To guide readers and potential writers of the InfoSec Perception, the editors and I thought it would be useful to articulate our philosophy of writing in this new series. Here are some of the most important principles informing our publication:
* The InfoSec Perception is devoted to provoking thought about information assurance, not reporting on the latest events. This is not a news column: it’s an educational column. * The writing is intended to be clear, crisp, and easy to understand. We don’t approve of long, complex sentences with unnecessary words, clichés, passive voice, and impersonal pronouns. * Assertions of fact will be backed up with references to allow readers to o Learn more about the issue; o Judge for themselves if the writer is portraying an issue fairly. * Opinions will be indicated as such; for example, one might write, “It seems to me that….” or “In my experience, ….” * Articles will often be co-authored by invited experts to provide a wide variety of Perceptions, not just those of the principal author. If someone writes to us with articulate arguments against a position that has been published in the column, we may invite them to publish an edited version of their comments in the column. * No co-authored articles will be published without ensuring that the co-authors agree 100% with the edited content of the article. * If we quote someone we have interviewed or heard, we’ll send them the draft article to ask if they approve of the way we’ve represented their statements and will correct any errors before the material is published on our site. * If authors choose to review publications or Web sites, negative reviews will be sent to the source of the publications and to those responsible for the Web sites being criticized, but they will not be published in the column. There are plenty of columns and blogs on the Web which provide almost nothing but criticism, but we will focus on highlighting useful and well-organized resources. * If we do prepare articles critical of a point of view expressed by someone else or which criticize published statements, we will send to the authors of the disputed points for comment or rebuttal with at least a week of time before the article is sent in for publication. * Comments on the Website will be posted only when commentators register with real (or real-sounding) names and provide an e-mail address for confirmation. No anonymous commentary will be accepted.
* Comments will be vetted for civility, but not for opinion. Vigorous articulation of fact and opinion is welcome, but ad hominem attacks (those focusing on the character of the targets rather than on ideas or performance) will be rejected.
* PDF versions of these columns will be archived by M. E. Kabay on his Website in an indexed folder after an appropriate delay (months).
* No one is permitted to post copies of these articles on any public Website without explicit written permission (because multiple copies make it impossible to make corrections or updates to our columns). However, readers wishing to circulate electronic copies among colleagues, students, or friends at no cost are free to do so provided the original uniform resource locator (URL) is included in the circulated document.
We hope that you will enjoy reading the articles and thinking about the questions raised in these weekly columns. We look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration among writers, readers, and publishers.