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The sum of all fears


Farelf
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First seen referenced in a post by Anonymous Bob in news.grcom g.security IS YOUR COMPUTER A CRIMINAL? (redtape). "Your home computer may be committing a crime at this very moment. It might be sending out spam. It might be buying stock as part of a pump-and-dump scheme. Or it might be helping attack the Internet itself, silently and invisibly, as you read this story. And the odds your computer is a criminal are quickly rising."

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First seen referenced in a post by Anonymous Bob in news.grcom g.security IS YOUR COMPUTER A CRIMINAL? (redtape). "Your home computer may be committing a crime at this very moment.....

While this is an interesting and informative article, I have some problems with it. First, from a legal perspective, a computer can neither be a criminal, nor can it commit a crime.

The "criminals" here are the hackers, the software manufacturers, and to a lesser extent the owners of the computers themselves. We all have certain social and legal l responsibilities to adhere to. Irresponsible behavior, whether it be drunken driving, selling dangerous products, or willful disregard of a known danger, are crimes as well.

The article fails miserably when it ascribes total blame to the hackers. By default, the article exhonerates other culpable actors which are at least equally responsible for the ongoing problem; namely the manufactures of defective software, and negligent computer users. It perpetuates the myth of the helpless user, when in fact, if users would just practice the minimal level of responsibility, MOST of this problem would simply disappear. The balance of this problem would vanish almost totally if software vendors would be held accountable for their security flaws. Every househole appliance including Cars are recalled and fixed at no expense when a serious flaw is discovered, why not computer software?

If an electronic phone were to be sold, which invited burgelers to your home, wouldn't the manufacturer of the phone be held somewhat responsible for the resulting theft?

By shifting the ENTIRE blame to the hackers, this article perpetuates the problem.

Seafire

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...By default, the article exhonerates other culpable actors which are at least equally responsible for the ongoing problem; namely the manufactures of defective software, and negligent computer users. It perpetuates the myth of the helpless user, when in fact, if users would just practice the minimal level of responsibility, MOST of this problem would simply disappear. The balance of this problem would vanish almost totally if software vendors would be held accountable for their security flaws. Every househole appliance including Cars are recalled and fixed at no expense when a serious flaw is discovered, why not computer software?...
So true - the article was evidently more modest in its purpose, merely a heads up for any who may be complacent and unclued. Whether or not that actually contributes to mindless consumer acceptance of the many outrages being perpetrated by the various agents contributing to this sorry situation I could not say. If it goads enough people into questioning and doing something about "it" then that would be a no. I keep thinking unkind thoughts about "them". That doesn't seem to be enough.
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  • 4 weeks later...
<snip>

The article fails miserably when it ascribes total blame to the hackers. By default, the article exhonerates other culpable actors which are at least equally responsible for the ongoing problem; namely the manufactures of defective software, and negligent computer users.

<snip>

...There's something to your point but I'm not quite prepared to accept it entirely. If I murder you and you could have prevented it by taking some not-universally-known actions, how much of the blame for your murder do you share?
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