Mendax – A Threat To Civil Liberties – Or Perhaps Not – Maybe It’s All In The Way Your Ideology Looks At Things – 23 June 2013

Have you heard about Mendax?

If you claim to be concerned about privacy on the Internet, and data gathered by companies being accessed and read, you really need to know about it.

Mendax went through the private data of the Nortel telecommunications corporation, which is based here in Canada. Mendax used code-breaking software to crack over 5,000 passwords at Nortel.

Mendax sought information that could have led to the control of telephone routing systems via companies like Nortel, and to the creation of “back doors” in the international telecommunications system that would permit a Mendax operator to shut down thousands of phone lines at a time.

One Mendax operator, in fact, went through Nortel’s data simply because he could, having obtained no legal authorisation to do so.

Despite this, Mendax was found by the courts to not be a serious problem. A judicial ruling – unbelievably – determined that Mendax posed no serious threat to civil liberties and that “there is just no evidence that there was anything other than sort of intelligent inquisitiveness and the pleasure of being able to — what’s the expression — surf through these various computers”.

Though there is indeed no evidence that Mendax did use the private information gathered for any kind of improper purpose – indeed, many have noted that Mendax was extremely “ethical” in how decisions about how to utilise information gathered were concerned – I know that “true civil libertarians” everywhere will join me in denouncing Mendax for accessing this highly private information in the first place.

I invite commentary on this post. Before you do comment, please Google “Julian Assange” and “Mendax” together. Then re-read my post.

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