An Atrocious Crime
by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Steven L. Harrison, 33°, FMLR
Years ago, working on a company's proprietary computer system, I discovered something troubling. I found unencrypted data containing information used to control the way the system worked. I realized users could alter this unsecured data and do some real damage. System developers could also alter it, but I knew that might be useful for testing purposes.
In reality, the likelihood of a system user altering the data was negligible and I had other pressing issues with the system. So rather than undertake the time consuming task of a complete fix, I made sure the data was in a secure location. Then, just to make sure, I changed the system so it could tell if someone had tampered with it. If so, the system would spit out the most ominous error message I ever wrote:
For the record, it says:
"This message will appear only to system developers. If you are a system user viewing this message, you are guilty of an atrocious crime: that of tinkering around with the system's internal settings. Woe be unto you. Do not even think of calling technical support for assistance in getting rid of this message."
If I don't miss my guess, readers of this blog will recognize much of that language.
To my knowledge, no user ever got that warning; however, a system developer who later worked there did get it. He found it confusing.
So mote it be.