Mobile Code, Java, Active Webpages, Cookies, Government Agencies
(as well as, other security & privacy issues)
and the Re-tooling of Information Plants

D. Brouse and S. Mukherjee

Complaint filed with the FTC, against the FTC

Abstract (1994; originally titled, Push Vs. Pull Technologies)

Because of the privacy and security issues inherent in Java, Active Webpages, Cookies, and similar programming, the majority of the first generation of e-commerce pioneers will be forced to re-tool their plants.

During the early stages of the cycle, government agencies will be questioned on their own practices.

Next, customer complaints and confusion will rise.

A Non-exhaustive List of Costs

  1. Privacy & Security
    1. Merchant's exposure for serving Java, Cookies and Active webpages.
    2. Merchant's exposure in the event that his server is contaminated with malicious code.

  2. Legal Liability
    At this time, the legal exposure to merchants has not been thoroughly tested in the U.S. legal system.

  3. Customer Satisfaction & Confidence

  4. Re-tooling
    1. Cash out-of-pocket
    2. Opportunity costs: lost business, lost R & D (funds and time), etc.

Re-tool: to mechanize over again. Traditional tools include machines, assembly equipment, and other plant production apparatus. New e-conomic tools include websites, email programs, intra-nets, extra-nets, etc-net's and the .coms, .etc.

Information Plant - a shop or mill that produces information. Traditional plants include automobile manufacturing and tobacco processing plants. Information plants include ISP's, web hosting services, Internet marketing companies and web authoring services.

-- D. Brouse,

For further discussion:
What happened when cars had to have seatbelts?
What happened when cigarette makers were held accountable for their corporate behavior?
What happened when buildings had to be handicap accessible?

Since publishing the idea, all has come to pass. Please see below.


Google is Being Used as a Net Hacker Tool / The hacks are made possible by Web-enabled databases, Christopher Null (2003)

Microsoft's SQL & Banks Hacked, Sidd Mukherjee (2003)

Microsoft Licensing Forcing Banks to Break The Law?, Dan Orzech (2002)

The Pentagon Develops Microsoft Security Standards, D. Ian Hopper (2002)

Eli Lilly Settles With FTC (over Security/Privacy Violations), Federal Trade Commission (2002)

What is the risk involved if we have Java, Javascript code in our webpages?, Sidd (2002)

JavaScript Worm Poses as a Microsoft Outlook Upgrade, ZDnet (2002)

Microsoft Internet Explorer Cross Site Scripting & Cookie Flaws, (2002) Helen Jung

Macromedia / Flash Computer Virus, Reuters (2002)

Worm Exploits Microsoft's MSN Messenger, ZDnet (2002)

Nimda is the first worm to modify existing web sites to start offering infected files for download, F-secure (2001)

European Commission Considers Banning The Cookie, Bernhard Warner (2001)

Hackers face life imprisonment under 'Anti-Terrorism' Act, Kevin Poulsen (2001)

Nasty mobile e-mail scares Japan, Ben Charny (2001)

Web Bugs, Tim McDonald (2001)

Three Kids' Web Sites Settle, Reuters (2001)

Disable Active Content Such as ActiveX and Java, John Geralds (2001)

Mobile Code Warning: "release of hostile [mobile] code into the wild is more like releasing Ebola into Times Square at rush hour", Robert J. Bagnall (2001)

U.S. lawmakers examine pros, cons of privacy law, Andy Sullivan (2001)

Network Solutions Admits It Sells Customer Data, Keith Perine, (2001)

What Is Wrong With Mobile Code, S. Mukherjee, Phd. (2000)

Letter To Navy Headquarters, Mark Hammel (2000)

A Conversation About Serving Programs, The Think Tank (2001)

Web Bugs, Lance Gay (2001)

Kournikova Virus and Microsoft's Visual Basic, Robert Lemos (2001)

Privacy, Net Tax Lead Congress' Agenda, Caron Carlson (2001)

Sonic Worm (& Attachments), Zope Alarm (2000)

Example of a Flawed Privacy Policy, 2000

Cache Attack Using Java Script, Robert Lemos (2000)

Is the FBI protecting the Carnivore software? Anonymous, (2000)

Microsoft's Internet Explorer Lets Hackers Read Files, Gwendolyn Mariano, (2000)

Data Collection Method Called Into Question, Robert Lemos, (2000)

General Accounting Office On Privacy, Jim Wolf (2000)

Mistakes People Make that Lead to Security Breaches, The SANS Institute (2000)

How Secure Are You?, Susan Breidenbach (2000)

Protect Your Internet Privacy... by Lying, Ben Charny (2000)

Malicious Java Code Can Infect Your PC, Reshma Kapadia (2000)

Microsoft cookie tool stirs controversy, Scott Berinato and Dennis Callaghan (2000)

U.S. & Web Ad Firms Strike Privacy Deal, Andy Sullivan (2000)

WARNING: CERT warns of malicious code on Web sites, Ann Harrison (2000)

Senator McCain Introduces Internet Privacy Bill, Andy Sullivan (2000)

The E-privacy Boondongle, Charles Cooper (2000)

Suit Charges Netscape with Invasion of Privacy, Louise Rosen (2000)

FTC to Challenge Toysmart on Customer Info., Wall Street Journal (2000)

Hotmail Hole, Margaret Kane (2000)

Popular System for Creating Advertiser-supported Software Functioning as an Internet "Trojan Horse", Steve Gibson (2000)

Privacy Threatened by High-Tech Lifestyle, Susan Taylor (2000)

Intuit Reportedly Curbs Quicken Leaks to Ad Firm, Reuters (2000)

FTC Probing DoubleClick Data Usage Practices, Reuters (2000)

Privacy Complaints Lodged Against DoubleClick , Reuters (2000)

Web Users Have Lost Privacy with the Drop of a Cookie, They Say, Will Rodger (2000)

Privacy Wars Raging State By State, Randy Barrett (2000)

Malicious Code Embedded in WebTV, Stephanie Miles (2000)

Java Pioneer Goes Bankrupt, Deborah Gage (1999)

Worm That Spreads via Systems That use Microsoft, Robert Lemos (1999)

How to Protect Against the Internet Explorer Security Hole, BUSINESS WIRE (1999)

Protest Group Out To "Destroy" eToys, Connie Guglielmo (1999)

DOD Weighs JavaScript Ban, Doug Brown and Todd Spangler (1999)

E-tailers learn a lesson -- the hard way , Margaret Kane (1999)

Malicious Java code uses Microsoft Internet Explorer to access computers, Stephen Shankland (1999)

Java: To Hell In A Handbasket?, Deborah Gage (1999)

Software Reports Back, Associated Press (1999)

EPIC battling for FTC records, Lisa M. Bowman (1999)

Bug Finder Exposes MS Again, Declan McCullagh (1999)

Advocates call for halt to online profiling, Jennifer Mack (1999)

Popular software secretly sends music preferences, Associated Press (1999)

How to fight back against online snoops, Michael Stroh (1999)

Applying The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to the Internet, Cynthia D. Waddell (1998)

A Primer on System Security, Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee (1998)

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