Home' Technology Review : May June 2006 Contents TECHNOLOGY REVIEW /
From the Editor
Last year, anonymous executives at
Sony BMG Music Entertainment
blundered. They hid a "rootkit"
on around two million compact discs.
As senior editor Wade Roush
explains in this month s cover story,
"Inside the Spyware Scandal" (p. 48),
rootkits are a kind of software more
often exploited by mischievous hackers
than by multinational media companies:
a rootkit is capable of exposing an oper-
ating system s core functions to worms,
viruses, or other programs, without any-
one knowing about the subterfuge. In
this case, computer users were asked to
launch a Sony music player when they
tried to play a Sony CD; if they did,
they unwittingly downloaded a root-
kit intended to hide components of a
digital rights management (DRM) pro-
gram. The DRM program also secretly
contacted Sony every time a user played
Sony s executives thought they
were within their rights: they wanted
to discourage piracy. But when secu-
rity experts discovered the rootkit and
blogged about it, a scandal followed.
Many computer users said they felt
"violated." According to John Guarino,
the computer consultant who rst iden-
ti ed the rootkit, "It s total lawlessness,
and it s unacceptable."
Why were computer users so angry?
In explaining themselves, most seemed
to fret about trespasses upon their pri-
vate property. But the complaints were
much more heated than any damage
to users computers warranted (until
Sony provided an uninstall program,
removing the rootkit disabled users
CD-ROM drives). Sony s customers felt
that the company had abused an inter-
est related to property but distinct: they
thought their privacy had been invaded.
The ambiguity of their complaints
should not surprise. Privacy resists easy
description. Philosophers or jurists
eager to champion privacy as a coher-
ent interest have nonetheless str uggled
to de ne it; others, less friendly to the
idea, have argued that any interest we
might protect as private can be more
usefully defended by appeal to other
interests, such as property, without the
inconvenience of creating a new right
or providing a cloak for illicit behavior.
And certainly, people use "privacy" to
describe very various interests.
This general confusion about what
constitutes privacy has been much
exploited by companies and govern-
ments in recent years. Indeed, as
Sony s rootkit makes clear, much of
our behavior in digital space is now
potentially subject to observation, data
collection, and coercion.
Yet privacy is real. There is a distinc-
tive characteristic to all private experi-
ences, although no one thing can be said
to de ne privacy. But most of us recog-
nize privacy when we experience it. Pri-
vacy is the space where we are free from
interference. It is the necessary condi-
tion for intimacy, tr ust, and all contracts,
including citizenship. And while the
territory claimed for privacy will vary
according to culture or historical cir-
cumstance, most feel aggrieved when
we feel that territory shrink.
Sony s rootkit was not a trivial irrita-
tion, of importance only to geeks. The
harm computer users su ered was lim-
ited (perhaps because the rootkit was
discovered), but the o ense was actual
and new. Sony s customers objected on
a point of principle: they believed they
saw the chill expansion of corporate
interests at the expense of privacy. They
were right. Jason Pontin
Rootkits Cross the Line
When a company trespasses upon its
customers privacy, it should expect outrage.
REQUEST FOR INFORMATION
AUDIT TAX ADVISORY
© 2006 KPMG Professional Services, the Nigerian member firm of KPMG International
a Swiss cooperative. All rights reserved.
To Provide Alternative Power
Supply for the Base Stations &
Transmission Sites of a
Statement of Purpose
Our client, a telecommunications company in
Nigeria is seeking information that will assist
in the development and deployment of
alternative power supply solutions for its base
stations and transmission sites.
The solution is expected to address reduction
in the use of diesel powered generators in
order to reduce its operational cost.
The primary purpose of this RFI is to identify
prospective solution providers that will meet
our selection criteria and invite such providers
to make formal presentations to our client.
Successful candidates may ultimately be
invited to submit a proposal.
Specifically, this RFI seeks the following
Technical feasibility alternatives
Approximate cost information (i.e., order of
magnitude, ballpark estimates, etc.) for
Information about level of support (customer
and professional services) that will optimize
resources needed for deployment and
guarantee uptime and availability;
High level work approach (i.e., scheduled
timelines, workplan etc); and
Ideas and suggestions that provide
alternative approaches to designing,
developing, acquiring, operating, and
managing power supply sources for base
stations and transmission sites.
RFI Submission Instructions
Responses to this RFI should be submitted not
later than June 16, 2006. Maximum proposal
size must not exceed 100 pages including
appendices and attachments.
Please provide an electronic copy of your
response to the RFI in PDF format and send
via email to email@example.com. You
should also send a compact disk (CD) copy to:
RFI Project, KPMG Professional Services, 22A
Gerrard Road, PMB 40014, Falomo, Ikoyi,
Questions Regarding the RFI
This is a brief overview of the RFI. Detailed
information can be obtained by sending an
email to firstname.lastname@example.org and all
questions should be directed to the same
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All information and pricing in your response
must remain valid for the next six (6) months.
Information provided in this RFI is confidential
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proposals. KPMG does not guarantee that an
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