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The ModulaTor

Oberon-2 and Modula-2 Technical Publication

Ubaye's First Independent Modula-2 & Oberon-2 Journal! Nr. 8, Sep-1995

The role of the ModulaTor changes

by Guenter Dotzel

With the growing number of electronic publications, available widely via information service provider, Internet and Word Wide Web, a new problem arises: There is more information available than you could ever read.

Most scientists who publish an articles in proceedings, magazines and even books, now also make their article available in electronic form on the net.

The ModulaTor continues to select and publish articles about Modula-2 and Oberon-2, but it makes no longer sense to print, copy and dispatch technical articles in hardcopy form under the assumption that the reader might eventually be interested in these articles, in the case that an article is available on the net.

Starting with this issue, the role of the ModulaTor changes in this respect by simply giving you some pointers to the most interesting publications, which I considered are worth reading.

A copy of Knasmueller's Dialogs article, which appeared in the GI/SI-1995 conference proceedings, is enclosed in the hardcopy edition of the ModulaTor, but only for those whose subscription did not yet expire. Permission for re-publication was granted by the author, whom I thank for his contribution and cooperation.

Readers of the electronic ModulaTor may get this and the other articles mentioned below via ftp.

1. Markus Knasmueller: Dialogs: A user interface for end users

2. Markus Knasmueller: Dialogs source code and Dialogs report

3. Marc Michael Brandis: Optimizing Compilers for Structured Programming Languages. Diss. ETH Zuerich Nr. 11024, 1995

The ModulaTor Forum

The end of privacy: Encryption disallowed!

by Guenter Dotzel

As published in some European journals in summer 1995, sending and receiving strongly encrypted messages is no longer allowed to and from France. The European Community also gave same regulations recently to disallow strongly encrypted messages to be transferrred from/to and within the EC.

This is the government's attack against privacy. It means that one has no longer a legal possiblibity to exchange confidential or safety critical data via insecure channels such as the Internet.

What are the effects of these regulations? If someone gets/sends a PGP (pretty good privacy, see also The ModulaTor, vol. 3, no. 11, mdlt39) message she/he is automatically rendered suspicious by the security agents of the state(s). Sure one could expect that they don't supervise all tracfic, but once cought, it could well be that they'll trace all your phone/fax/modem and other mail connections.

Maybe their effort to disallow privacy could also be motivated by the intention to discourage international cooperation of high-tech companies. One solution to solve that problem is discussed: Anyone who needs to send/receive encrypted messages, shall deposit the secret key needed to decrypt the messages at governmental offices, but I would never trust them, because once they key is out of hand, you never know who has access and to whom it may be disclosed.

I think it is an illegitimate action by the government to disallow privacy and security, because that limits the possibilities of companies to compete in the free international market, although I see their point in fighting criminals.

Recommended Reading:

1. Kevin Kelly (executive editor of WIRED): "Out of control" (The new biology of machines, social systems and the economic world), Addison Wesley, Reading MA (USA), 1994.

A quote from Kevin's book: "Encryption always wins" (in chapter E-Money, p209).

2. Frederic Bastiat: "The Law", The Foundation for Economic Education, Irvington-on-Hudson, NY, 10533 (USA), 1950 (18th printing 1994)
This booklet (76 pages) was first published more than a hundred years ago in 1850! And it will still be read, when another century has passed. Really fundamental.

A quote from Frederic's book: "Citizen cannot at the same time be free and not free."

3. Try to get a copy of this book at Laissez Faire Books or Amazon.Com: Frederic Bastiat: "Selected Essays in political economy". ISBN 0910614156. This book contains "The Law" from above.

IMPRESSUM: The ModulaTor is an unrefereed journal. Technical papers are to be taken as working papers and personal rather than organizational statements. Items are printed at the discretion of the Editor based upon his judgement on the interest and relevancy to the readership. Letters, announcements, and other items of professional interest are selected on the same basis. Office of publication: The Editor of The ModulaTor is Guenter Dotzel; he can be reached by tel/fax: [removed due to abuse] or by mailto:[email deleted due to spam]

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