The security industry

Allikas: KakuWiki
Redaktsioon seisuga 25. juuli 2006, kell 19:33 kasutajalt Kakk (arutelu | kaastöö)
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As seen from the previous topic, computer security is increasingly a big business with a wide spectrum of different players. Today, let us look at the main areas of the industry.

Anti-malware applications

This is perhaps the most widespread and also the most venerable branch of computer security industry, even if computer viruses are a relatively new phenomenon (compared to the history of computing in general - first computers appeared at the end of 40s, viruses started to spread widely only in the Microsoft Age, starting from MS-DOS at the 2nd half of 80s). For quite many years, the stress was predominately on anti-virus software. Nowadays, the malware trends are leaning heavily towards spyware, as the 'old-school' file viruses are all but extinct (about 10 of them are still reported to be alive).

Security application bundles

This category consists mostly of complex software packages which feature a firewall as a central point. This is a relatively fresh branch, rising into prominence at the beginning of this century.

Content filtering

Interestingly enough this is a huge industry almost uniquely in the United States, being next to unknown elsewhere. Although censorship is present in many places, private censorship industry as such exist only in the US - in other censoring countries - e.g. China - it is mostly done as a centralised, governmental activity. Of known examples from developed countries, Norway and Denmark have small-scale filtering used by Internet service providers against proven distributors of child pornography. Italy has banned making bets abroad over the net. [1]

This kind of activity is usually promoted in public as a measure against the unwanted content of the Internet, keeping things like pornography, violence and extremism away from the computers of ordinary people. Thus, the filtering has found wide use in the US, being applied in most public places (the CIPA or Children's Internet Protection Act [2] made content filtering mandatory for all public libraries who apply for government grants).

Examples of "parental control" / filtering software:

All the abovementioned are proprietary software - the database being a "trade secret", the users have to solely rely on the producer's decisions on filtering.

Many cases of different agendas behind the filtering criteria.

Technical incompetence of filtering (the "breast" case etc)

In July 2001, the Beaver College in Philadelphia changed its name to Arcadia University. While the official explanation cited thorough changes which necessitated new name, many sources refer to the sexual meaning of the word in American slang and subsequent mass blocking of the college website by content filtering packages. [3]

Some problems

controversies like described before (Magic Lantern and Carnivore, economically motivated privacy violations etc)