[thelist] RE: blaster worm punishment

Shawn K. Quinn skquinn at speakeasy.net
Mon Jan 31 19:20:10 CST 2005

On Sat, 2005-01-29 at 20:21 -0800, Steven Streight wrote:
> We've all heard how the "teenager" who unleashed the
> Blaster worm, primarily against Microsoft, got only 18
> months jail time, court supervision for 3 years, and
> has to pay up to $1 million damages.
> I say he deserves much much harsher punishment, mainly
> because malicious code can potentially make a nation
> vulnerable to terrorist or criminal attack, can
> cripple an economy, can cause even death if a hospital
> network crashes, etc. etc.

I disagree here. If anything he was punished too harshly. (And no, I
don't think he deserves a commendation.) Microsoft is the one getting
away with it here, as their shoddy operating system design allowed this
to happen to begin with. You don't hear about worms attacking other
operating systems, do you?

Microsoft's attitude is akin to Ford saying "auto theft isn't a problem,
so we're not going to bother hardening the locks on our cars". Ford
would never get away with it.

> But internet crime, I feel, must be more harshly
> punished.
> Whadyathink?

This I agree to, if gross negligence in operating system design is an
Internet crime as well. Especially when the company involved repeatedly
engages in questionable if not outright illegal actions in an attempt to
maintain as close to a monopoly as they can, at the expense of the end

Shawn K. Quinn <skquinn at speakeasy.net>

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