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Re: RJR and the supression of research
Someone wrote anonymously:
[RJR supresses research]
| All of this underscores, I think, the importance of the work
| that's being done here, on the CP list. It's important for
| scientists, whistle blowers, or whoever, to be able to distribute
| information widely and anonymously. Who knows what might have
| happened if these researchers had had a copy of PGP and a network
| of remailers at their disposal?
Possibly very little. As your article pointed out, the data
was not widely distributed. If an accusation came out like "nicotine
is really addictive, see the secret research being done at RJR" the
number of people who could have released that information is very
limited. Access to the interesting data (the correlated statistics,
the write ups) was probably limited to a very small number of people.
After all, they were doing things like moving animals at night,
restricing access to the building, etc. They probably had a short
list of those who knew what was going on. They could have traced a
leak relatively quickly.
Further, if the data did get out anonymously, why would anyone
believe it? Its easy to get caught up in our neat toys, like PGP and
tacky tokens. What would have happened if the scientists stuffed a
printout into an envelope and mailed it to the New York Times? The
Times would have called RJR, who would have vigerously denied
everything. They then would have tried to find the sender.
Now if these scientists had the root password on an RJR
computer, and made a few interesting file systems world readable... :)
Adam Shostack [email protected]
Politics. From the greek "poly," meaning many, and ticks, a small,
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