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Fujitsu battles WMDs with online survey

Server maker targets really honest terrorists

Seven Steps to Software Security

Like other dutiful hardware manufacturers, Fujitsu is doing its bit to fight the war on terror with a customer survey.

Fujitsu is a long-time distributor of Sun Microsystems' Solaris Unix variant, which runs on its PrimePower and Sparc Enterprise lines of Sparc boxes. As part of its Solaris patching site, it has a brief survey that it asks end users to take, asking them if they are engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction.

It very helpfully gives a working definition of what constitutes WMDs, (in case anyone was uncertain), which as far as Fujitsu is concerned are "nuclear weapons, chemical weapons, biological weapons and toxic weapons, devices spreading bio-chemicals for military use, rockets with at least 300km of range, and unmanned aircraft of at least 300km of range."

Fujitsu also wants to know if its Solaris shops are engaged in nuclear fuel or nuclear reactor research, or the development of micro-organisms, toxins, rockets, unmanned aircraft, and other aerospace research. There is another Yes/No question about the use of Solaris for battle tanks, offensive space weapons, warships, helicopters and the like - also including night goggles. (Solaris powered night goggles? Beer goggles, perhaps...)

So, how does Fujitsu ensure that people getting patches are not lying about what they do? Export rules in the United States and Japan prohibit the export of technology used for these purposes, which the Fujitsu patch site warns you if you answer yes to any of those questions. But then the Fujitsu site allows you to log in and get the patches just the same, provided you have a customer ID and password, even if you answer yes.

Homeland security. Right.

Not that any of this matters. It is common knowledge that terrorists all prefer Linux, anyway. But they do fight amongst themselves over which distro is better, just like law-abiding citizens and nerds who work for governments that, ironically, have the right to do all the same things that terrorists can't. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

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