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Re: Virus victims weigh cyber-insurance option (Sept. 22)

You can be sure the insurance companies will insist you follow all the rules (the small print) before your claim is honoured.


Toronto, Ont.

Re: Canadian registrar angry over VeriSign redirect service (Sept. 18)

I just tried the new re-direct service and found it pretty innocuous. It certainly provided valid options for a misspelling of our key domain names with limited commercial content and a valid search option.

I can see why people in the domain name and search engine business would be really annoyed with the competitive advantage this monopoly affords, but for average Internet users this is far superior to a technical “”not found”” error message, and somebody has to house this.

While I am not a fan of VeriSign and we no longer do business with them, I would have great concerns about the results of a lot of independent ISPs imposing their own version of a re-direct on their users if they try to turn that into a revenue-generating model. As well, a lot of people don’t realize it, but of course all the great “”free”” search engines like Google, etc. already do essentially the same thing through their paid positioning services and context-sensitive advertising.

Most Internet users today understand that there is a complex commercial economy underlying the Internet and exercise appropriate “”buyer beware”” cautions when viewing information online of whatever character.

Larry Gemmel
Chief Information Officer
United Way of Canada – Centraide Canada

Re: We stand on guard . . . don’t we? (Sept. 16)

Cybersecurity will not be a Canadian priority until one or both of two things happen. 1) A major public utility is compromised, with results comparable to the recent blackout, and the cause is hacking or 2) We get a prime minister who actually understands IT. Most of the ministers currently in office still have e-mails printed out to read, and dictate replies to a secretary.

Until that point nothing will happen.

Mark Bernier

Re: We stand on guard . . . don’t we? (Sept. 16)

I think you have made some serious errors in your comparison of Canadian and U.S. cybersecurity efforts. First of all Canada’s efforts have not been as over hyped as the Americans’ but to call them lackadaisical is indefensible. The individuals at OCIPEP that I have met and talked to are professionals and take their jobs seriously. Granted, they could use more money and support for their work but that is a reality that many areas of government are experiencing these days.

Just as OCIPEP has to work with its stakeholders, the Department of Homeland Security has this role to play. But, in comparison, does it do as well? When DHS raises the national alert level to orange, it is the states and municipalities that take on the extra financial burden of patrolling water supplies. The U.S. federal government does not fund these added expenses sufficiently and the stakeholders are beginning to get restless. I think I see very little difference in Canada except that we acknowledge the efforts of the provincial and municipal governments up front and make the effort to work together more consultatively from the get-go.

Canada is a front-runner in providing citizens with an e-government option. A good communications infrastructure and hence e-government are naturals in Canada. It makes sense that we use our infrastructure in imaginative ways because we have a vast country and a sparse but relatively well-educated population so we look for ways to deliver services in this environment as cost-effectively as possible. Your implication that we haven’t done enough to protect online services is not supported by any facts. Definitely we could do more, but we are doing more than sitting idle “”hoping to God nothing bad happens.””

You say that the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency released a report a few years ago calling Canada a “”zone of vulnerability.”” Again, where do you get your facts from? The fact that none of the Sept. 11 attackers came through Canada is now known. You might want to ask for an update from the Defense Intelligence Agency before reporting this outdated opinion as current truth.

Terry Wickstrom
Victoria, B.C.

Re: We stand on guard . . . don’t we? (Sept. 16)

How true! Your article hit it right on the head. There is a Calgary-based company, NE2 Encryption, that has come up with a piece of software that addresses the security problem with 802.11 wireless systems. They call it DOT11. It was introduced to the Canadian government eight months ago with mostly a passive response. It was introduced to the U.S. government one month ago and they loved it. This is a Canadian invention, by Canadian scientists, and a Canadian company, that can’t sell it to the Canadian government. But, foreign governments can’t get enough of it! The “”zone of vulnerability”” can be seriously curtailed in 802.11, if Canada adopted this software. By the way NE2’s Web site is

Jeremy Wallis

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