CITES service inadequate

By Chien-Yu Chen

UI stands to be one of the educational institute on the cutting edge of technology, in terms of research, and the technical hardware provided to students. However, I found the heart of the information technologies, CITES, to be inadequate in technology, and some times, just screwed.

As a long term user of Linux since the early 90’s, I have learned to find all the information to meet my computing needs. The campus units before CITES though, did not officially support others OS other than Windows and Mac, made life easy by providing the needed documentation about the campus computing environment. All have changed since CITES takes over. Not only is everything windows based, questions such as “Do you know any non-windows client that’ll work with CITES VPN server” will only get a simple “We don’t support non-windows client” answer.

To make CITES look even more useless, CITES is proposing to outsourcing their email service. E-mail deemed to be one of the most basic, yet most important tool in the cyber space. E-mail is so important in daily life to a point that, with some effort, I can probably figure out one’s daily schedule just base on the emails. Yet CITES is willing to risk this privacy issue just because some students are using CITES email address as a middle man.

Though CITES cannot offer me help when I needed it, I can certainly offer some advice to improve the email tools CITES has. How about automatic PGP public key retrieval and encryption? Or how about better message archive management? There seems to be a lot of improvement that can be done to retain student interest in using CITES email, instead of just give away students privacy to some third party.