First Monday

Letters to the


Fra: Christine Maher
Dato: 3. juni 1998 02:41
Emne: Re: First Monday - June

Dear Editors of First Monday,

This is a thank you message for First Monday. It is one of the most intelligent and thoughtful e-journals on the Internet, particularly in regard to issues of cyberspace. I have become very cynical and annoyed by a lot of the hype which accompanied the early years of the Internet and is still prevalent today.

First Monday seems like an oasis of rationality in a sea of cyberhysteria and Elmer Gantry-style boosterism.


Christine Maher

Christine Maher

Electronic Information Services Librarian
La Trobe University Library
Victoria. Australia. 3083

Date: Wed, 03 Jun 1998 09:13:15 -0400
From: Nahum Goldmann
Subject: Response to "First Monday" article

To: Ed Valauskas
Editor in Chief, First Monday

Dear Mr. Valauskas

In "Electronic Commerce: The Issues and Challenges to Creating Trust and a Positive Image in Consumer Sales on the World Wide Web", published in First Monday, Anthony Ferraro said:

"Merchants, consumers and financial institutions all need to be confident of the identity with whom they conduct business. Only when all of the above parties are truly able to trust who they are dealing with online will this business model really take off."

This is correct. The subject is indeed of great importance in evolving ecommerce.

And further:

"These concerns are in the areas of:

  • Identification: the method that provides the means to recognize a user to a computer system.

  • Authentication: the act of positive identification, coupled with a level of certainty before granting specific rights or privileges to the individual or station that has been positively identified.

  • Authorization: the act of granting a user or program the requested access."

This is essentially incorrect, as it denotes a technical approach which is at the best of marginal interest to the user. Most of the merchants and consumers don't really care about these issues, for right or wrong considering that backroom developers have already implemented what it takes.

In any commerce, the principal trust comes not from my understanding of how the guts of the trading system work but from the my knowledge that there is a reasonable third party which says that the system is OK. Hence, it's the ongoing audit which is really at the heart of the issue of consumer trust in ecommerce, as it is in any credible commercial system.

Very best.

Nahum Goldmann, CSCI Computer Security Canada Inc.
Email:, Homepage:
'Extranet: The "Third Wave" in the Internet Electronic Commerce'
(JIBC, /commerce/JIBC/9701-18.htm)

Date: Thu, 04 Jun 1998 13:13 :22 -0600
Subject: First Monday featured in our newsletter

Just to let you know...First Monday is recommended and linked to from the current issue of The Sage Letter, an e-mail and Web newsletter for parents of online kids. Our June issue is about technology and education. You can find it at Thank you for a fine site,

Anne Collier

+ = + = + = + = + = +
Anne Collier, online editor/Webmaster - Home of Internet Parents, The Sage Letter and the SageNet Team

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