An administrator ... would have to close port 80 as soon as a mechnism to execute arbitrary functions is available on it.
This is a bit misleading, since web services aren't about executing arbitrary functions. (Though a poorly implemented SOAP server can do nearly that.) Web Services will most likely deploy within an Intranet or VPN. Living out in the wild may prove to be the exception.
I suspect the author of that letter to the editor is miffed that his favorite protocol is no longer on the top of theheap.
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