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Recommendation to read – “Blinders”, a new essay by William Lind

29 April 2009

Lind describes a DOD policy which is moronic.  Not only does this close our system (in terms of information flows) — making it less agile — but it also illustrates the institutional rigidity of our military that makes their adaptation to a new world so difficult.  A world in which 4th generation methods have become the dominant form of warfare.

Zenpundit provides some additional color to this story, with some great links (and graphics).

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. dosco permalink
    29 April 2009 2:42 pm

    It is no surprise to me. Despite all the “PME” that our military professionals are required to partake, the DoD values conformity over free thought. Again, it boils down to Boyd’s choice of “be somebody” or “do something.”

    IMO this may be one underpinning of our society’s downfall.

    Or, it could be that Lind is a technophobic old man: “Lind’s Blinders…“, Galrahn, posted at Information Dissemination, 29 April 2009.

    Interesting.
    .
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    Fabius Maximus replies: I side with Lind on this. Lind is technophobic, but that’s not evident in this analysis. Appropriate restrictions cover things like:
    * inappropriate material (e.g., pornn)
    * non-business material (e.g., fantasy football)
    * bandwidth hogs (e.g., video, audio downloads).
    The website of the Center for Defense Information has none of those characteristic. It is critical of DoD policy, which is almost certainly why is was blocked. This is exactly what Lind discusses.

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  2. 29 April 2009 5:03 pm

    The irony of this conversation is that Lind is blaming humans for what is a technology problem, and you followed his lead. Can you explain the following:

    1) The DoD policy that is broken.
    2) The process by which CDI.ORG might get blocked.

    Lind is always interesting when he knows what he is talking about. This is an unfortunate example where he doesn’t know what he is talking about. He actually reveals it to anyone who can explain both #1 and #2.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: What do you mean by “policy that is broken”? As for #2, the intranets used by larger US institutions have the capability to block access to designated sites. The usual oens are those that are inappropriate (e.g., porn, fantasy footbal) or bandwidth hogs (e.g., downloads of video and audio).

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  3. 30 April 2009 1:41 am

    As for #2, the intranets used by larger US institutions have the capability to block access to designated sites

    FM, who blocks? 99.9999% of the url blocks are not conducted by some guy in a government agency surfing the internet blocking websites. The guy who operates that filter software spends time doing other tasks associated with that job, and I assure you that person spends more time unblocking sites than blocking sites.

    Because William Lind doesn’t know this, he doesn’t know how the software works, or what the hell he is talking about. His expectations of how the software works is wrong. If he doesn’t know how even basic url filtering software works, he is hardly an expert on cyber security, thus hardly a credible source to complain about policy.

    Sure the DoD has the capability to block and unblock, but the human being operating the software doesn’t even have a list what is blocked or unblocked on daily basis.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: I am familar with this process, having wrestled with it more than once. And I have no idea what you are saying. Please explain using a specific example: CDI. I doubt that was picked by the general criteria; it was more likely manually entered it.

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  4. Ski permalink
    1 May 2009 7:57 pm

    I remember working in Arlington not being able to access some firearm producers websites such as Heckler and Koch from a .mil workstation. That one was recieved with many guffaws from within the command I worked at…being in the military and not being able to look at gun site.

    Lind’s employer, the Free Congress Foundation, was also blocked. This was a few years ago.

    I would like to know how some sites are blocked and some aren’t and more importantly…why?

    Like

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