Power, Responsibility of Wielding Technology

Lundquist: The power of technology to extend one's reach carries a weighty responsibility.

There is probably no greater example of the technological ties that bind the world and the political chasms that divide us than watching in real time the invasion of Iraq. Technology is a tool and as such can be wielded for communication, peace or war. It is the power of technology to extend your reach far beyond your visible borders that imparts an immensely weighty responsibility on those who develop and deploy those advanced products. And lets hope that in the future deployment will be aimed toward fostering communication rather than division.

The role of our publication in these times is not to try to mimic the national networks or national publications. While we will report related technology prowess and failings in the current conflict, our overriding mission as a business-to-business publication will be to look at how IT business operations will be affected during the coming weeks and months. As our article "Seizing the Moment" describes, the awesome extension that technology provides must be tempered with safeguards on constitutional rights. See Caron Carlsons story for a fuller explanation of the debate unfolding in Congress.

While technology can be developed, those advances can often prove difficult to direct. At last weeks CTIA Wireless show in New Orleans, Dennis Fisher and Carmen Nobel did a good job of spotting new wireless directions. While Intel two weeks ago was promoting the hot-spot wireless concept, the real action is developing in "hot zones." Those zones can distribute Wi-Fi, or 802.11b WLAN, services up to 2.5 miles. For a full report, see "Risks Amid the Success."

With security on everyones mind, eWEEK Labs this week examines two areas of concern. Labs Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant reviews L7 Enterprise Version 2.0, a monitoring tool administrators can use to rein in IM usage in the corporation. While the idea of having IM monitored can be seen as corporate excess, it is also becoming a corporate necessity in these times of security and safety concerns. In addition, a four-article package investigates the latest VPN products. The requirements for safe, flexible and expandable VPN systems grow as fast as the number of devices and range of workers that want access to the corporate network. The package includes a summary of a VPN roundtable that included members of our Corporate Partner Advisory Board to give you a view of the VPN issue from the people actually designing and deploying these systems.

Corporate IM monitoring—excessive or security necessity? Tell me at eric_lundquist@ziffdavis.com.

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