June 20, 2021


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Re: Irish Health Service hit by ransomware

The Twitter account Sh_t User Story (name censored for profanity filters)
has a wealth of examples of bad technology design many of which would be at
home with RISKS. All are presented in the "User Story" format. One relevant
to this post:

    As a...
        web user
    I want to...
        whitelist news websites from my ad-blocker plugin
    so that...
        I can take a long break between the first two paragraphs of
        the article, and then be served with a paywall

Link ROT-13rd, again for profanity filters:


There are real risk lurking in all of this. Some of them:

  1. People who can pay for news get it, but propaganda remains free.

  2. Ads have become the normalized way of making micropayments on the web,
     but ads frequently include enough unpleasantness that people take a lot
     of steps to avoid them (NoScript and ad blockers).

    a. There's no real middle between ad based micropayments and long term

    b. There's not always an easy way to find comparable news stories on a
       site one already subscribes to. This is particularly true for stories
       passed as URL without further details.

  3. Search engine discoverability is critical for many sites, and search
     engines don't typically run javascript, so JS disabled access often has
     to work.