To: J.K. Weston, Designated Agent, Microsoft Corporation
This firm represents Andover.Net, Inc. ("Andover.Net") which operates the Slashdot service. Andover.Net has asked us to investigate your e-mail message regarding certain postings by users of Slashdot relating to a Microsoft Kerberos specification.
As a general matter, it is the policy of Slashdot not to interfere with or censor the communications of its users. Andover.Net is particularly concerned about censoring the user postings on which you have focused given their apparent relevance to issues in the current antitrust litigation between the Microsoft and the government.
In our review of this matter, it would be helpful if you could provide certain information:
1. How can Microsoft claim proprietary protections for enhancement to an open standard protocol?
2. How can Microsoft use the Kerberos name, which signifies an open standard protocol, in connection with a proprietary protocol?
3. How can Microsoft claim trade secrecy for a protocol that is distributed over the Internet?
4. What measures has Microsoft taken to protect the trade secrecy of its Kerberos specification beyond the use of a click-wrap license agreement?
5. What measures has Microsoft taken to ensure that its Kerberos specification is only distributed to persons who are capable of entering into a binding contract in jurisdictions where such an agreement would be enforceable?
6. How could posting of the Microsoft Kerberos specification on Slashdot have any detrimental impact on the market for authorized distribution of Microsoft's version of Kerberos?
7. Why wouldn't prospective purchasers of Windows 2000 need to know the contents of Microsoft's Kerberos specification in order to make informed judgments regarding interoperability in connection with their purchasing decisions?
8. Why shouldn't Slashdot users and the general public be able to view this protocol for purposes of commentary and criticism in light of its apparent relevance to issues in the government's antitrust litigation?
Any information you could provide in response to these questions and any other information that you believe we should consider would be helpful.
Very truly yours,
- Mark D. Robins
Mark D. Robins
Hutchins, Wheeler & Dittmar
A Professional Corporation