7.12.2004

More Army Web Shenanigans

Fort some reason, it seems the Army is starting to become a stickler for intellectual property. Perhaps this is a sign of something to come?
From today's Secrecy News

VOICE TO SKULL: MORE ARMY WEB SHENANIGANS

The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) at Fort Leavenworth
has encoded more of its public website in such a way as to
discourage printing, saving or copying of its contents.

Besides the "On Point" report on the Iraq war that was previously
described in Secrecy News (07/07/04), CALL has also taken the
trouble to restrict reproduction of its Thesaurus of military
terms.

Normal print, save and copy functions are defeated by Java
scripting that is embedded in the pages of the Thesaurus.
Nevertheless, the text still can be captured with some effort.

See, for example, this FAS copy of a Javascript-disabled CALL
Thesaurus page which addresses the peculiar subject of "voice to
skull devices" that employ microwave devices to "transmit sound
into the skull of person or animals":

http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/dod/vts.html

The underlying Javascript can be inspected by viewing the source
of the above page (thanks to DG for technical assistance).

The original Army Javascript-enabled version of this page can be
viewed (though not in Mozilla) here:

http://call.army.mil/products/thesaur_e/00016275.htm

What is the Army up to here? A request for an explanation was
not immediately answered. But the CALL Thesaurus title page
includes this notice:

"The CALL Thesaurus is government-owned intellectual property.
Use of this information for the purpose of enhancing any
commercial product is not authorized without written agreement
from this organization."

On the other hand, the CALL web site's security notice states
that "Information presented on this site is considered public
information and may be distributed or copied."

It *may* be distributed or copied. But the Army is doing its
best to make that difficult.

"The porn industry does the exact same thing to keep non-tech
users from saving images to their hard drives," explained one
well-informed correspondent.



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