065) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399704)

He's able to leverage the data so that he can see gains (I'm thinking an entire career) while the folks that have lots to lose (banks, utilities, transportation, US gov) pay for him to help show their achilies heels and bottlenecks. If 25 telcos happen to be sharing the same 'pipe' of fibre, it may not be a terrorist that breaks that connection... regardless of who severs that line, it ain't good for the telcos -- and the telcos should be using his data to reduce risks. Insurance companies and actuaries for corporations and governments love this kind of stuff, as do operations research people. Tell me how much it'll cost to reduce risk to this level, or: I have $10,000,000 -- how can I spend it to ensure that the worst case scenario isn't as bad. Hopefully the information doesn't become classified; hopefully, it's used over the next few years to sure up the bottlenecks and other weak points, making the infrastructure far more robust in the following years.

OT: dupe (-1, Offtopic)

nsrbrake (233425) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399709)

So why doesn't the story posting mechanism simply not post a story until it has been approved by another editor. They don't have to read it all, or what-not, just give it a glance. I don't see all the stories posted on slashdot, (shit, does that mean I have a life... no.) I can't see how one editor (maybe with a life) could see and remember all the articles. Just having that glance by another person has the potential to cut down on the dupes by a fair amount without too much extra burden.

Missing Links (2, Funny)

dasuridai (606603) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399710)

The article conspicuously lacks any link to the website of John Young, although it references it in the article. So the two that I found are here [slashdot.org] and here [slashdot.org].

Fact: Jon Katz is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399711)

Fact : Jon Katz is dying

It is official; Slashdot confirms: Jon Katz is dying One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Jon Katz community when IDC confirmed that Jon Katz market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Slashdot survey which plainly states that Jon Katz has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Jon Katz is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict Jon Katz's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Jon Katz faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Jon Katz because Jon Katz is dying. Things are looking very bad for Jon Katz. As many of us are already aware, Jon Katz continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

CowboyNeal is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time CowboyNeal developers Klerck The Page Widner only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: CowboyNeal is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Cmdr Taco leader OGG states that there are 7000 users of Cmdr Taco. How many users of Micheal are there? Let's see. The number of Cmdr Taco versus Micheal posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 Micheal users. Timothy posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of Micheal posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of Timothy. A recent article put CowboyNeal at about 80 percent of the Jon Katz market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 CowboyNeal users. This is consistent with the number of CowboyNeal Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Ipv4, abysmal sales and so on, CowboyNeal went out of business and was taken over by Ipv6 who sell another troubled OS. Now Ipv6 is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that Jon Katz has steadily declined in market share. Jon Katz is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If Jon Katz is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. Jon Katz continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Jon Katz is dead.

What About Australia? (2, Insightful)

femto (459605) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399715)

I would like to see a similar map for Australia. Unlike the US, it has about a dozen large cities with hardly anything in between (apologies to all those outback towns).

I reckon the continent is spanned by a couple of (a few if you're lucky) fibre optic cables. Chances are you don't even need a map to find them. Just follow the line of solar powered repeaters, one of the handful of roads or the single railway line. Alternatively, just look for the line of brightly coloured posts marking the cables, in an attempt to stop people accidentally digging them up!

Take your ditch digger into a remote area, carve a 100 metre ditch perpendicular to the road and bingo, one severed optical fibre cable.

Should read... (-1)

Caffeine Pill (609066) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399723)

So you spent all that time researching, compiling and formatting your slash dot submission... now what if it became marked -5 redundant?

Where else? (-1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399734)

OK...Mod me down...yada, yada...

Where else can I go to get my news? I'm looking for someplace informative and "out of the way" if you know what I mean. I used to think /. was *the* place to go for "news for nerds" but I'm sick of this place.

It's like a song that just keeps repeating the same lines over and over again. "SCO...M$...Whiners...People like me whining about whiners...old news..."

I'm serious, if anybody can point me to a gem hidden among the piles of crap that make up most of the Internet, I'd really appreciate it.

Re:Where else? (0)

dasmegabyte (267018) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399842)

Slashdot has always been this way. It's still got the good stories, at least my 30+ posts per month seem to suggest I care about them.

It's just that Slashdot has an audience of computer nerds. SCO is threatening to dismantle a piece of software that means a lot to the community, so obviously, we're watching everything they do. Microsoft is the biggest company on the planet, and anything they do has great ramifications on us and our industry. So obviously, we're going to eye them closely.

And of course moderators are going to cull stories that don't agree with their personal beliefs. Even with meta-mod, moderators are totally anonymous and therefore they can have no fear when hitting the "Troll" button on viable stories with a dissenting point of view. In fact, I think the rarity of this is a testament to the honor of those mods who do read at -1.

I read at 2, because I don't care what newbies, radicals and cowards have to say. I should be a republican.

Oh, and if you want to read really interesting, informational or insightful posts, add me as a friend ;).

Dupe.. but... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399738)

A point i'd like to make:

I'd much rather America's infrastructure was resilient, so that it was near-unbreakable even when the details are known, like a good crypto algo, than to have government and financial institutions cowering behind the false security of secrecy.

The report should be published, along with weekly updates!

Dupe? What's your point, people? (4, Insightful)

Mikey-San (582838) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399740)

The majority of Slashdotters, I imagine, are not subscribers, so I'm not directing this toward those of you who are. You guys are paying for duplicate stories (not that major papers don't do this, too, but still). That kinda sucks, and I can understand why you'd be upset.

But to everyone else bitching to hell and back about duplicate posts (in redundant, duplicate posts to begin with), I say:

Big. Freaking. Deal.

If you don't like it sooooo much--if you have such a problem with the content of Slashdot--STOP READING SLASHDOT. You're not paying anything, you're not forced to read any of the sections, and no one here owes you anything.

I don't understand why people who are pissed off so much by typos and accidental duplicate story posts (it's not like it's done on purpose) would continue coming here just to bitch about it in the comment threads. Oh, wait, this is /Slashdot/ ...

Not for long ! (1)

Onanismous Coward (688065) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399749)

Well you cannot keep information like this secure forever. Someone will always get it. The question is : will we allow the US government to to deprive us of our liberties to the extent that the gov't really can keep this information for ourselves, and only let it out when it's in their interest for a building to get bombed, or do we fight to keep information free?
People who claim this information is a security risk are looking at things the wrong way round...

AH HA HA HA HA!!! DUPE SEX ALL AROUND!! W0000T!1! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399767)

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Backhoes == Terroist (2, Funny)

Farmboy (21213) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399770)

Here in Ohio we had a backhoe hit one of UUnet's main fiber backbone knocking out service for most of the state for 3 hours.

I think that his thesis should be published and given to all the fine backhoe operators out there who thought that "that cable didn't look it was being used".

Just your average farmer.

"Let's classify this, rather than fix the problem" (1)

plcurechax (247883) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399789)

I am tried of the debate of whether to hassle Gorman.

Why isn't anyone stepping up to complain about the lies and misinformation of building and being sold a resilent internet? I mean, that was a goal of the original ARPAnet, we know how to do it. I've been told by all the big name backbones that they offer high relability, resilent networking, which appears to be a lie about their product.

I want the real problem fix, fix the networking!, build a truely resilent network backbone.

Another one for our ass, people (2, Interesting)

Onanismous Coward (688065) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399797)

The law was written the way it was to keep the people in government from abusing its power, and it was done with great insite and forthought. It is not a principal that changes with the times, it is what should be a universal right. While the world is changing such that its easier for the public to use Free Speech in a dangerous way, its also changing such that abusers in government can abuse censorship more easily. If the govermnet can just say: "Sorry, what you are saying threatens national security" then where does the line get drawn and by whom? If the line is subjective, it WILL be abused or misused! Do you want a for instance that isnt too far fetched?

Here, lets say I was speaking up about the fact that there is public information available that would allow terrorist attacks on our country by means of cutting our data communcations. Simply by saying this publicly I could reasonably be causing a risk to national security. My statement might cause a terrorist to become aware that the information is available,and cause him/her to go looking where they otherwise wouldnt have. The government with the power to shut me up might censor me to avoid this risk. By doing so, however, they might put the country more at risk because now the problem will not get the attention, and may not get fixed before someone wishing to do harm stumbles on it by themselves.

What if Im a person with communist ideas? May I speak about them? Speaking about them might insite some group of people to riot or attack some US interest. Am I a risk to national security. What if I speak up against war? Am I a risk to national security. What if I speak publicly and ask the postal service to strike, and that causes a national mail crisis. Am I a risk to national security?

Maybe you havent been paying attention to the news. Have you heard about Hong Kong, and how the Chinese Govt. wants to instate their "Subversion, and National Security laws" in HK just like there is in main land China? Do you think our country would be better with if we were reduced to the pittiful lack of free speach rights they have in China? Have you heard of the Great Firewall of China that protects Chinese "National Security" ? It will never be the right of the government to say who has the right to speak. Not on the basis of their 6th grade education. Not on the basis of National Security, not on the basis of "subversion", not on the basis of "Lewdness", not on the basis of "Morality". Any line drawn on the basis of an unclear or subjective measure will necessarily result in abuse and the eventual erosion of the most wonderful freedom available. (for those of you who are dense :) thats free speech)

Tom Clancy, too (2, Informative)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399800)

If Gorman can map the fiber network though, doesn't that mean someone else could do the same?

I worked once with a guy who had worked in anti-sub warfare in the USN. He said Clancy was onto all sorts of classified stuff (_and_ a lot of baloney, too). Seems he was able to piece together a number of unclassified bits into a (synergistically) classified piece.

Toothpicks dupe fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399805)

I blinked past the story as posted yesterday.

Toothpicks lightly jammed to prop open eyelids.

Mapping the network (3, Insightful)

jdhouse4 (14603) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399806)

Having been a graduate student in a previous life (earned a MS in aerospace engineer), it is possible for someone to replicate Gorman's work. However, unlike Gorman, that person will be operating in an environment where information will not flow so easially as it perhaps did to Gorman. Technically, everything about everything is on public record. Fishing it out is another matter. And by the time you're finished, the network has likely changed enough that a good part of your work is then invalidated. Gorman was doing this as his graduate research, meaning he probably spent most of his day working on this under his graduate research funding.

So, now anyone wanting to replicate Gorman's work will need to take the next 4-6 years off, have an advisor who will keep you from going down dead ends as Gorman's advisor probably did, get paid by someone (Mr. Bin Laden?) during that time, work in a newly, informational hostile environment, and keep updating your map even as you map new areas. Not a piece of cake.

timothy IS a monkey (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6399821)

His domain monkey.org seems appropiate.

Yes, I'm kvitching about the dupes.

Why I'll never again subscribe to /. (0)

DangerTenor (104151) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399841)

It's quite simple, really. I'm supposed to PAY for the privilege of seeing the stories early, so that I can write email to the editors telling there is a duped story, and have it IGNORED ?

Seriously, dupes are the only big complaint I have about slashdot. And seriously, it's not that hard to figure something out to prevent them. Regardless, it's even easier to read the email sent to the editors warning them.

Internet Durability? (4, Insightful)

Jerk City Troll (661616) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399849)

I have asked this question a number of times, but I am still confused.

The Internet was designed to be durable. It is built with many points of failure and it is supposed to function even with many of those points disabled.

Why is it then that a backhoe operator in California can knock out Internet access or at least cripple traffic for the entire country?

Is it simply that there is not enough redundancy to make this possible? If that is the case, forget about supressing research like Gorman's and increase the infrastructure.

Regrettably, I must agree that spilling this information out into the public domain is not the best. Computer security concerns should be publicized, but physical security issues should not. They differ insofar as the means of resolving security issues. If some operating system has a vulnerability, it is repaired once and the patch gets disseminated to all affected systems. You cannot simply build a stronger door and pass that door around to all affected sites.

Nevertheless, we should make efforts to nullify the vulnerability so that when this information becomes public, the point is moot and a few bombs destroying some fiber will do nothing.

PhD quality research? (4, Insightful)

acorn (203153) | more than 10 years ago | (#6399850)

The most puzzling aspect of this story is that the job of mapping the US internet is sufficient to earn a Ph.D. Of course, it is possible that there are aspects of the author's thesis that go beyond what is advertised above.

I admit that this author is not alone--in the CS department where I work, "experimental" Ph.D. theses featuring poorly designed experiments or no scientific work at all (which appears to be the case above) are a constant problem.

Perhaps this is an accident of the youth of the field.
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