Wednesday, September 20, 2006

SJSU "Responds" to my Skype Ban Concerns

Yesterday, I sent an email to Bob Neal asking for information about any possible discussion that the University may be having about the proposed Skype ban.

I also asked when and where the discussion would be, assuming students were welcomed to attend.

This seemed logical considering the Spartan Daily reported on September 18th that Don Baker said, "people for and against Skype will share their arguments, and the decision will be reviewed this week."

Today I received an email from Bob Neal (the Sr. Director in charge of the networks at SJSU) that put that idea to rest. The email was written as follows:

Andrew, we will be having discussions with EBAY(Skype) next week. Network security is not a debatable issue. If EBAY can not resolve our issues, Skype will be banned. Several other universities, including UCSB have already banned Skype. There are several alternative VOIP systems that comply with the Universities security policies........bob neal

Here is where I am stumped... if network security is not a debateable issue, why are any P2P applications allowed on the networks at all? It would be rather easy to transfer viruses from computer to computer across such open networks. So why ban Skype without debate on the topic?

Secondly, why would the University not want student input? After all, aren't they technically student networks?

The University seems to be attempting to brush off dissenting opinions on this unpopular move.

If you think that there should be student input on the ban, email Bob Neal here. You can also Skype him at (+1 408 924 7862) for free, of course (the beauty of Skype). His direct line is 47862.