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Subject: [IP] more on French government bans Skype at Universities

  • From: David Farber <dave@farber.net>
  • To: Ip Ip <ip@v2.listbox.com>
  • Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2005 13:46:34 -0400



Begin forwarded message:

From: Bob Frankston <Bob2-19-0501@bobf.frankston.com>
Date: October 25, 2005 1:24:09 PM EDT
To: dave@farber.net, 'Ip Ip' <ip@v2.listbox.com>
Cc: 'Luca Fabbri' <lfabbri@yahoo.com>
Subject: RE: [IP] more on French government bans Skype at Universities


Sounds like Windows is also to be banned.

OK, to be fair -- any complex piece of software is vulnerable and most
commercial programs are closed. It's also a reason for censoring books that
spread bad ideas.


But then this is the country that was protected by the Maginot Line.

The virus problem is real but needs to be addressed by limiting the damage
of errors whether they be due to commission or omission.


Picking on a program that seems least likely to cause these problems
doesn't pass the smell test.


-----Original Message----- From: David Farber [mailto:dave@farber.net] Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2005 12:16 To: Ip Ip Subject: [IP] more on French government bans Skype at Universities



Begin forwarded message:

From: Luca Fabbri <lfabbri@yahoo.com>
Date: October 25, 2005 12:01:04 PM EDT
To: dave@farber.net
Subject: RE: [IP] French government bans Skype at Universities


The French government's decision refers to &quot;network security&quot;. Let's not forget that:

Skype is a closed and 100% proprietary product that can do with your
computer whatever it wants once it is installed;
it uses port 80 to circumvent firewalls in totally inappropriate way
that could bring down the whole Internet if Skype was more widely used.


I am terrified by the idea of a rogue party being able to hack into Skype and using it as a vehicle to launch a viral attack.



Luca Fabbri








From: &quot;Steven M. Bellovin&quot; <smb@cs.columbia.edu> Date: October 24, 2005 9:15:00 AM EDT To: dave@farber.net Subject: French government bans Skype at Universities


According to http://www.01net.com/editorial/289360/telephonie/skype- banni-des-facs-par-la-securite-nationale/ the French government has banned use of Skype at universities. The purported reason: it's insecure. http://www.oberle.org/?p=122 points out that the real reason may be that it's too secure. A third possible reason, though I'd have to know more about the funding model there: someone is losing money because of free phone calls.

--Steven M. Bellovin, http://www.cs.columbia.edu/~smb




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