[Beowulf] New member, upgrading our existing Beowulf cluster

Lux, Jim (337C) james.p.lux at jpl.nasa.gov
Wed Dec 2 15:19:08 PST 2009

> -----Original Message-----
> From: beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org [mailto:beowulf-bounces at beowulf.org] On Behalf Of Greg Lindahl
> Sent: Wednesday, December 02, 2009 2:30 PM
> To: beowulf at beowulf.org
> Subject: Re: [Beowulf] New member, upgrading our existing Beowulf cluster
> On Wed, Dec 02, 2009 at 10:13:34PM +0000, John Hearns wrote:
> > You know fine well that such disclaimers are inserted by corporate
> > email servers.
> Actually, I had no idea, probably a lot of other people don't either.
> Can't you work for a company that doesn't have disclaimers? ;-)
> -- greg

Surely you jest...
Of course.. but the reality is that a lot of folks work for places that have multiple stakeholders of one sort or another who want *different* disclaimers, notwithstanding that the disclaimer is of dubious legal value.  Having had entirely too many discussions and training on this, here's some not so obvious observations..
(obligatory IANAL)

"This system is private and subject to monitoring. Do not use if not authorized"... that one comes out as a startup or login banner a lot, and you think... doh, you're already connected, is this going to scare you off?   Nope.. that's not why it's there.. it's to provide a legal basis for prosecution and collection of the data.  If you don't warn that you monitor, then log files, etc, might not be admissible as evidence. If you don't say that "hey this isn't open to the public", then a defense of "I didn't know" can be raised.

The "Information is confidential. If not addressed to you destroy it and notify" one is in the same sort of classification..but this one is for trade secrets. If you didn't identify it, then you can't claim it's a trade secret. And, if you haven't put the "if its not for you, don't look", then an inadvertent disclosure could be (possibly) legally copied and passed on. It's also, to a lesser degree, protection for the recipient...There's been more than one case of someone in Silicon Valley getting proprietary info by mistake (oops, there's two John Smiths.. or We put Joe's info in John's envelope and vice versa).. Company A that "lost" the info then sues company B employing the unwitting recipient to enjoin that recipient from working on anything that might be competitive. If the employee happens to be the key toiler on Company B's product that's going to whip Company A in the market, you can see there is a problem.  In fact, the mere possibility (not even threat) of this kind of thing can be more effective than a non-compete agreement( which would be legally unenforceable in California in most cases) 

But that's just civil stuff...Now we get to the exciting one...

"The information in this email may be subject to export controls"  Yep.. that's the one that warns you that now that it's in your hot little hands, you assume the responsibility and potential prison term if you transmit it to someone you shouldn't.  Doesn't matter that the originator might have been stupid and shouldn't have sent it, now it's your little baby to worry about.  Mind you, I find this kind of amusing when below things like birthday party invitations or, one of the first times I saw it, printed on the bottom of the packing slip for a tube of 74LS138s back in 1979.  Yep.. the evil doers gain a strategic advantage by knowing that I've got those 3-8 decoders in my garage, corroding away in their tube, just in case I need them 30 years later.  (I'll bet there's more than one person on this list with parts in their house or desk drawer, not soldered into something, with date codes beginning with a 6 or 7, or even a 3 digit code)


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