DaDane of DaWeek

 Created: 04/01/02


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– Operation Hoover –

April 1, 2002 – As you all know, the Internet has seen explosive growth over the past five years. More and more people are using the Internet on a daily – indeed, hourly – basis. Access providers are scrambling to provide high-speed connections to meet the ever increasing demand for excelerated bandwidth. Unfortunately, the nation's telecommunication infrastructure has not been able to keep up with demand. Unless measures are taken to control the avalanche of information clogging the pipelines every day, the Internet is doomed to slow down to an unacceptable speed – or perhaps even crash.

What can be done?
The telecommunications industry is working feverishly to expand the nation's network, but until new equipment is in place, the system is vulnerable. Last week the federal government enacted an emergency measure. Beginning April 8, at 11:59:59pm and lasting 48 hours, the Internet will be "cleaned" to rid it of useless information. This unprecedented spring cleaning is being implemented to ensure that valuable information continues to be transmitted at optimal speed.

During the 48-hour cleaning period, InterNIC will release a small army of electronic robots, similar to those used by search engines, to sweep through all US-based servers on the Web. These web-bots, nicknamed Hoovers, will snarf up useless files. Make no mistake about it – this is a sneak, seek, and delete operation.

Here's the rub.
This all sounds great, right? Think again. Unfortunately our government believes that many of the most useless sites on the Web are the ones put up by pet owners about their pets. Dog and cat web sites are being targeted by Operation Hoover for the first sweep. Inactive and obsolete files – from gifs to jpegs to html documents – will be scanned and snarfed.

I don't know about you, but this makes me very uncomfortable. I have over 600 html pages on my web site, and over 2500 pieces of art work in the form of gifs and jpegs. According to this new plan, the government's "Hoovers" will be crawling through my server directories evaluating my files. Who's to say the Hoovers will delete only the inactive files? And how can a robot accurately determine which files are inactive and which should be removed?!

How to protect your site
Do we have any recourse? You bet! If you are interested in protecting your site's pet data, or if you just want to learn more about Operation Hoover, click here. Remember, what you don't know CAN hurt you!

©2002-2008 by Ginnie Saunders. All rights are reserved. No part of this web site may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrieval system — without written permission from Ginnie Saunders. To learn more about copyright issues on the web, visit the Web Law FAQ., Inc.   
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