[linux-elitists] [ruben@mrbrklyn.com: Re: FW: Ruben Safir - Computer Misuse]

Ruben Safir ruben@mrbrklyn.com
Tue Oct 23 23:03:39 PDT 2007

On Tue, Oct 23, 2007 at 03:42:39PM -0700, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> on Tue, Oct 23, 2007 at 01:49:43AM -0400, Ruben Safir (ruben@mrbrklyn.com) wrote:
> > ----- Forwarded message from Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS <ruben@mrbrklyn.com> -----
> > 
> > X-UIDL: FBg!!VmO!!A9Z"!Wgh!!
> > Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2004 19:55:04 -0400
> > From: Ruben Safir Secretary NYLXS <ruben@mrbrklyn.com>
> > several email addresses removed
> > 
> > Subject: Re: FW: Ruben Safir - Computer Misuse
> > In-Reply-To: <17CD5D4D4A764A41B056E3583019773104C704@EXCHANGE>
> > User-Agent: Mutt/1.3.27i
> > X-Spam-Checker-Version: SpamAssassin 2.63 (2004-01-11) on www2.mrbrklyn.com
> > X-Spam-Status: No, hits=-4.9 required=4.0 tests=BAYES_00 autolearn=ham 
> > 	version=2.63
> > X-Spam-Level: 
> > X-Keywords:                 
> > X-UID: 36144
> > 
> > Friendly Director(name removed) and all
> > 
> > I want to make this every clear to everyone involved, so there is no
> > misunderstanding.  I've spent the last 4 months cleaning those insecure
> > computers from key stroke capture programs, viruses, adware and spyware
> > for several months.  The computer which died today, I spend 4 hours of my
> > own time to resurect a hard drive which failed, most likely
> > due to the dust and dirt and the fact that those machines are on the
> > floor and old.
> <... snippage ...>
> While it may come as a shock to some, that email exemplifies a number of
> characteristics not uncommon in business organizations:
>   - An individual with good technical, but relatively poor tactical and
>     political skills, getting involved in a technical problem.
>   - Persons working outside their employment scope.  My understanding is
>     that Ruben was hired as a pharmacist, not an IT tech.

The only problem with this analysis, and this is where the rubber hits the
road so to speak, is that the HIPPA Law which governs patient privacy makes
individual medical practioners explicitely responsable for the privacy and
security of patient information.

A Pharmacist simply CAN NOT LEGALLY sit behind a computer with known spyware
and viruses on it, and use it for patient records.

Also, the fact that this machine crashed had nothing to do with me.  That might 
not be aparent from the letter and the response, but as a fact, I was checking
out of my shift when the machine crashed, a machine that was badly needed for 
production that day.  The normal thing was to just to call IT and have them
return it in 48 hours, which was a terrible burden on the Pharmacy team.  So 
***with their permision*** I took my own time out to help fix the machine,
calling them and telling them every step I was doing and getting prior authorization.
When the I could do nothing else with the Memphis disk, because the disk would no
longer even mount, I finally tried to do a low level repair of the drive.  It 
wouldn't boot so i put some GNU boot tools on it.  It wouldn't mount so I needed to iput a few tools on it with GNU and then I saw the data clusters on the drive just 
completely disolve and when it was done, all that could be done was boot the 
little GNU partition

So, when I got this email, it was really an initial shock and very fustrating.

>   - A rabidly paranoid and dysfunctional organization.  As DM's followup
>     suggests, exposing the company's internal flaws may have been one of
>     the few vaguely satisfying outcomes possible.  Even that is a step
>     which should be taken with care.
> What I've seen, both past and present, in a great many IT situations is
> a failure to secure critical buy-in, particularly within disfunctional
> organizations, before taking "radical" steps.  Linux is far more
> accepted in industry today than even 2-3 years ago.  Lord knows, it's
> critical infrastruction in a great many places, many of which aren't
> even fully aware of the fact.
> Have I been bitten by similar paranoia?  Sure.  Am I cautious in what I
> recommend.  Yes.  Do I continue to quietly build support for what I
> think are valid, useful, and defensible choices for IT based on Free
> Software solutions?  You bet.
> The game is political.
> Oddly enough, I seem to have read that on a sig somewhere recently.
> Peace.
> -- 
> Karsten M. Self <karsten@linuxmafia.com>        http://linuxmafia.com/~karsten
>     Ceterum censeo, Caldera delenda est.

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http://www.mrbrklyn.com - Interesting Stuff
http://www.nylxs.com - Leadership Development in Free Software

So many immigrant groups have swept through our town that Brooklyn, like Atlantis, reaches mythological proportions in the mind of the world  - RI Safir 1998

http://fairuse.nylxs.com  DRM is THEFT - We are the STAKEHOLDERS - RI Safir 2002

"Yeah - I write Free Software...so SUE ME"

"The tremendous problem we face is that we are becoming sharecroppers to our own cultural heritage -- we need the ability to participate in our own society."

"> I'm an engineer. I choose the best tool for the job, politics be damned.<
You must be a stupid engineer then, because politcs and technology have been attached at the hip since the 1st dynasty in Ancient Egypt.  I guess you missed that one."

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