back to article As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

The British government's computer security gurus have announced they will stop using the terms whitelisting and blacklisting in their online documentation. The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, said on Friday it would, following a request from a customer, eliminate the terms when describing including and …

  1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    "Oh, that was easy," says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.”

    1. HildyJ Silver badge
      Devil

      Geez

      Note that Geez, clearly referring to Jesus is religionist and god damn is sexist.

      I better stop typing before the thought police get here.

    2. sabroni Silver badge

      So explain white lists and black lists without using the words allow or deny.

      This is pathetic. There's over a hundred and fifty comments on here, most of them badly thought out "polictical correctness gone mad" screeds heavy on "what if I think the allow list is things I'm allowed to deny" bullshit.

      Allow list is a list of allowed things. That is clearer than calling it a white list.

      Deny list is a list of denied things. That is clearer than calling it a black list.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So explain white lists and black lists without using the words allow or deny.

        Dont think anyone cares about white list, black list just needs a vowel swap to block list, then everyone who cares more about touchy feely imagined everyones a winner nonsense can bugger off out of the way of real security discussions, i wonder how many got pwned while the oh so important discussion of what to call black and white lists went on, suppose a grey list should now be a delay list.

        white and black hat are irrelevant as no one refers to them selves as such as its all shades of grey and choice of application, criminals are criminals, no need for a cute cyber prefix, end of the day there aint much difference between a banker with granted access to a system fiddling the books, to a non skiddy gaining access and emptying accounts, other than a massive bonus vs a short jail stint and a black deny mark on your cv...

        Are rainbow tables next incase it hurts a homophobes feelings? Or are they beneath consideration due to having incorrect points of view??

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So explain white lists and black lists without using the words allow or deny.

        Sir I will blackball you from our club because you are a blackguard.

        On the other hand members of the Black Watch are welcome

      3. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: So explain white lists and black lists without using the words allow or deny.

        This is pathetic. There's over a hundred and fifty comments on here, most of them badly thought out "polictical correctness gone mad" screeds heavy on "what if I think the allow list is things I'm allowed to deny" bullshit.

        Pathetic? What's pathetic is the endless newspeak being spewed out by those championing offense politics.

        This change is pointless and counterproductive, and it smacks of people talking utter nonsense just to have an excuse to take offence on someone elses behalf. It's the same utter stupidity as "the singular they". Define yourself however you choose, just don't expect me to play along with the pretense.

        Offence is taken and cannot be given, therefore it is your choice if you choose to be offended. I'm all done worrying about that and I'm done playing your word games, because the sort of things you get offended by are unending and increasingly silly. [Not "you" Sabroni, "you" generically]

      4. chuBb. Bronze badge

        Re: So explain white lists and black lists without using the words allow or deny.

        white lists generally permit access/bypass of a system, where as a blacklist prohibits access/triggers additional scrutiny

        But its VERY subjective and contextual, if your edge security stance is block everything and permit only from inside to out connections, then your white list would only contain known exemptions of permitted inbound connections.

        So anyway explianed without prohibited words.

        That said this is nonsense especially as its actually useful to visualise your ACL's and trusts defined by them as a strata/gradient i.e. (grey lists trusted with supervision/observation of behaviour) and thats a level of intuitive nuance missing from allow and deny, i suppose supervised might work in some context's but not many i.e. when its something like spam greylisting where what your really doing is verifying that the sender has a SMTP relay that follows the rules and behaves in an expected manner, i.e. retries after 5 mins, a delay list would be a better name, but doesnt really indicate any connotations of trust like white/grey/black list does to my mind.

      5. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: So explain white lists and black lists without using the words allow or deny.

        @sabroni: has there ever in history been a case where using "whitelist" and "blacklist" has cause confusion? If yes, your point has merit - if no, then you are being picky for the sake of it. (Personally, I'm torn. I think things should be made as clear as possible to aid understanding, so I like your argument. On the other hand, if it ain't broke, don't "fix" it is a really good maxim for everyday life.)

  2. karlkarl Silver badge

    Being "in the black" is seen as a positive thing when it comes to debt. Will they get rid of that term? Possibly those of fairly red skin (eczema?) may become upset.

    So now that shades don't exist; do I pay the ransom money to the BlackHat or the WhiteHat hackers? Both charge large amounts.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Alien

      Depends.

      Is the bank using it international?

      As for software, it often is, and colour (though sometimes international) is a local and social, traditional option for reference.

      So it can cause confusion, or be a buzzword. Where as "allow list" and "deny list" are easier to translate and implement.

      Also see time, clocks, calendars and just about anything human being way way more complex once you decide to try and program it! :D

      1. Mike Shepherd

        Re: Depends.

        How does changing the name of something make it easier to implement?

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

          1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

            Re: Depends.

            Using correct, descriptive names for functions and variables usually helps with comments. ...... Benson's Cycle

            Apparently, and as I have oft found and been told, such is not always the case whenever new descriptive names for functions and variables are thought unbelievable and/or too good to be true and nonsensical.

            It is easily enough resolved though with the virtuous application of a bit of patience and as much extra information as is needed for an advancing intelligence to paint an accurate picture for fuller presentation and deeper comprehension.

          2. Rich 2 Silver badge

            Re: Depends.

            While I’m all for meaningful variable and function names, the only thing that helps with comments is actually writing comments.

            And please don’t go down the “self commenting” argument - it’s bollocks and perpetrated by lazy people who can’t be arsed to document the (usually crappy) software they write

            1. sabroni Silver badge

              Re: it’s bollocks and perpetrated by lazy people

              Explain to me again how comments get tested? I prove every line i write with tests. How do you alert your users when your comments go out of date?

              Oh, you don't? You allow a description that doesn't match the functionality to live in the code? Now that really is bollocks perpetrated by lazy people.

              1. Persona Silver badge

                Re: it’s bollocks and perpetrated by lazy people

                Explain to me again how comments get tested

                Code review.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ooooh...

              When I wrote the code, only God and I knew what it was doing. Now only God does.

    2. Len Silver badge
      Go

      The problem is that colours are usually non-ordinal until you give some, often subjective, meaning to it. Red, yellow and green make sense but only if you already know the colours from how they were once agreed on traffic lights. Red as a colour for danger makes some sense but green as a colour for the opposite much less so. In many countries the middle light isn't yellow but orange (and they call it orange too).

      Black has always been an ambiguous colour (or technically, the absence of colour). As you say, when it comes to financial figures 'black' is a positive thing, though 'black money' is money before it is laundered. Meanwhile, in branding 'black' is often the highest, best, or most expensive tier, think 'black label'. For that reason I've always found the 'black hat' and 'white hat' terminology ambiguous too.

      I think this makes a lot of sense, 'Allow' and 'Deny' are unambiguous.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        And not forgetting, of course, those cultures which don't differentiate between green and blue other than as shades of the what they see as the same colour. Or those where red is seen as propitious rather than danger. Or those like the UK whose middle traffic light is amber and called such, not yellow or orange.

        1. Peter X
          Joke

          It strikes me that there are so many varied uses of colour, both in a positive and negative context, maybe we should just give up calling people black or white, and just have brown and pink people? And then all other uses of "black" or "white" can remain as they are?!!

          1. chivo243 Silver badge
            Alien

            Just like the Andorians...

            Pinkskin! You owe me one!

            1. Lunatic Looking For Asylum
              Unhappy

              Re: Just like the Andorians...

              Pink may offend the homosexual community :-(

          2. Persona Silver badge

            give up calling people black or white

            Been there, done that.

            Many many years ago when I hadn't been at school too long we had a couple of black girls in my year, except we weren't allowed to call them black as that was then a pejorative term. I clearly remember the teacher saying if you look closely they aren't black but dark brown, and as easily as that we all accepted it and stopped using that term. The teacher also pointed out that we weren't white but more of a pink colour but that didn't go down so well as the boys all saw pink as a "girly" colour............ You can't win them all.

            1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

              In a previous US Census I was visited by a Census taker who insisted on checking the box "white" for my race.

              Not only did I tell her that I go by "human", I also put my hand on the questionnaire and challenged her to define the color of my skin.

              Compared to the obviously white sheet of paper it was quite impossible to refer to me as white. Red, maybe brown. But even our toddler could see it wasn't white.

        2. Mage Silver badge

          Port and Starboard

          Should really have been red and blue, but blue was an awkward shade to create a filter for, works poorer in fog and much less bright than green.

          Port is red, because it is and is to the left facing towards the pointy bit because it was called Larboard in English for awhile, There may also have been a convention to use a steering oar on the starboard side and tie up to the pier in port on the port side, but I'm sceptical, The changing of larboard to port was obviously needed for shouted orders more than black -> deny.

          Red and Green are still often used on machinery for stop and start, though often with differently shaped buttons. Red for an emergency stop may be a Western thing? As is red on gauges and meters for danger or empty. Possibly from typewriter ribbons. Though red, green and black ink was used for dip pens. Curiously commercial "fountain pens" with a nib rather than fine tube come after typewriters and large ballpoint pens for carton marking.

      2. aks Bronze badge

        Traffic lights in the UK were traditionally labelled as red, amber, green.

        1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

          Though railway signals are red, yellow and green.

        2. Drew Scriver Silver badge

          In Virginia, and I assume in many other states as well, the word "yellow" does not appear in the traffic code. Legally it is called "amber".

          Now, tell this to the people at the DMV, as even the written test for a driver's license insists on calling it yellow...

          1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
            Mushroom

            In Virginia ... the DMV ... is the absolute worst of anywhere I have lived or visited across four continents and dozens of countries.

            Sorry, but some slight editing was in order to make the statement a bit more clear.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Thing is, its nothing to do with race. It derives from christian view of "good" being depicted as white hues such as angels etc and their representations being in alabaster and marble vs demons, witches etc being draped in black

        A customer - so that will be a committee with a permanently offended MP or a civil service dept headed by someone who thought that "ba ba black sheep" was racist (despite black sheep existing and being uncommon vs white sheep) and thought "ba ba happy sheep" was a much better choice.....it is politically correct virtue signalling at its worst and pushed out during a pandemic to avoid the justified pushback.

        REALLY good to see they have so little to do, perhaps long overdue to cut their funding as they clearly are overfunded and overstaffed if they have time for this nonsense

      4. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Being "in the black" is seen as a positive thing when it comes to debt."

      I've a feeling that might be a UK thing ... in the US I think they use green for profit and red for debt

      1. Mad Chaz

        BLACK Friday disagrees

        1. Drew Scriver Silver badge

          Doesn't the term Black Friday come from the label police departments gave it because it was the day when family feuds would flare (after Thanksgiving)?

      2. Gerry 3

        'Deny Friday' ?

        Hmmm... I never realised that the day after Thanksgiving to get back in profit in the US was known as Green Friday.

        Will it now have to be called Deny Friday?

        1. Scroticus Canis
          Facepalm

          Re: 'Deny Friday' ?

          Wishing for an Allow Christmas

          The Deny Country, the Deny Hills

          The Allow Cliffs of Dover

          I'll have a deny coffee please

          Where does it all end?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 'Deny Friday' ?

            Awww snowflake, it ends with calling a list of things to be denied a "deny list" and a list of things to be allowed an "allow list". Using this as a cue to blindly replace all instances of white with allow and black with deny is a very silly straw man argument.

            Maybe you should take some time to reflect on why you can be triggered so easily, eh?

            1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

              Re: 'Deny Friday' ?

              Maybe you should take some time to reflect on why you can be triggered so easily, eh?

              Maybe you should take some time to learn about irony?

      3. ratfox Silver badge

        In China, they use red for profit and green for debt.

        1. myhandler

          White is the colour of death in China and red is the colour of good luck and energy.

      4. Tim99 Silver badge

        Way back in time, two common inks were red and black - Black inks go back to prehistory, red (HgS) inks were certainly around 2000 years ago. Both of these inks were "permanent". Early 20thC typewriters could have dual colour red/black ribbons and were often used for accounts.

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      let's just make things as confusing as possible

      It's my understanding that 'Red Hat' got its name because in certain countries (like maybe China) the 'Red Hat' is the good guy, and the 'White Hat' is the bad guy. Or something like that. And KKK members wear white hats. And I own a black hat (I'll be wearing it with my recently obtained Guy Fawkes mask).

      So next is what, traffic lights? Can't use 'Red' for 'Stop' because it offends "Red People" ? Or 'Yellow' for "Caution" because it offends "Yellow People" ? Or maybe 'Green List' vs 'Red List' because they're already used for traffic lights? Except in some places they use Cyan rather than Green.

      Oh hell let's just use the ENTIRE RAINBOW. for EVERYTHING and just CONFUSE EVERYBODY! And then we'll offend the LGBTQ{rest of the alphabet} people because they use rainbows to represent their "community"... [seriously dividing ourselves up like this using 'identity' is completely _BOGUS_, and then people get to pretend they care about PETTY CRAP like 'offensive' color-related terms]

      I have a better idea: STOP caring about PETTY CRAP like this, and care about things that MATTER instead. [yeah nothing BLATANTLY OBVIOUS comes to mind at the moment...]

      icon, because, facepalm

      1. Alan_Peery

        Re: let's just make things as confusing as possible

        Except that "allow list" and "deny list" are less confusing.

        1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

          Re: let's just make things as confusing as possible

          Not really, unless your wet behind the ears, nearly everyone knows what blacklisted means i.e. banned / blocked from entry as in the blacklist run by various large construction firms up till very recently in the UK i.e. NG Bailey for one, same as blackballed

          Ditto for "Black affronted"

          Someone is burning taxpayers money on a meaningless virtue signalling exercise and are forgetting who pays their wages i.e. the general public, who are generally sick to the back teeth of this relentless (and very expensive) politically correct driven rebranding/naming exercises. Then again I see the same nonsense from local councils from both elected members and salaried managers spraying public funds about like water

        2. jake Silver badge

          Re: let's just make things as confusing as possible

          Does your allow list allow spam, and your deny list deny spam?

          Does you allow list allow "adult" web browsing, and your deny list deny "adult" web browsing?

          Confused yet? How about YourDearOldMum?

          1. sabroni Silver badge

            Re: Does your allow list allow spam, and your deny list deny spam?

            Hmm, tying yourself in knots here jake. The allow list is the list of allowed things. The deny list is the list of denied things.

            Confused? Only if you try really really hard to be.

            YourDearOldMum can work it out, don't pretend it's tricky.

            1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

              Re: Does your allow list allow spam, and your deny list deny spam?

              @sabroni: jake is correct on this one. I have fallen victim to this in the past. "Blocklist" would be clearer in this situation, though I've never had problems with white- and black-lists.

        3. Mark 65

          Re: let's just make things as confusing as possible

          Does that mean we’ll now have allow hat researchers and deny hat researchers?

      2. Terry Barnes

        Re: let's just make things as confusing as possible

        "I have a better idea: STOP caring about PETTY CRAP like this, and care about things that MATTER instead"

        Privileged white man thinks that race doesn't matter. Knock me down with a feather.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: let's just make things as confusing as possible

          And no one can respond to you without getting serious risk of being modded. Privilege much?

    5. G R Goslin

      Black Hat, White Hat

      If I recollect rightly, the term came into being in the early Westerns. The man in the White hat was always the 'goodie', and the man in the Black hat was always, the 'baddie'. Makes them easy to recognise in the film. It had no connection with racism, since the two races were either white or red

  3. b0llchit
    FAIL

    Hm, not entirely thought through

    That means that black-X is now on the deny list and white-X is on the allow list. That means, we have to associate black with deny and white with allow

    How exactly is this making things better? Wasn't there a desire to remove the associations?

  4. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge
    Coat

    Turns out the theory that CV19 will get rid of non-problems like particularism was clearly wrong.

    1. jason_derp Bronze badge

      "Turns out the theory that CV19 will get rid of non-problems like particularism was clearly wrong."

      Coronavirus has the potential to remove a great part of the largest problem. We likely won't be around to congratulate anyone if that happens, though.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      @disgustedoftunbridgewells

      "Turns out the theory that CV19 will get rid of non-problems like particularism was clearly wrong."

      I am guessing the CV19 has given those people of such obsessive a disposition more time to focus on this kind of irelivant minutia. And they probably cant see their therapist either because of the lock down rules.

  5. mark l 2 Silver badge

    "The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, said on Friday it would, following a request from a customer, eliminate the terms"

    So one customer has complained and they have to change their terminology on the documentation?

    Surely the NCSC have more important things to do than be concerned about terms that have no relevance to skin colour or race any more than the light and dark side do in Starwars.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
      Trollface

      Not fine combed the article...

      Are you sure it's due to reference of race? And not just to remove ambiguity in spec sheets, reference material, and those who prefer "red/green" or "orange/purple" etc etc.

      I mean, "allow/deny" is less arguments in the new open plan, coffee free, avocado painted, electric scooter cluttered "office" designing the latest buzz word laden "app" than having to chose the specific colour of eggshell blue for the accept button. :P

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not fine combed the article...

        Only a noob wouldn’t know what white and black mean when used in a security context. In which case it’s likely the “customer” is a civil servant/parliamentarian.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Not fine combed the article...

          Wow. At least you gave an answer unlike the other 50 down votes just because I noted that in todays internet connected world, not everyone speaks english.

          Amazing. Well, my point is proven. Nevermind.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. nijam

        No, a colourist is someone who applies colour to original monochrome images (e.g. old photographs).

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          A colorist is a person in Hollywood that makes $x000 /day for color grading movies = adjust the color balance so that the hero's eyes stand out at the right moment

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            According to my wife, a colourist is the lady at the hairdressers who specialises in dying hair.

      2. eionmac

        I was brought up to associate Indian word "Caste" as referring to colour of skin. Higher castes had lighter skin. Lower castes had darker skin. Skin colour is deep inside the Indian thought processes.

        Meaning of higher and lower being social rankings.

    3. EricM

      Oh, so the GCHQ has "customers" ...

      That might explain a lot ...

      1. Paul Herber Silver badge

        Re: Oh, so the GCHQ has "customers" ...

        Groovy Customers Have Quality.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Oh, so the GCHQ has "customers" ...

        The NSA and the other 5-eyes security services and maybe a few others.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh, so the GCHQ has "customers" ...

        And apparently those customers are the sort that organize social justice mobs. Must need the intel to decide whose life to ruin on social media next.

    4. TDog

      Depends

      Who the customer is - if it is HMG then...

  6. James 47

    Jesus Christ. The sooner Silicon Valley collapses, the better.

    1. jake Silver badge

      And how would the collapse of Silly Con Valley affect the British GCHQ?

      I seriously doubt Silly Con Valley had any influence whatsoever on this decision. Especially not when you consider that here in Silly Con Valley we still use whitelists and blacklists, and have master and slave electrical components (and brake parts!), etc., despite the best efforts of the namby-pambys.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Yes, the engineering industry don't seem to be trying hard to be all PC and renaming master and slave cylinders in hydraulic systems.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was in Silicon Valley in the late 90s and someone I knew then, who worked in documentation, was constantly complaining at the way engineers insisted on using rhe "M and S words". I think things have changed slowly as I've realized that we now talk about initiator and target ports,

        1. Spanners Silver badge
          Pirate

          "M and S words"

          Haven't they gone bust anyway?

  7. LDS Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

    But avoid the not gender neutral pink or blue.

    1. Totally not a Cylon
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

      Pink used to be a boy's colour and blue for girls....

      Seriously, look it up.

      One of the earliest references to this original color scheme appeared in a June of 1918 edition of the trade publication Earnshaw’s Infants’ Department,

      The generally accepted rule is pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason is that pink , being a more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, which is more delicate and dainty, is prettier for the girl.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

        The trick is really for the more extreme feminists to stop thinking that the boy colour is the good one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

          The more vocal fems are just plain misandrists aka man haters, the crowd who sanctify Emmeline Pankhurst and her WPSU terrorist group (for those who deny they were terrorists, what do you call a group who bombs the prime minister's home? Who ran amok in a gallery with a meat cleaver, assaulted police officers, committed arson etc etc??)

          They also are control freaks who believe ONLY they can decide whats an "appropriate" activity/clothing/career etc for women - i.e. stay at home mother, stripper, actor in "racy" movie, model, dancer - all not acceptable in their book as you've been unwittingly brainwashed and exploited by the patriarchy, get married - your a slave etc etc

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: They're only terrorists if...

            ...you believe female humans shouldn't have any rights.

            Oh, ok.

            1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
              FAIL

              Re: They're only terrorists if...

              Pretty sure that's totally not the argument being made. I see nothing about denying women's rights. I do see factual statements about Pankhurst and her group.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: They're only terrorists if...

              Actually I'm ALL for women doing WHATEVER they want from brain surgeon to bin collector and every career within and beyond that including stay at home mum and stripper.

              Sadly many vocal alledgedly "feminist" groups disagree with their right to choose and therefore shame and abuse those who tread outwith what THEY deem as "appropriate" behaviour, even resorting to allegations that these said women "harm other women by their actions"

              I don't see much feminism there, instead I see control freakery and authoritarianism gone wild, like Mary Whitehouse on steroids.

              Like a nightmarish version of "Herland"

      2. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

        Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

        Wrong. In the 18th/19th centuries pink/red was associated with maleness. It’s where ‘hunting pink’ comes from.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

          Hunting pink means something very different to me.

    2. Booh

      Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

      ...which demonstrates how ingrained our prejudices are from our cultural upbringings:

      Pink is for girls, blue is for boys, black is bad and white is good etc.

      If you're irritated by this insignificant policy change (that makes no difference to the operation of the NCSC) then you're one of the fortunate ones!

      It's an innocuous change that's (probably) not going to make any material difference to you whatsoever, but it does go some way to help bring some relief to other human beings.

      If you really do think that this is a big deal, try not to worry so much. That's a first world problem and you may be in need of some introspection to discover why you feel so strongly that this is somehow outrageous.

      You just might not understand the problem that this is seeking to address....and that's precisely why it isn't necessarily a bad thing.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

        "that's a first world problem and you may be in need of some introspection to discover why you feel so strongly that this is somehow outrageous."

        It seems your own outlook is coloured by your own local culture. Racism is rife all over the world, including the 3rd world, and s NOT a white V black thing other than in western public consciousness. You only have to look at different African groups and how they treat each, different Asian groups same thing, the attitudes of some Asians to some Africans and vice versa to see it's not black/white thing. It's primarily a fear of difference.

        I don't why people can't just get on with each other. It's all very "tribal" for various and changing definitions of "tribal". Just look at how two lots of basketball fans from neighbouring cities "hate" each other. But then join together and "hate" the rest of the world when it's Team USA at the Olympics.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

          And lets not forget that the slave trade was thriving in Africa long before Europeans arrived. That's right kiddies, black people enslaved other black people. Several great African civilizations were based on the slave trade. The arrival of Europeans opened up a whole new market for the abhorrent practice.

          Quit trying to make it a primarily American issue. That's just showing ignorance of history. To quote Wiki "The Dutch, French, Spanish, Portuguese, British, Arabs and a number of West African kingdoms played a prominent role in the Atlantic slave trade, especially after 1600."

          Note that I am in no way condoning slavery. Anywhere. Ever. What I am doing is attempting to make people think before opening their mouths and exposing their ignorance. I know it's a lost cause, but if even one person learns something, it's worth the minimal effort.

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

            "And lets not forget that the slave trade was thriving in Africa long before Europeans arrived. "

            A friend of mine lives in Gambia. He tells me lots of black American tourist coming to find their roots are often shocked when they discover the people running the slave trade and getting very rich out of Gambia were black Africans, not white Europeans. White Europeans were, in many cases, just the customers. (Of course, it's still not good, nor even a defence. White Europeans massively increased the demand, hence the much larger supply of "product")

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Please repaint Darth Vader in different color

          I think they were saying that the irritation caused by this type of change (i.e. "political correctness gawn MADDDDDD!!!") is an example of a first world problem. Taking that post as a suggestion that racism itself is a first world problem is a rather odd take.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "how ingrained our prejudices are from our cultural upbringings"

        Probably more an evolutionary association - the dark of the night, of a cave, etc. was dangerous, and especially in the Western wold,. but not only, connected with death and afterlife, especially any cultural variation for Hell. Oh sorry, I should not have said "Western" which is also a cultural heritage - should we how speak about longitude? Oh no, again why 0° is at Greenwich? Time to make it wholly relative again as it was in the past. Should we also stop to connect red with fire and warmth, and blue with water and cold, and say red-faced, because someone in the past centuries called another ethnicity "redskins"?

        The association of "black" as a pejorative term related to skin colors came much, much, much later and was kept alive in the only state to keep slavery legal till 1860 - and segregation for another century, and still today full of people trying to assert "white" power.

        Maybe the only wrong cultural association is Freedom and USA, if it's still full of people thinking freedom is not for everyone.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: "how ingrained our prejudices are from our cultural upbringings"

          It probably goes back much further than that. Think about a small group of humans a couple million years ago. Fearing the dark of night, because that's when the nocturnal predators hunted. The light of day brought relative safety. In other words "dark == bad, light == better" is embedded in our very genetics.

          And let's not forget that those first early humans were undoubtedly dark skinned. The entire concept of black vs white being a racist thing is laughable.

          "Maybe the only wrong cultural association is Freedom and USA, if it's still full of people thinking freedom is not for everyone."

          Just had to get in a dig at the US, didn't you? Feel better now?

  8. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    So will THAT book be republished with a new name, something like " Fifty shades of an indeterminate monochrome colour"

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Only if you don't want masses of graphic designers claiming that grey is not a colour

      1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

        I was taught that white is a tint and black is a shade, neither are colours as they lighten and darken colours

  9. Inventor of the Marmite Laser Silver badge

    So long as I'm still allowed to order black tea.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        What about black coffee then? Or even black covefe?

        1. Peter X

          No, I think the AC was just saying that you'd need to order "Denied Tea" or "Denied Coffee". Yep, it sounds weird at first, but in a few months time.... NEW NORMAL! ;-)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Its quite simple its either coffee or you'd rather drink flavoured milk

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              If you want "pure, unadulterated coffee", the Shirley you should be eating those plump juicy berries straight from the bush and not putting it through all those horrible and disgusting industrial processes that turns it into burnt granules that is tortured by running boiling water through it.

          2. iainr

            Julia Andrews vs whoopi Goldberg? or Rourkes drift vs Isandwala or just NATO standard?

            1. Hubert Cumberdale

              I take my coffee like my men.

        2. aks Bronze badge

          When I lived in the USA in the 1980's (and it may still be true) one asked for coffee with or without.

          1. F Seiler

            If you order "with" in rural switzerland you are likely served a coffee with generous amounts of fruit spirits mixed in.

          2. CountCadaver Bronze badge

            I know plenty of Americans over various parts of the USA and all of them refer to black coffee (and unlike some UK cafes it is literally black coffee - water and coffe, not water coffee and sugar or worse water, coffee, sugar and a dash of milk) and I've never heard any of them refer to coffee "with or without"

    2. jake Silver badge

      I'd be perfectly happy if ...

      ... white coffee was banned. That shit is VILE!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: I'd be perfectly happy if ...

        Depends. If you use "creamer", then yes, it is vile. But a true connoisseur would only ever use proper full fat milk direct from the cow. No true coffee bar or home kitchen is complete without a cow on the counter so you can get a squeeze of the freshest possible milk direct into your coffee..

        Of course, the breed of cow and what it is fed on is a whole other argument between true coffee snobs.

        Personally I prefer to heat up a mug of UHT milk in a proper milk pan with a spout on a gas hob, (North Sea gas is preferred) then put in one heaped teaspoon of Maxwell House Dark Roast instant followed by three heaped spoonfulls of fructose based granular sugar substitute. Anything else is just VILE!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd be perfectly happy if ...

          ... so long as you remember coffees with milk (e.g. cappucino) are strictly a breakfast drink and is definitley not to be consumed after 11am

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'd be perfectly happy if ...

            After all that crap, I don't need tea or coffee.

            I need a beer.

            1. Mage Silver badge

              Re: I need a beer.

              I've heard visitors call it Black Beer. But it's Beamish, Murphy, Guinness, Porter or Stout. Other brands may exist.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I'd be perfectly happy if ...

            I'll take my coffee how I damn well please, thank you very much.

        2. HildyJ Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: I'd be perfectly happy if ...

          "Of course, the breed of cow and what it is fed on is a whole other argument"

          Only among wanna be snobs. True snobs know that grass fed Golden Guernseys produce the highest milk fat.

          1. Chris G Silver badge

            Re: I'd be perfectly happy if ...

            The quality of grass fed cows depends a lot on the quality of the grass they are fed on.

            The varieties, percentage of red clover and even sward height, all make a difference to quality of both milk and beef.

          2. aks Bronze badge

            Re: I'd be perfectly happy if ...

            Fortunately, that's where I live. Non-homogenised milk that occasionally is difficult to pour until you poke a hole through the yellow cream that's blocking it. </smug>

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'allow list' and 'deny list'

    this is extremely offensive against my dyneist beliefs! Can I complain, and how?!

    1. Julz Silver badge

      Re: 'allow list' and 'deny list'

      Only if accepted by the allowists.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 'allow list' and 'deny list'

        Based on the first comment, you'd be better off talking to the "awlolists"....

  11. DavCrav Silver badge

    It's much easier to remove 'whitelist' and 'blacklist' than do something hard like, for example, try to reduce racial disparity in parole decisions.

    I'm sure if you asked a black person whether they would prefer this linguistic change or, say, less biased policing, I'm sure they'd be ecstatic to find out that the Government has gone with removing 'blacklist'.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      I'm sure they'd be ecstatic to find out that the Government has gone with removing 'blacklist'.

      If you are white then you can now say that the problem doesn't exist anymore, but if you are black you will still get shot if the cop thinks that you might be threatening them when you reach into your pocket for you drivers licence. You really think this solves anything for black people? It's a white solution.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
        Meh

        LOL - you can tell a lot about the readers when you look at the upvotes and the downvotes for a post on El Reg.

      3. CountCadaver Bronze badge

        You missed the sarcasm in his comment......whoosh right over your head....

        He was referring to people of black background preferring the cops to be less biased

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It’s not this OR that, both need to happen to make things better.

      When black being perceived as bad permeates society the parole board won’t understand their bias.

      Stop using black as a negative abs the parole board won’t make the same links. It’s as simple as that

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So GCHQ is in charge of parole decisions now? Or perhaps "the Government" isn't actually a single monolithic entity that can only do one thing at a time.

  12. Mark192 Bronze badge

    Irrelevent

    No one is black. No one is white. We're all a shade of melanin.

    Apart from gingers.

    1. Jan 0

      Re: Irrelevent

      But there isn't a single melanin and red and ginger haired people have both eumelanin and pheomelanin in their skin.

    2. eionmac

      Re: Irrelevent

      But my ginger has faded with age.

    3. Glen 1 Silver badge

      Re: Irrelevent

      Obligatory Tim Minchin and his views on prejudice.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "This is already being done in many forums, with professionals opting to use the war-games analogy of attacking red teams and defending blue teams"

    So if you're Red Hat you're a bad guy?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "So if you're Red Hat you're a bad guy?"

      And does this explain why MS went from a multi-coloured logo to being primarily blue?

    3. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

      Red v Blue

      I've always assumed that the war gaming Red and Blue team terminology owed more to the American post-war world view than anything else, with the implied assumption being that Red always attacks Blue and that of course Blue will never attack Red.

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Red v Blue

        Red Hat v Big Blue

        China v USA

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Red v Blue

          What if the USA never has a non-communist enemy ?

          Are they going to have to change the bulb ?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Red v Blue

            Condition: Heliotrope

    4. CountCadaver Bronze badge

      Red and Blue comes from a very old USA battle plan to invade Canada IIRC, blue being the USA and Red being the British empire. The conclusion was that the USA would have to get it over and done with rapidly before Red was able to pull in mass reinforcements from across the empire AND it was a highly risky chance due to the potential for full scale retribution and territory loss

      1. Mage Silver badge
        Flame

        USA battle plan to invade Canada

        Annexing Florida was easy. Canada was hard so they fired a city and killed lots of civilians. So to make a point, the British took some time off from fighting Napoleon and burnt down the White House in Washington.

        1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

          Re: USA battle plan to invade Canada

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7cyP8h30_E

          Song about that event (arrogant worms)

  14. anthonyhegedus Silver badge
    Coat

    It’s a bit of a grey area.

    I’ll get my coat. It’s the zebra patterned one.

  15. wrangler

    Another organization shows the white feather.

    1. Glen 1 Silver badge

      Given the shit they are going to get from the usual suspects, it's not cowardice. It's a minimum effort stand that costs them next to nothing.

  16. Jonathan Richards 1
    Go

    Western terminology

    Am I imagining it, or did it not used to be the case that the cinematographic genre known as "Westerns" had a trope wherein villains wore black hats, and heroes white ones? I *definitely* remember that the Lone Ranger wore a white hat: it never seemed to get remotely grubby, either.

    1. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Western terminology

      Well, Bret Maverick wore a black hat, More Picaresque than "villain", IMHO. Like many White Hats.

      Note also some cultures have White as the color of death, rather than Black. Even the words that suggest white can be somewhat taboo. A young friend described a local grocer as "So old-school they don't have an Aisle 4" (I was amused that an elevator in San Francisco hotel had neither a 4th or a 13th floor. That's multi-cultural for you.)

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Western terminology

        In addition the "unlucky 13", the Chinese (Taiwanese, Indonesians, some San Franciscans, etc.) have an aversion to the number 4 ... I've seen buildings without floors numbered 4th, 14th, 24th etc.The Italians consider the number 17 unlucky, and sometimes skip it in floor numbering. Shirley we should not be using all these numbers out of fear that we might offend somebody, somewhere, someday, maybe.

        Or we can ignore the superstitious nonsense, and educate the kids so they don't fall into the trap that their parents fell into.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Western terminology

          If we stop using any number seen as unlucky or similar by every culture in case of offending someone, there may be no numbers left that are "safe" to use. We'll have to label floors with culturally neutral emojis.

          Emoji for "if thine eye offends thee, pluck it out" aka "Ow! My eye!" ----->

          1. Mage Silver badge

            Re: stop using any number seen as unlucky

            Ah, there's an INFINITE number of numbers that are not unlucky. The workers will still be renumbering the doors in Hilbert's Hotel when the Universe dies.

            White = Good and Black = Bad was only later applied to people. However Allow and Deny makes more sense for access. I wish no-one could email or physical mail me unless they are on my Allowed list.

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: stop using any number seen as unlucky

              But there are also an infinite number of lucky numbers. Therefore they cancel out, right? Wouldn't that make so-called "luck" a zero sum game?

        2. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Re: Western terminology

          @jake

          --- In addition the "unlucky 13", the Chinese (Taiwanese, Indonesians, some San Franciscans, etc.) have an aversion to the number 4 ---

          What part of my comment made you believe I was unaware of unlucky 4?

          In any case, the cultural blindness to "missing floors" can be used to advantage.

          In the case of the aforementioned hotel, there was indeed a 4th floor, but it was a "service floor" with environmental gear, laundry, and kitchens conveniently placed above the public areas and meeting rooms and below the guest rooms. The service elevators did have access to it.

          Not sure how much to lean on the veracity of "Get Smart", but there was an episode where the main office of KAOS (main opponent of Smart's group CONTROL) was on the 13th floor of an office building.

          Something of a Purloined Letter writ large.

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Western terminology

        “ Note also some cultures have White as the color of death”

        Means nothing when you live in a culture that associates all things bad with black.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Re: Western terminology

          Which country is that? I don't know of one. As mentioned before: being financially in the black; black tie/black dress; black coffee/tea; black label.

  17. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Go

    This change is part of the "Video Effects Artist Full Employment Act"

    If anyone here is having problems finding a post-coronavirus job, there will soon be a shortage of artists needed to colorize cowboy hats in old Western movies and serials.

    Avoiding any possible ethnicities' skin color, how about hot pink for the good guys' Stetsons, and forest green for the desparados?

    1. Glen 1 Silver badge

      Re: This change is part of the "Video Effects Artist Full Employment Act"

      They didn't colourise Tom and Jerry.

      They just put up a notice saying "Yeah, we know its bad, don't @ us" and left it at that.

  18. 45RPM

    Allow list and deny list make much more sense, so I applaud this initiative. Come on, we work in technology. We, of all people, should be well able to embrace change - and, perhaps, if we can’t then maybe we should look for new roles - steam railway preservation perhaps?

    Above all though, we absolutely should be able to deprecate terms which carry gendered / racial / sexual etc connotations. Our language is rich enough and descriptive enough that it’s quite possible to describe anything without causing anyone any offence and without making it difficult for those for whom English isn’t a first language to understand.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      I agree 100% but only of you can create gender-neutral connectors. None of this misogynist male plug goes into female socket nonsense!!

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        So every connector looks like the yin yang symbol?

        1. Mike 16 Silver badge

          Connector Gender

          IBM 360 I/O cables have what are called "Hermaphroditic" (occasionally as "Serpentine", for another word with various controversial connotations).

          Meanwhile, as I believe I have mentioned in the past, a friend realized the source of "Male" and "Female" in connector terminology while in the middle of a "basic electronics for aspiring hams" talk he was giving to a group of young-teen seminarians for a missionary order.

      2. Mage Silver badge

        male plug goes into female socket

        Token ring connectors.

        Also there is a power connector that's stackable or rotateable and, um, the individual one pole sockets and plugs are identical.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I do remember a story about how the docking hardware for a historic US-USSR space probe rendezvous had to be redesigned as gender-neutral because neither country wanted to be female, which on the face of it would truly be mysogynist. I suspect this is basically an urban myth, as the concept of a docking adapter where all spacecraft can dock with any other has objective benefits over one where only male spacecraft can dock with females and vice versa.

      4. 45RPM

        I forgot that I’d posted in this thread - but it isn’t necessary to come up with ‘gender neutral’ connectors. It’s only necessary to use the correct names for the connector type. The correct names being ‘Plug’ and ‘Socket’. Perfectly clear.

    2. jake Silver badge

      I'm offended by your remarks. Suggesting that I'm anti-whatever because you see connotations in words that I am quite innocently using is extremely offensive to me. Kindly keep your negativity out of my life. Ta.

      "Our language is rich enough and descriptive enough that it’s quite possible to describe anything without causing anyone any offence"

      Bullshit. The hand-wringers and namby-pambys, egged on by the curtain-twitchers, will always find somebody or something else to whine about. It's what they do. They have been given several inches over the last several years, and they are now taking miles ...

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "They have been given several inches over the last several years, "

        Ooooerrrr, missus, nudge, nudge, wink, win, say no more.

      2. cbars Silver badge

        It's nice to see jake experimenting with forms of textual emphasis other than CAPS!

        Also I agree, it's not possible to never offend people. It takes a human about 4 years to even understand the concept of another person (theory of mind). To understand the beliefs and experiences of every human in the world is a tall order, off the bat, and only conceptually possible thanks to our ability to generalise information. Still, I think watching sport is boring as sin and I dont care which team 'you' support - they are pointless and you are boring ;)

  19. JakeMS
    Stop

    Yeah...

    These colours existed long before people defined them for skin colour. It has nothing to do with someones skin.

    Seriously just stop with the political correctness BS already.

    I will carry on using the terms blacklist and whitelist and carry on wearing black clothes, drinking black coffee, green tea and eating dark chocolate, pork and bacon and other meats from the local butchers*

    * I don't care if this offends your beliefs, these are my beliefs, and if you can have yours, I can have mine.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Yeah...

      "eating dark chocolate"

      Such as Black Magic? Speaking of which, what about the terms black magic and white magic? Should luck/unlucky[1] black cats be banned? Do we need to put additives into tarmac so we aren't walking or driving over the black stuff which implies superiority?

      [1] Seems to depend on the circumstances.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Yeah...

        I'm not racist. Even my cat is black.

    2. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Yeah...

      This is the thing. I'd have no problem with this if it stood on a firm foundation. Words that are used negatively about minorities are best avoided. In reality though the descriptors black and white long predate their use for people who are. or are not, white. From before most white people were aware of "black" people. Black in quotes, because the skin colour was applied to the word rather than the other way round. "Black" people aren't mostly black. The word was applied to brown people, and probably by white people at that. Come to that, while white people are seen as white, a pasty pink colour would be a better description for the most part. And the pejorative use is more tied to the idea of daylight good, dark night bad than that of colour adjectives per se..

    3. CountCadaver Bronze badge

      Re: Yeah...

      wife got a guide from university that banned any of the following terms:

      man, mankind, any gender specific term (no matter how remotely), any use of any job description that could be construed as gendered etc etc with lots of "helpful" (read use these or else) alternatives

      So you get situations where your criticised for using "gendered quotes" such as "since the dawn of time mankind has sought knowledge, man as a species being of a curious nature"

      This seemingly having come down from on high to ALL UK universities from some quango or other....(and likely with attached KPIs and "reporting requirements" to identify any "non compliant" persons

  20. jospanner Bronze badge

    Softer, more inclusive bureaucratic neo-liberalism.

    *clap* MORE *clap* WOMEN *clap* CEOS *clap*

  21. Mookster

    Gandalf is confused

    very confused.

  22. John Robson Silver badge

    Changing the terms isn't political correctness gone mad....

    Shouting about it however, probably is - it only serves to reinforce the correlation they are seeking to avoid.

  23. Lusty

    Magic

    It’s funny I thought it was a reference to black and white magic by the nerds who created computing and our community/culture. As such I actually do see this as undermining my own culture and history. If you see race everywhere these colours are used then that’s on you, leave my culture alone because I see it as a reference to a great wealth of fantasy and fiction you’ll probably never understand.

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Magic

      Funnily enough, "black magic" has nothing to do with race. It was originally "the black art", meaning the Egyptian art (from the Black Land), because the Nile brings down and deposits black mud every year when it floods (or did before the dams).

      Egypt, being an early and highly advanced culture, was the source of a lot of mysticism and religion that spread throughout the then known world.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Magic

        Whatever the origin of black and white magic, the terms certainly predate modern racism by thousands of years and I shall continue using white and black list because that's what they are called.

  24. matthewdjb

    It's a bleedin' whitewash.

  25. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Political correctness gone mad

    "If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother."

    Well, this is political correctness gone mad. And, no, replacing industry-standard terms on your web site with your own terminology you just made up is not improving your site in any way.

    I do recall when certain space cadets decided to replace the industry-standard terms "master" and "slave" with the non-standard and ambiguous "primary" and "secondary" (these are ambiguous because on systems with two IDE channels, the first CHANNEL was the primary, so you'd have "primary master" and "primary slave", and secondary channel had secondary master and secondary slave). People have quit using the terms master and slave because they don't use IDE any more.

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Political correctness gone mad

      I still use IDE. It is pretty much everywhere in industry, and probably will be until sometime after COBOL and Fortran are retired. (cf I know a few places that still use paper/Mylar punched tape to load program code into equipment, and three places that still use 8" floppies. All are in Silly Con Valley.)

      I have a master clock on my network. All the slaves take clock from it.

      After I rebuilt the slave cylinders (they were in good shape, and worth keeping), I replaced the old, worn out, useless master cylinder. Now my brakes work properly.

      My master backup server has a couple of slave systems off-site, just in case.

      Need I go on?

      1. tekHedd
        Meh

        Re: Political correctness gone mad

        "Master/slave" is a perfectly appropriate and accurate way to describe the relationship of hardware devices on a bus: the master really is a master, and the slave really is a slave. And other similar hardware/software relationships. What, are we worried about the power imbalance of pluggable hardware modules and their host bus now? Because they have a genuine power imbalance and accurately describing that is just talking accurately.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Political correctness gone mad

          > Because they have a genuine power imbalance and accurately describing that is just talking accurately.

          Which is why the appropriate terms are now "Bloated capitalist oppressor" and "zero hours contract worker" for the devices on an IDE chain

  26. Alan Sharkey
    Happy

    I'm not sure my friend with a black belt in karate would be too impressed.

    1. Ken Shabby Bronze badge
      Unhappy

      Nor will my elephant.

  27. Irongut Silver badge

    "Red as a colour for danger makes some sense"

    Remind me to tell all the animals that use red to say "I'm dangerous, don't eat me" that red only makes "some sense". They should try branching out into brown or grey and see how they get along.

    1. Kernel

      "Red as a colour for danger makes some sense"

      I grew up understanding that - it took me a while to get used to the idea, when I started working in a civil service organisation, that red was used to designate current files/configurations on as built drawings, and green was for archive files and superceded configurations.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

    Lots of comments here from those that do not see or appreciate that the language used is offensive and should be changed.

    Why should I listen to people talking about master and slave when primary and secondary is a better description and white list / black list when allow / deny is more descriptive?

    I love my job and technology as a whole but I should not have to put up with this when it’s not needed in this day and age.

    If your not of colour and haven’t had people talking in negative terms about you, your colour, or others of colour all your life you really won’t understand.

    I strive to use appropriate language all day everyday, swapping a few words shouldn’t be a problem for everyone else.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

      >I strive to use appropriate language all day everyday, swapping a few words shouldn’t be a problem for everyone else.

      This is an organisation aimed at hunting down threats to the state (or at least to the current government)

      They (and their predecessors) have managed to switch from opposing catholics to communists to muslims (via the bishop of Durham and Arthur Scargil) so color change shouldn't be an issue

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

      "Why should I listen to people talking about master and slave when primary and secondary is a better description and white list / black list when allow / deny is more descriptive?"

      See the comment above about secondary master etc. And why is deny list more descriptive? Why do you want to deny a list?

      These are terms which have had specific engineering meanings for years. The only result of changing them is confusion. If you find them problematic you should ask yourself if you're in the right field - assuming of course, that this really is your field and that you're not just a visiting A/C.

      1. chivo243 Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

        Now look here, let's just label the bad things bad, M'kay!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

        "And why is deny list more descriptive? Why do you want to deny a list?"

        It's a list of things which should be denied, you numpty.

        1. find users who cut cat tail

          Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

          No. That would be denylist (single word like blacklist) and it would at least make some sense. There are about six ways to parse phrases like

          What most deny lists then become…

    3. Tromos

      Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

      Primary and secondary have a totally different meaning to master and slave. I have several systems that involve use of primary and secondary masters. How do I sort these out using your terminology?

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

        @Tromos: obviously, you should use the term "primary and secondary primaries". See, it isn't confusing at all...!

    4. Trigun

      Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

      I get where you're coming from on one level and I feel this myself generally. I abhore people being deliberately rude. However, this is not about that, being racist or a 'phobe' or whatever.

      It's about Power.

      It's about a vocal idiologically driven minority controlling everyone else under the guise of "won't someone please think of the children?" and relying on peoples' good will and reasonableness to do the rest. I don't think it started this way, but to me it's become more and more obvious that this is what is now going on.

      1. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

        And my abiding impression is that this kind of fuss is rarely made by minorities but by white middle class people coming from privileged backgrounds.

        1. Trigun

          Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

          I totally agree. Just to be clear to all: When I said minority, I didn't mean actual ethnic minorities, but just a very small subset of people.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

          “ And my abiding impression is that this kind of fuss is rarely made by minorities but by white middle class people coming from privileged backgrounds.”

          It’s simply what it is. The fact that commentators here are finding it hard to comprehend that changing a few words makes things more inclusive just shows how far things still need to change.

          Recent changes for Gender equality has shown how Bad things where for women and things have rapidly changed for the better. More work is still needed for race equality, changing the use of a few words will go along way to correcting things.

          1. Wellyboot Silver badge

            Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

            It's more complicated than changing a few words, This is a technical site with commentards1 from across the world, master/slave is a concept everybody understands (because global history), & I highly doubt anyone here thinks the cotton-picking historical part is something to condone, male/female is another descriptive concept everybody understands (because biology).

            English is the de facto language for most international technical discussions (history) and when individuals with only moderate English in common need to discuss a technical issue they need a rock solid universal (within IT) reference set, random changes will lead to lack of understanding and problems.

            Black/White is totally subjective (history) and came about from previous common usage (history) and had little to do with slavery except that the last major ethnic group being used as legal slaves by another ethnic group were dark & pale skinned respectively.

            Across the planet, throughout history, slaves have been of every colour, European indigenous slavery (serfdom) lasted well into the age of enlightenment, while in the UK from the 13thC. (Plague, Longbow & Magna-carta) it disappeared along with our unquestioning deference to authority. Slavery is now a thriving globally illegal business that still doesn't care what colour the product is as long as it sells, stopping this is what should be occupying govt. departments like GCHQ.

            What GCHQ call their lists is their problem, I really couldn't care much, but anyone expecting an entire global industry to change tack in less than a decade or three to fit their 'ideal' is going to be disappointed.

            1: Typical Anglo-saxon self deprecation, goes in hand with the lack of deference.

            Much amusement is made here from the dimwittery of (L)users to whom we hold ourselves superior2 even though we know that many of them are also masters2 in their own field.

            2:How do we denote a raised ability level without a defining word, Doubleplus good perhaps?

          2. Terry 6 Silver badge

            Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

            Rather depends which words you change.

          3. Trigun

            Re: Are there no other people of colour that read this rag?

            Things are not bad - just ask a few people who are not involved in the 'culture war'. If you want bad then go to a non-western nation and see how things are there. Then try to change things there and see how far you get.

            Also, consider that a very large number of people are now fed up with this idiological authoritarianism and are starting to fight back. They are not 'ists and 'phobes - they just don't agree with this narrative and being forced (literally at times) to along with it.

            BTW do you know the stupid thing about changing these partilcar words? Allow and white lists, block and black lists all exist in filtering already and have different meanings.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It’s political correctness gone mad

    And it feeds the narrative of all the twat signalling, Trump worshipping, wrong wing imbecilic ****tards out there. All it takes for these people to win is otherwise good people losing the plot and vanishing up their own arses.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: It’s political correctness gone mad

      @AC

      "All it takes for these people to win is otherwise good people losing the plot and vanishing up their own arses."

      Hate to tell you but those people won because the supposed 'good' people have lost the plot and are vanishing up their own arses.

  30. MooJohn

    "If you're not adversely affected by racial stereotyping yourself..."

    Hey Emma -- making THAT statement is itself a racist assumption. It implies that white people aren't stereotyped, except that this change basically declares they're all closet racists and somehow associate any instance of the word "black" with "bad."

    Claims that anyone opposed to this change must be racist is also a stereotype.

    See what happens when you start making broad statements?

  31. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Look squirrel

    So this has nothing to do with distracting people from GCHQ Granted Access to NHS Data as Privacy Concerns Increase

    1. autisticatheist
      Coat

      Re: Look squirrel

      Shouldn't that be "allowed" not granted?

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Classic Misdirection.........

    .............instead of wheeling out MS Word cut-and-paste, some of us want to know what actually goes on in Cheltenham!

    *

    Can I see the records you keep on me? Fingerprints? Retina scans? DNA? Email? Phone logs? Medical records? Travel records? Coronavirus tracking? Can I ask for these records to be deleted?

    *

    But.....none of this is even remotely important. Replace "white" with "allow". There....job done!

  33. YetAnotherJoeBlow

    "If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother."

    Sorry, I am not a sheep. This is political correctness gone mad.

    1. CountCadaver Bronze badge

      Someon at NCSC still seems to think we "proles" should tug our forelocks to our supposed "betters"

      Someone who has clearly forgotten in Romania etc to apparatchiks of the same mindset (for those too young to remember - walls being left bullet marked and lampposts with piano wire draped over them tied in a noose)

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Evidence that Romania, and East German and Russia obviously didn't invest enough in the apparatus of state control = it failed.

        1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

          Depressing but true.

  34. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Flame

    "problematic terms" ?

    It's technology, not social relationship, stupid.

    Yes, I am aware that the USA has a long history of repression of black people, and that history is being unfortunately regularly upheld by policemen every year, but you should not let that spill into a domain that has nothing to do with it.

    The US is so lily-livered that I suspect they'll try and find something else to avoid saying "a black hole" in astronomy as well.

    You can't ban the word black simply because you are responsible for having treated so many black people so badly. Tiptoeing around it just underscores your inherent racism.

  35. JohnG Silver badge

    I guess connector genders will be addressed at some point - having only male and female connector genders is bound to annoy somebody with an agenda.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      It'll have to be "inny" and "outy", or convex and concave, or pointy and the other one, or positor and receptor. Get with the programme!!

  36. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    They should have gone with something a little less ambiguous. "Allow list" could mean a list is allowed to be used. Something along the lines of "Accepted list" would have been better.

    Apart from that, I hate these thieves who keep stealing my language.

  37. Martin-73 Silver badge

    Hardly clearer

    Allow list is... not as immediately obvious as 'whitelist'

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if we a removing racism and sexism...

    can i request 'motherboard' is replaced with a less sexist term? mainboard would be less ambiguous and more descriptive.

    yes, i am being sarcastic, but more surprised no one else mentioned it.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: if we a removing racism and sexism...

      Don't. Just don't. You know what'll happen next.

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: if we a removing racism and sexism...

        But, but, but - what happened to the father board? Has it just been whitewashed from history? Misandry at its worst!!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: if we a removing racism and sexism...

        Lock up your daughterboards!

  39. Herby

    "Black Power"

    Was really a thing in the 60's and the place where I worked (PPFY days) one of the grad students got inventive and labeled the power cord as "black power". Subtle humor, but VERY good.

    I suspect you had to be there.

  40. ThinkingMonkey

    Good thinking

    And while we're at it, I propose the immediate cessation of referring to when the sun is out as "light" and when it is down as "dark". Negative connotations, and all that.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fair enough

    Whitelist and blacklist are confusing terms for some.

    Nothing wrong with making it clearer. More of this sort of thing.

    1. Gerry 3
      FAIL

      Re: Fair enough

      If you find blacklist and whitelist confusing, you shouldn't be in any technical job, least of all at GCHQ.

  42. steamnut

    Where does this stop?

    Is the expression "brown out" next? That would create zillions of cut and pastes with the microprocessor data sheets alone. And mains wiring in the US has black and white cables; get out of that one!

    Once we have sanitised our language for Black/Asian people who is next - the Chinese? Then a "chink in the armour" or "Chinese burn/copy" might have to be changed.

    Going forward we may have to please the LGBTQ lobby so we are no longer going to have male and female plugs and sockets.

    The blacklist, whitelist episode was started "following a request from a customer". Surely, possibly just one "customer" does not mean that it was a big issue in the first place?

    With a deference to people that are not of sound mind this morning - the world had gone mad!

    1. Adelio

      Re: Where does this stop?

      What about left and right.

      Left in italian is "sinistra" which sounds like "sinister" and i am guessing that that is how sinister came about. Because left handed people were evil. Only right handed people were good and proper.

      I and my eldest son are both left handed. When my son first went to school. 25 years agoe the teachers asked if we wanted them to FORCE him to write with his right hand.

      My wife was appalled when she hear this.

      So we should ban left and right and use some other term! <Sarcasm>

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Where does this stop?

        It comes from Latin, where sinister means left. The reason the word has connotations of wrongness in English is precisely because left handedness was associated with unnaturalness, devilry, witchcraft, basically anything and everything bad.

        As you've pointed out, prejudice against the left-handed is a real thing which was actively being culturally enforced even in the recent past. And still is, if you count things like the preponderance of scissors, computer mice etc. which are designed for right-handed use only - I bet that pisses you off, eh?

        No-one actually uses the words left and right as proxies for good and bad because they're too generic... after all nearly everyone has both a left and right hand. However, if you started getting people regularly making snide comments about how "sinister" you are I suspect you'd lose your sense of humour about it in pretty short order. In that scenario I have no idea if you'd personally support restricting the use of the term in everyday language, but you can bet that some of your fellow left-handers would. Would you blame them?

        I think the problem here is that overly-generic terms such as "white" and "black" have become strongly linguistically linked with good and bad, and also strongly linked with human racial characteristics. While the ambiguity of language has clearly not been created deliberately, it does help to create a grey area where assholes can use plausible deniability to continue being assholes to other people.

        Dropping terms like blacklist and whitelist is a pain in the arse, as they are useful terms for quickly describing things and are easily understood by almost everyone. However, if they're being dropped in favour of more descriptive (and shorter) terms like "allow list" and "deny list" I don't see any harm in phasing out the older nomenclature, even if the link from it to racism is largely illusory.

        1. Terry 6 Silver badge

          Re: Where does this stop?

          "Allow" and "deny" aren't actually shorter. Both are 2 syllable which is longer than a single syllable utterance.

          Arguably, too, the syllables are harder to make. The "w" and "y" sound both require a bit more physical effort than "k" or "t"*. Normally I'd check this with my daughter, she's the expert. But currently she's reassigned to working on a NHS ward for the duration.

          Before anyone poo poohs the idea of effort, humans tend to naturally and unconsciously avoid high effort sounds and words. We tend to use simple words with simple sounds in our speech. And since speech production is largely unconscious this is a hard one to change. (Think about it. You don't actively select which words you utter, normally)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Where does this stop?

            GCHQ generally issue their lists in a written text format, not by town crier.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find it hard to find anything particularly wrong here. Ignoring any racial overtones it is much clearer what is meant.

    What I'm *less* in agreement with however is Master/Slave being replaced with Primary/Secondary. Master/Slave is unambiguous in that one is in control of the other. Primary/Secondary is not the same at all.

  44. taxman

    May we still use

    the terms of Dr Death and the Hobbit when referring questions to NCSC?

  45. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    White Hat, Black Hat?

    Hoodie down, hoodie up today

  46. Trigun
    Facepalm

    Who thinks like this?

    I keep seeing this kind of thing where some people (usually in a very vocal minority) conflate things to signal their virtue and I wish they wouldn't.

    No one in their right mind would equate "black list" with something against black/ethnic people nor would they equate "white list" as being something in favour of white people. It's idiological nonsense and those coming up with it are generally fanatics with many being so far left they think Lenin was a centrist or even right wing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who thinks like this?

      Obviously someone at GCHQ feels that labour are about to come back to power soon / labour supporter / another perpetually offended muppet....then again it comes out HMG where they spray our money around like dishwasher every minute of the day while bleating about there being no money to - fix the roads, hire more medics, hire better teachers, rebuild our navy, pay carers more than a pittance, pay the disabled more than the lowest rate in europe etc.....

      funny that eh?

  47. chivo243 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Some city in California

    Removed the word "Manhole" from their city management lingo... Oh, whatta world!

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Some city in California

      That was in the bizarre world of Berkeley, where manholes are now officially called "maintenance holes". Except when actual people are discussing them, of course.

      Don't worry, those of us in the rest of California look on the folks in charge of Berkeley (and San Francisco, and Oakland) as somewhat insane, backwards children who babble incessantly and drool occasionally, but are much loved by their families anyway ... and completely ignored by the neighbors as having absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the reality of the rest of the world. Poor things.

  48. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Master and slave?

    How do I describe the operation of the machines I use/set up where the slave unit is a PLC controling an arm, and the machine is the master that sends signals to the PLC saying "get on with it" (then waits for the PLC to go "done now you heap of junk")

    But the whole 'words you cant use' nonsense is getting way out of hand and its largely due to some social sciences person taking offence on someone else's behalf while never bothering to ask if said person IS offended.

    Anyways... I have a nice afternoon working on the new edition of newspeak, right after watching 'Blazing saddles' a film almost designed to offend everyone*

    *everyone in this context means everyone without a sense of humour...

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: Master and slave?

      Your point is the English language is inadvertently and almost unavoidably offensive. That is true, but you make the mistake of conflating comedians highlighting this with politicians and civil servants who should know better.

      I spent a couple of years struggling to write pro-peace event memos without using highly inappropriate militaristic language. I couldn't, it's everywhere. "Winning the battle", "Fight the Good Fight", "Strike a Blow" - our language is laden with our violent past.

      I paid to see "Blazing Saddles" when it was first released, can't recall who I took to the cinema. I didn't, we didn't find it that funny, but I went to Mel's earlier and later movies. Now if you want a deliberately offensive movie then you should have chosen "The Producers", far more offensive and far funnier.

      "Springtime for Hitler" is still an ear-worm for me.

      I was at a communist poet bud's gig two years ago, and he gave the clenched fist salute. I replied with the Roman, well Nazi, salute. I didn't mean to, I'm an anarchist and we don't ever do salutes. I apologised and said I'd just wave in future.

    2. razorfishsl

      Re: Master and slave?

      In charge & not incharge..........

      Plus you need to ensure that 50% of the controllers in charge are in colored case, possibly with some bits broken off...

  49. revenant Silver badge

    The NSCS Board of Directors are in favour of this ...

    ... like turkeys being in favour of Christmas : next on the list for them to deal with is the fact that all 8 of them are White (according to the site). They need to practice what they preach, don't they?

  50. Ochib

    Bullseye will be in trouble

    The catch phrase “ Stay out of the black and into the red, nothing in this game for two in a bed” is full of problems

  51. bryces666

    Aladeen

    Solve it all, use 'aladeen' instead :)

  52. This post has been deleted by its author

  53. Reality_Cheque

    Wouldn't it be far, far easier....

    ...if we simply stopped calling black people 'black'?

    1. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Wouldn't it be far, far easier....

      That'd be my view. But it's not up to me ( a white person) to take that stand.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Wouldn't it be far, far easier....

        Over here "we" have.

        It did lead to the famous incident of the TV reporter asking Nelson Mandela about being the most famous African-American man

  54. Danny 2 Silver badge

    I, for one, welcome our new moronic overlords

    I'm not blacklisted from work and benefits any more. I'm just denied. What a glorious day for democracy.

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WTF

    Why not call it the heweui list and the google list cause nothing out side mucia matters, dont you know?

  56. razorfishsl

    time to get rid of calling plugs & sockets male & female....

    Incase 0.5% of the population gets upset.........

  57. Povl H. Pedersen

    Astronomy next

    We all know, that once you get in the vicinity of a BLACK hole, youdo not escape before you are WHITE (Supernova)

  58. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Political incorrectness gone mad

    Considering that nobody is, strictly, black or white - all of us are shades of blotchy pink to beautiful brown - the very terms "black" and "white" with reference to people are intrinsically indicative of prejudice, being primitive categorisations not representative of a nuanced reality.

    Just stopping using these terms with reference to things rather than people doesn't eliminate the prejudice, it perpetuates it by tacitly accepting that it's still OK to classify people crudely by skin colour but (for some reason incomprehensible to me at least) we apparently have to be more sensitive when discussing technologies.

  59. Toby Poynder

    Note the arrogance and self-satisfaction here

    If you disagree with us you aren't even worth arguing with.

    And the very same people are surprised with the Brexit vote.

  60. WereWoof
    Trollface

    This . . .

    Two young persons of opposite genders, proceeded toward the apex of a natural geologic protuberance. The purpose of their expedition was to procure a sample of fluid hydride of oxygen in a large vessel, the exact size of which was omniously omitted from the record. As the male person precipitously descended, he consequently sustained severe damage to the upper cranial portion of his anatomy. A similar fate befell the female, who immediately after the male person, performed a self-rotational translation oriented in the same direction having been traversed by the young man.

    1. codejunky Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: This . . .

      Damn I wish I could upvote this more

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No other security software?

    I use #000000-list and #FFFFFF-list but when the idiots work out what that means I'll be in the doghouse too.

    1. applebyJedi

      Re: No other security software?

      That's offensive to dogs.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Which, in fact, is clearer and less ambiguous"

    To be fair, this is clearer and less ambiguous. I'd rather complain about the person who thought "type 1 error" and "type 2 error" were clearer than "false positive" and "false negative".

    1. woody weaver

      Re: "Which, in fact, is clearer and less ambiguous"

      Obligatory shout out to https://xkcd.com/2303/ .

  63. Lotaresco Silver badge

    So what about...

    Greylists, they haven't mentioned those. Do I need to get a Zeta Reticulan to write a letter of complaint from Roswell?

  64. Grundleberry

    Interesting

    I've never made that connection before, I'm pretty sure 'blacklist' has been a feature of Modern English for centuries now. Shame that they would try to attribute it to race.

  65. applebyJedi

    Phew

    Just as well they don't have anything important to be getting along with.

  66. Dwarf Silver badge

    Greylists

    What will these be called - the not-sure lists ?

    How much time and effort will be taken to implement such a change and how can this be a higher priority than any of the other things they should be worrying about right now ?

    I don't get why people calling things by their normal name is a problem. None of it has anything to do with race except for the people who want to make an issue out of it for whatever reason - and that is generally in no way related to the original topic.

    I wear black shoes, why are these any more of an issue than the tan ones I also wear.or the muddy brown but originally green wellies in the garden. None of this has anything to do with anything other than the colour the object is.

    Things used to be very simple, or binary, this was termed black and white as in it is or it isn't. Its no more complicated than that but for some reason people want to do that - we even have some trying to coin the term non-binary. Sorry, no, binary is base 2, it is or it is not. There is no other state ...

    </rant>

  67. codejunky Silver badge

    Ha

    "If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother."

    Because the mind is closed, the ears are shut off, the possibility of accepting that they are wrong is just not there because they must obviously be morally superior by somehow equating standard terms as a racial issue.

    Except they are the ones (including the customer who made the request) thinking in racist terms as it is that self identifying racism (seeing different skin colours as unequal) which requires such a change. For the non-racists this is a standard term being arbitrarily changed because the few who misuse the terms somehow feel it is their duty to police our speech for their problem.

    When someone asks blacklist and whitelist be changed because of racial connotations, the reply is no. It is not a racial issue it is a clearly defined standard relating to security and if you somehow equate that with race that is your problem you really should consider getting advice/help with.

  68. poohbear

    Blighty

    A lot of comments, but none seem to mention that in Blighty the Allow list will obviously be called the "Permanent Leave to Enter" list.

  69. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    Tribal Monkeys

    As long as some people remain tribal, they will continue to use certain terms as pejoratives for people who are not in their tribe. The terms will change on a regular basis as after every change the tribal monkeys just come up with new words that they can fling like monkey crap at anything not to their liking. Allow and Deny Lists seem perfectly acceptable to me as they describe their functions. The "White Cliffs of Dover" is also descriptive as is "the brown guy who lives next door", "the black hole" or even "my pink ribbons". However, once you start using any of these or any other terms to discriminate or to spread hatred, THAT is when you prove yourself to be a Tribal Monkey!

  70. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    GCHQ regularly send these types of list out in alerts, to help other organisations mitigate against known attacks. If they want to stop calling them "white" and "black" because of potential connotations to racism, fine - it's their choice what to call their own lists. If they replace these terms with "allow" and "deny", which are more closely descriptive of the actual use of the lists then so much the better.

    Random shouty people on the internet spouting stuff like "political correctness gone mad" and "muh freedom" over this move are just talking bollocks - GCHQs lists, GCHQs names; deal with it. I'm sure GCHQ don't give a damn what you call your own access lists, so it isn't about you at all. Stop being so full of yourself, stop being so easily triggered and fuck off back under your bridges.

  71. MartinB

    No isse with them changing the terms. But why do they need to make a Press Release out of it? Just change them and be done with it. No need to crow your woke credentials from the rooftops.

  72. the Jim bloke Silver badge
    Devil

    This is just a preliminary step

    The ultimate goal is to remove the "escape" key, with its implications of freedom and choice, from keyboards and user interfaces.

    There is no escape

    There are no other choices

    you will take what you are given

    your happiness is not required

    click "Ok", "Cancel", or "X" to install

  73. tip pc Silver badge

    250 comments largely opposing the change

    It’s sad to read the comments and effort people have gone to to oppose the changing of just a few words.

    IT is all about change, changing hardware, software, protocols, use cases etc. Somethings don’t change behind the scenes but the presentation is continuously being rejuvenated.

    It’s a few words, originally used be a very small number of people and now in more broad use are found not to be in keeping with how the rest of the world wants to use language.

    Allow list

    Block/deny list

    Plenty of other phrases could do with an update too.

    If it’s too hard to get your head around why the words should be changed then IT really isn’t for you, especially with all this constant change happening.

    1. Fading Silver badge

      Re: 250 comments largely opposing the change

      Change for change's sake (especially when it takes so long to get things agreed in the first place) is fairly unwelcome in most instances. There is a word missing from the new terminology anyway. A whitelist isn't an "allow" list it is an "explicitly allow" list (and deny all else) and a blacklist isn't a "deny" list but an "explicitly deny" list (and allow all else) . This is a known association with the whitelist/blacklist paradigm but not in an allow/deny one.

  74. woody weaver

    The problem isn't the silliness

    The problem is finding racism where none existed.

    The term blacklist appears to go back to Philip Massinger's 1639 tragedy "The Unnatural Combat", where there was a "black list" of names associated with the killing of the king. In computing, it appears to be a like concept to employment blacklisting, which appears to go back to the 18th century. As was pointed out previously, I think, in English this appears to go back to the Judeo-Christian bible, with black being associated primarily with sickness (the 'black horse' of Revelations) but also mourning (Jeremiah 14:2), or pain (Joel 2:6).

    So blacklisting has nothing to do with race.

    That doesn't mean a thoughtful person shouldn't use a different term. Anything that is clear should suffice. If a particular term leads to a party taking offense, then sure, that party should perhaps get over it, but also why would we want to allow the offense? What stake do we have in the term?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: The problem isn't the silliness

      " why would we want to allow the offense?"

      We (TINW) are allowing nothing. They are taking it, even though it does not exist! Sounds like a personality disorder to me. Or the beginnings of a new religion. Or, if history is anything to go by, both.

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