Security caution for posting / listserv changes
From: Fred H Olson (fholsoncohousing.org)
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 08:42:11 -0700 (MST)
I'm an amateur radio operator (that is a "ham"). Anyone with a suitable
radio and a little knowledge can listen in on ham radio transmissions.  We
take this as a given and treat the air as our open electronic
neighborhood.  

Hams long ago learned not to discuss certain kids of specifics like
vacation plan details (particularly when) since it is easy to look up 
where a ham lives.  It is possible tho not particularly likely that
someone with larcenous tendencies might (and in a few documented cases
have) used such inappropriately released information for illegal purposes.    
If we have something best not said on the air which we would like
to communicate to someone, we make a phone call or send an email...

Cohousing-L archives are publicly available on the net... So you can see
the analogy.  

It is possible and on a few occasions we have removed messages from the
cohousing-L archives on request (it takes a special effort - in general
cohousing-L and it's archives are unedited, ("uncensored")). Heck,
these days most go unread by me :). Requests to remove messages from the
archives are discouraged in all but serious cases.  Messages sent to
subscribers CAN NOT be taken back.  Over 500 people get cohousing-L
messages, anyone can subscribe, I dont know them all or their
"tendencies"... That is, the archives are only one way information posted
here might reach unfriendly folks. 

Please don't overreact to this message, in the larger scheme of things,
cohousing-L and it's archives are a friendly backwater on the Internet.
I know of no cases where willful deleterious actions have resulted from
cohousing-L posts.  **  Keep posting, just keeping mind you are
potentially talking to the world.

If you have stated on cohousing-L that your community does not secure your
common house, I suggest you reconsider it's security.

My personal perception is that cohousing-L it is not the source of
significant security risks if reasonable precautions are taken.  My phone
number and ham call have been at the bottom a lot of cohousing-L messages
in the last 11 years and I can count the number of calls I've gotten on
one hand that I can trace to the list. 

SPAM is another question.  SPAMmers probably do harvest addresses from
Cohousing-L archives. However, we are far from alone as being a source of
addresses for SPAMmers.  The solution to SPAMing probably lies elsewhere .
(Are you using tools from http://spamassassin.org ? )  Nevertheless, I am
looking into ways to stop email address harvesting from cohousing-L
archives when they are moved in the next few months... 
 
--  COHOUSING-L changes coming --

( This update was posted as a note from me yesterday to a forwarded html
post.)

I'm hopeful that there will be some improvements in the list software
soon. At a different ISP I expect to have the new version of Mailman
(including automated stripping of html), consolidated facilities, better
searches. 

The change should be near transparent to users.  Particularly if you have
a bookmark to the Cohousing-L Info Page at
http://www.cohousing.org/cohousing-L
(The real URL is still visible and would change.)  Email addresses will
not change.

** I know of a case where one subscriber thought they were addressing
percieved mental health issues of a poster and contacted a the poster's
employer.  Hopefully the employer knew that diagnosing mental health based
on email is absurd.  The poster unsubscribed over that.
Is there a mental health category related to 'flaming'?

Fred, cohousing-L list manager

--
Fred H. Olson  Minneapolis,MN 55411   (near north Mpls)
fholson [at] cohousing.org 612-588-9532 (7am-10pm Cent time)
List manager of Cohousing-L & Nbhd-tc  Ham radio:WB0YQM
http://www.cohousing.org/fholson


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