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Do new Cisco IOS registration rules pose privacy concerns?

Earlier this year, we reported that the newly released Cisco IOS 15 requires users to enter registration keys to verify software licenses for each machine. That requirement resulted in a ban on the use of Cisco IOS emulators. Needless to say this infuriated some Cisco users, who used Cisco IOS illicitly for the very above-board need to practice on Cisco equipment in homegrown labs.

This week, Ethereal Mind blogger Greg Ferro makes a new point about Cisco’s IOS registration requirements — there are all kinds of corporate privacy concerns.

Cisco IOS 15 requires users to punch a registration key into every machine running. In return, Cisco gets to keep an image of every machine you have. So Cisco salespeople know just when and how to hit you up for a sale. But they also have a constantly updated image of your network. Ferro raises a host of questions about the use of this information that are worth checking out.

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