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Frustration with Bad Design Expand / Collapse
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Posted Monday, July 28, 2014 4:00 PM


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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (7/28/2014)
GoofyGuy (7/28/2014)
Steve Jones wrote:

Bad design, bad decisions, mistakes, even poor security practices will occur. However it's usually not your company, and it's not your place to prove that there is a flaw in a system. It's especially true that it's not your place to prove things without having been given permission to do so. Proving a point on your own is something children do, not professionals.

I'm not sure I agree with this. So long as one 'proves a point' in a diplomatic and legitimate manner, and the motive is positive, does this not show initiative on one's part?


you're a little out of context.

You do so in a legitimate manner by getting permission, which I would guess involves some diplomacy and basic polite social behavior. You ask.


I'd say it really depends on the situation; in most cases, it may be better to ask permission rather than to seek forgiveness; in rare cases, perhaps not so. Certainly one should carefully consider one's decision.
Post #1597106
Posted Monday, July 28, 2014 5:03 PM


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Steve Jones - SSC Editor (7/28/2014)
Jeff Moden (7/28/2014)
djackson 22568 (7/28/2014)
David.Poole (7/28/2014)
And where does Edward Snowden fit into this piece?


IMO Snowden is a hero. He broke the law in order to expose our government's illegal violation of every US citizen's rights. He chose to suffer the consequences knowing it was the only way to expose the abuse, while also recognizing we (our population) are too stupid to do anything about it.

IMO the person referenced in this thread is simply an idiot. Violating the law in order to force a company to do the right thing is different in that he had other options yet chose the method that was easiest. Snowden didn't have any options at all, and made up his own option to help the greater good.


Interesting take on that. Personnally, I feel that his actions put a lot more people at risk that what he "saved".


We can certainly debate that, Mr. Moden, but I suspect that is not true. It's the view of many people that fundamentally dislike exposure and want secrecy in government/military dealings.

I'd agree those are important, but Mr. Snowden showed many abuses, many of which continue today. Far, far too often, I'd say the fruits of surveillance efforts were unnecessary for security.

For those potential problems involving security, both Mr. Snowden and the Guardian attempted to work with the NSA to redact problem data.


It's certain secrets that keep us secure. I also think that, like Helkowski, he did things the wrong way or he'd have actually been a hero. But, you're right. It would be quite the debate and way too long for the likes of a forum post.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1597117
Posted Monday, July 28, 2014 6:58 PM
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Correct me here if I'm wrong, but Snowden did not try to hurt the same people he ideally was trying to please where the guy from the article did. That's the main difference. So, that basically boils down in Snowden's case as pleasing the people while screwing the government. On the opposite end, you have someone trying to please the people but also hurting the people and the company in one swoop, which is totally different.

On the topic specifically.

I believe that it's your responsibility to ensure issues are unearthed and brought to the right parties attention to be resolved in a professional manner if that's your job to do so. If not, then getting permissions is the correct steps to take BEFORE YOU step on another team members toes.

If you felt that your team members toes are of no concern of yours, then you have problems IMHO. Team members are not there for you to prove wrong and make them look bad regardless if they are management or not. God knows, if someone did that on my team, worlds would be shaking simply because we work together, not against each other.

That said, if all is right in the world and you can unearth some serious issues and get them reported, then do so. But, I agree, if the stars to not align in your favor, then as a professional, you can either drop it or leave.

BUT--BIG BUT HERE--if the issue results in the company as well yourself for being associated with that company in some type of criminal action, then you must take action with the appropriate channels outside the company. That's only if the company does not take action first. However, appropriate channels do not include releasing it to the public or trying to cause harm to prove a point. Appropriate channels would likely include someone a government organization that specializes in those matters.
Post #1597130
Posted Monday, July 28, 2014 9:46 PM
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Jeff Moden (7/28/2014)
djackson 22568 (7/28/2014)
David.Poole (7/28/2014)
And where does Edward Snowden fit into this piece?


IMO Snowden is a hero. He broke the law in order to expose our government's illegal violation of every US citizen's rights. He chose to suffer the consequences knowing it was the only way to expose the abuse, while also recognizing we (our population) are too stupid to do anything about it.

IMO the person referenced in this thread is simply an idiot. Violating the law in order to force a company to do the right thing is different in that he had other options yet chose the method that was easiest. Snowden didn't have any options at all, and made up his own option to help the greater good.


Interesting take on that. Personnally, I feel that his actions put a lot more people at risk that what he "saved".


The government sends our men and women to war far too often. When they do, losses of our soldiers and civilians are viewed as collateral damage, acceptable losses, and other terms that disgust me. Yet most people view these losses as acceptable in order to secure our freedom.

Snowden attempted to convince those he reported to that our government was violating the law, and our constitution. While some may debate that they are violating the law, any serious review of the facts can only conclude that they were, and continue to. The most common argument to the contrary is it is OK if you have nothing to hide. Sigh.

So on one hand we had someone who broke the law, but had avenues available to him to expose the wrongdoing legally. I can't justify what he did at all. On the other hand Snowden had no choice left, he had tried the legal avenues and was told to shut up. If our government was at all trustworthy what he did would be rewarded. Of course, it would never have been necessary.


Dave
Post #1597145
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2014 7:40 AM
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I would not Describe Edward Snowden as a hero - anyone who flies off to countries like RUssia and China with flash drives full of his countries espoinage secrets is a traitor by any definition. And the enemy isn't just traditional powers - fighting an asymmetric war against people who will willingly plant a bomb in a public waste bin as happened not far from where I live , and kill a couple of 10 year olds , requires intelligence and sometimes the line has to blur if you want to prevent tragedy. In the UK we suffered from a 25 year war conducuted against the UK civilian population by the IRA , of which the 1996 South Quay bombing affected me personally . Inalienable rights are little use to a corpse , and now the the islamic world is now targeting the UK and US this is the wrong time to expose survaillance methods to potential mass-killers . As an Aside the Guardian Newspaper only agreed to redact/destory the hard drives smuggled out of moscow because the UK government threatened arrests under anti-terrorism law otherwise
Post #1597292
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:23 AM
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Seriously,
I have known about the NSA for decades.
The Chinese and the Russians infiltrated the NSA years ago. All Snowden did, at best, was confirm what they already knew.
Seriously, the ONLY people who did NOT know this was going on was the American public. (You know, the people whose taxes were paying the NSA to spy on them.)
So, who was Snowden to tell? His superiors who were telling him to do it? The government who was telling his bosses to do it? The media (who is in the pocket of this administration)?
Post #1597316
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:28 AM


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geoffrey.sturdy (7/29/2014)
I would not Describe Edward Snowden as a hero - anyone who flies off to countries like RUssia and China with flash drives full of his countries espoinage secrets is a traitor by any definition. And the enemy isn't just traditional powers - fighting an asymmetric war against people who will willingly plant a bomb in a public waste bin as happened not far from where I live , and kill a couple of 10 year olds , requires intelligence and sometimes the line has to blur if you want to prevent tragedy. In the UK we suffered from a 25 year war conducuted against the UK civilian population by the IRA , of which the 1996 South Quay bombing affected me personally . Inalienable rights are little use to a corpse , and now the the islamic world is now targeting the UK and US this is the wrong time to expose survaillance methods to potential mass-killers . As an Aside the Guardian Newspaper only agreed to redact/destory the hard drives smuggled out of moscow because the UK government threatened arrests under anti-terrorism law otherwise



Thank you. I was trying to figure a way to explain my feelings on the subject and you not only nailed it but you have some up close and personal experience with the problems that have affected many.


--Jeff Moden
"RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for "Row-By-Agonizing-Row".

First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column."

(play on words) "Just because you CAN do something in T-SQL, doesn't mean you SHOULDN'T." --22 Aug 2013

Helpful Links:
How to post code problems
How to post performance problems
Post #1597320
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:37 AM


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kevinbwood (7/28/2014)
Raising your concerns and documenting the concerns and that you have communicated them are crucial.
If/When TSHTF, management will look for a scapegoat or someone to blame and it is easy for them to 'forget' you warned them. YOU become the convenient scapegoat because it was YOUR responsibility.
Even with documentation, you might still be the convenient scapegoat, but it becomes harder to paint you as the negligent one.


+1




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Post #1597328
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:48 AM


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Jeff Moden (7/28/2014)
From the article:
However it's usually not your company, and it's not your place to prove that there is a flaw in a system. It's especially true that it's not your place to prove things without having been given permission to do so. Proving a point on your own is something children do, not professionals.


I totally disagree as written above especially when it comes to private information such a Social Security Numbers. It MUST be proven if it exists and action must be taken. I consider it to be one of those unwritten laws that is the responsibility of every IT worker.


I'm gonna take this from a different angle. I agree with Jeff that it is your responsibility. If there is a critical flaw that could cause serious errors, cost the company big money, or even place peoples lives at risk - it is your right and responsibility to say and do something about it.

How you go about proving the flaw is a different story. Proving the point can be as simple as providing visibility via reports that are already being run or that were to be implemented anyway.

If there is a serious design flaw in the braking system of that new car - you need to say something about it instead of letting it go to production where lives are in danger and excessive cost to the company will occur.

If the use of nolock could cause a double dose of morphine to be given (or no medication given at all), then it is your responsibility to raise that concern and prove that nolock could cause those funky results.

Just because you are proving something doesn't mean you have to be a putz about it. And when you are right, act like you've been there before - don't gloat.




Jason AKA CirqueDeSQLeil
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SQL RNNR

Posting Performance Based Questions - Gail Shaw
Post #1597334
Posted Tuesday, July 29, 2014 11:29 AM
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Jeff Moden (7/29/2014)
geoffrey.sturdy (7/29/2014)
I would not Describe Edward Snowden as a hero - anyone who flies off to countries like RUssia and China with flash drives full of his countries espoinage secrets is a traitor by any definition. And the enemy isn't just traditional powers - fighting an asymmetric war against people who will willingly plant a bomb in a public waste bin as happened not far from where I live , and kill a couple of 10 year olds , requires intelligence and sometimes the line has to blur if you want to prevent tragedy. In the UK we suffered from a 25 year war conducuted against the UK civilian population by the IRA , of which the 1996 South Quay bombing affected me personally . Inalienable rights are little use to a corpse , and now the the islamic world is now targeting the UK and US this is the wrong time to expose survaillance methods to potential mass-killers . As an Aside the Guardian Newspaper only agreed to redact/destory the hard drives smuggled out of moscow because the UK government threatened arrests under anti-terrorism law otherwise



Thank you. I was trying to figure a way to explain my feelings on the subject and you not only nailed it but you have some up close and personal experience with the problems that have affected many.


I understand the concerns, and I am always sorry to hear when someone has been affected by any personal loss like this.

Ethically we need to consider things in a different manner. If millions are being harmed by our government, and stopping that means they have to work within the law to fight terrorism, then the only ethical answer is to put a stop to it. You start within the system, but if that fails, you do what has to be done. Evil gains more and more control, because we allow it. If our government wasn't violating the law, what Snowden did would be wrong. I don't think it as clear cut as saying he was wrong, when his only choice was to ignore it or report it.

Further, even the NSA has admitted that not a single attack has been identified or stopped by their illegal activities. They make claims that can be seen through by a 6-year old.

What Snowden did is not at all comparable to the original post Steve made. We may never agree on Snowden's methods, but I would hope we would all agree that the other person had legal options available to put a stop to something that absolutely needed to be stopped. Snowden didn't.


Dave
Post #1597427
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