I’m back on ZDNet

I find myself pretty busy now with writing, both for private clients and for publications. I’m back on ZDNet and trying to write as much as I can there. I believe this is actually my 4th time writing for them, going back to when they were started and I was a Ziff-Davis employee.

Here are my first few columns:

At the enterprise level IAM and SAML mitigate the password problem. Out on the civilian Internet our best attempts, mainly OAuth and OpenID, have fallen short. Passwords are a problem that will be with us for a long time.

Why Windows Phone isn’t dead to me

Finally Microsoft has provided a way to unify endpoint management of mobile devices and Windows desktops, but it’s doomed to many years of impracticality.


2 responses

  1. Dear Mr. Seltzer,

    Sorry, could not reach you on ZDnet – Captcha constant failure.

    With all due respect, you have a degree in Public Policy, and I would have presumed that you would have taken the opposite opinion regarding Apple in your article today. The extremely brave action taken by Mr. Cook makes him a hero to the nation, and indeed humanity, for 1) having the insight to fully comprehend the precedent that would be set if he folded and not stood up for righteous principle, and 2) for having the strength to declare it publicly.

    Although the Investigation of this particular incident, perpetrators, their associates, etc. is very important to the FBI and to society, it pales in comparison to the extreme importance of protecting 1) our core human right of privacy, and 2) absolutely (or as much as possible) secure storage and communications. Any true visionary can easily see where we are soon headed, with worldwide governments using constanty-new cutting edge technology to see and know absolutely everything. They have already gone way too far, and Moore’s Law assures increasing acceleration, leaving sanity and policymakers in the dust. Although most people don’t realize it yet, this issue is no less than the Ultimate Crucial Issue of our times. What we do now may well affect the future of humanity and the individual for all time. Public Policy advocates must also be highly intelligent visionaries or we are all put at significant risk. I believe you are that, but have perhaps written too quickly to ponder the permanent social consequences of your position.

    I urge you to please revisit this issue, consider the broader long-term ramifications in the context of Public Policy, retract your position and fully support Mr. Cook.

    Thank you.
    C B

    1. C B,

      Sorry about the captcha. I heard we had some strange problems on the site today.

      I think it’s important to go back to first principles at a time like this. I quote the 4th amendment:

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

      Note that it doesn’t say that the police can’t go through your personal papers and other property. It says that they can’t do so without a warrant signed by a judge meeting certain qualifications, all of which is the case here. I don’t see why people find the prospect of their encryption being cracked horrific when the police can already tear up their home and go through all their documents and possessions.

      There is an interesting case to make related to the fact that Apple is a third party and not being ordered to produce information but to build software in order to assist the police in retrieving information. I’ve been trying to get through to a 4th amendment lawyer to ask. At the very least it seems to me that Apple is entitled to compensation for the work that they do. I’ll follow up online when I find out.

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