Sunday, October 23, 2005

OK, I'm confused. Can anyone out there explain?

The NYT says universities and EDCAUSE are complaining about the FBI's requiring some universities to upgrade their networks to make surveillance easier.
It would require universities to re-engineer their networks so that every Net access point would send all communications not directly onto the Internet, but first to a network operations center where the data packets could be stitched together into a single package for delivery to law enforcement, university officials said.
That sounds like humongous deal. Various university folk are saying they would have to redo all their access points, that we're looking at major expenses--enough to drive the cost of tuition up $450 annually.

On the other side the article quotes 'some government officials' as saying that it's not really that big a deal because they wouldn't be picking up the Intranet traffic, only the stuff that goes off campus. Basically "schools would be required to make their networks accessible to law enforcement only at the point where those networks connect to the outside world."

So which is it? Does every single switch in every single closet have to be replaced? Or could they route everything out of campus through a single line. Then, at that one point where the campus meets the world, they could pull traffic off and examine it there? Would this do anything to speed?

Or, is it something else? Or maybe both? Can you really tell from the article?

BTW, if this is an accurate quote about only caring about what goes off campus, it represents a serious lack of understanding of the nature of university work.


Susan said...

I heard about this on NPR the other day.

They said the legislation was originally supposed to cover VOIP technology, but when it came out the way it read meant it would extend to all broadband networks...

I recently read an article about wireless technology getting out of hand in the class room.

From this article:

"Last June, a faculty committee concluded that stopping the signals amounted to a technology arms race that couldn't be won and yanked out the blockers. After all, the panel reasoned, merely blocking wireless computer networks wouldn't stop cellphones with internet access." [emphasis added]

Sue Woodson said...

I guess it's another way to thin the herd. If you spend your time in class on e-bay you'ill have the education you deserve once you get out.

I know I went to a kind of geeky school but I remember people getting mad because the professor essentially lectured from the textbook.