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Microsoft VP Suggests 'Net Tax To Clean Computers

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the sure-to-go-over-well dept.

Government 577

Ian Lamont writes "Microsoft's Vice President for Trustworthy Computing, Scott Charney, speaking at the RSA conference in San Francisco, has floated an interesting proposal to deal with infected computers: Approach the problem of dealing with malware infections like the healthcare industry, and consider using 'general taxation' to pay for inspection and quarantine. Using taxes to deal with online criminal activity is not a new idea, as demonstrated by last year's Louisiana House vote to levy a monthly surcharge on Internet access to deal with online baddies."

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Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336504)

Most of the major ISPs in the US are providing a free brand-name anti-virus product if users will just download it. Even if you don't get that, it's about $15/year to stay up to date at Best Buy. The problem here isn't that people can't afford anti-virus... it's that they can't be bothered to use it.

Maybe the route some universities have taken of fines and downtime for those caught spreading malware or spam, knowingly or not, is what we need.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (5, Funny)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336544)

Microsoft Security Essentials is free too, and works pretty good.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336610)

mod parent funny ffs

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336758)

mod parent funny ffs

why

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336794)

You're an ass-hat. MSS works great.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (1)

ZosX (517789) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336914)

Indeed. I second this. I use Microsoft Security Essentials on everything now and it does work pretty good.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (2, Funny)

alexborges (313924) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337034)

Ah... but does it run... never mind.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336578)

Not to mention all the free antivirus tools out there. Really no excuse to not have some sort of "coverage"--unlike health care in the analogy.

Frankly, this seems like a waste of tax dollars. I didn't see anything mentioned in the article that can't be done with free tools.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (1)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336628)

Not to mention all the problems that just don't get resolved by any antivirus..

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (3, Insightful)

FredFredrickson (1177871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336686)

Sorry, wasn't looking to sound trollish. I often see rootkit infected machines with an all-clear signal from norton and AVG-free alike.

Or what's more stupid, is when norton sees it but doesn't clean it because the file is in use...

I've never trusted an antivirus to do what I can do manually. Antiviruses are great for an afterwards cleanup scan.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336984)

The bad guys have access to Norton, McAfee, Avast, AVG, MSS, Spybot, Kaspery, Linux source, OS/X, and anything else that will or won't show up in the next 10, 20, 30 years. If you can download it, then so can they.

They test their software better than "legit" developers and thus they will always win.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336986)

That is why God invented ComboFix.

I find it amazing that most major AV can not detect well documented root kits.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (5, Insightful)

Lendrick (314723) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336750)

Can't be bothered?

Have you *used* anti-virus software lately? It takes over your computer and bogs everything down by scanning at irritating times, like every file access.

I don't use anti-virus software, except for the occasional one-off malware scan. I don't get viruses because I don't do stupid shit.

* I don't trust free downloads unless they're open source, or a google on "$SOFTWARE spyware" comes up clean.
* I don't browse porn (or anything else) on internet explorer.
* I don't browse porn with adblock turned off.
* I don't download stupid free desktop frills, like smileys and crap.
* I don't open obvious spam, even if it appears to be from my friends.
* When a webpage informs me that it has SCANNED MY COMPUTER and VIRUS DETECTED, I remember that I did not, in fact, install a virus scanner, and that the message is fake, and I do not have to install their special software to fix it. Instead, I close the web page.
* When doing p2p file-sharing, I use clients that are well known and spyware free.
* I don't put audio CDs into my machine when I'm running Windows, because they might install rootkits.
* I always click the "advanced" button when I install software, because that's where they hide the fact that they're installing a bunch of extra shit I don't want.
* Under no circumstances do I *ever* install Norton, which in my experience is far worse for performance than any virus.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336874)

* When a webpage informs me that it has SCANNED MY COMPUTER and VIRUS DETECTED, I remember that I did not, in fact, install a virus scanner, and that the message is fake, and I do not have to install their special software to fix it. Instead, I close the web page.

lol@that

It's funny to see those pages on Linux. "OMG UR WINDOWS ARE INFECTED"

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (1)

SpeZek (970136) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336910)

I don't get viruses because I don't do stupid shit.

QFT

Unfortunately, the media loves to paint "viruses" and "hackers" as magical threats that crawl through your internet piping and clog up your "CPU".

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (3, Funny)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337004)

I don't get viruses because I don't do stupid shit.

QFT

Sorry, but I just can't see what Quantum Field Theory has to do with this.

Alot of free anti-virus options (1)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336820)

There are lots of free anti-virus options, no need to even pay $15.00 a year.

I have been using Avast for years now, its great. AVG also still has basic protection for free also.

It's not the cost, the main reason people have no anti-virus or out of date anti-virus is because they don't care enough or understand enough to care.

The trial-ware anti-virus approach also is something I think should be stopped. Too many people think "Oh Mcaffee was included with my computer, I don't have to get an anti-virus." Not knowing that it was a trial version and it stopped working two years ago.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336876)

The problem here isn't anti-virus... it's that people are stupid.

Re:Free anti-virus with Internet service purchase! (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336942)

The problem is that anti-virus alone can't handle malware. It does a pretty good job, but all it takes is one zero day Flash exploit, or a website with a compromised iFrame and your compute^H^H^HWindows box is hosed. By the time anti-virus starts throwing warnings, it is generally because the computer is already infected and it is trying to download other components that the AV software actually has signatures for.

Taxes are already paid. (4, Insightful)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336536)

Taxes are already being paid on online transactions and a cut of every bill from your ISP.

The government can't handle the internet due to incompetence, not lack of money,

Re:Taxes are already paid. (2, Funny)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336616)

The rules of the House of Representatives require that if you propose a new government program that costs money, you also have to propose a tax or some way to pay for what you're doing... with the neutral CBO's stat-based "scoring" telling you when you're doing something level.

Is this the same Government that created it? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336850)

Taxes are already being paid on online transactions and a cut of every bill from your ISP.

The government can't handle the internet due to incompetence, not lack of money,

That's pretty funny. What Federal taxes do we pay on online transactions? What cut of the ISP bill does the government get? And are we talking about the same government that created the Internet, or is this monstrously incompetent government a different government?

Maybe if the government is so incompetent, we should outsource such vital functions as roads and the armed services. Obviously, the private sector should be handling those services too, right? You like toll roads, right? Blackwater can easily do the job of the military, why are we letting the incompetent government protect us?

Re:Is this the same Government that created it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31337032)

I don't know about your ISP, but mine pays about 30% of their net profits as income tax directly to the federal government.

Re:Taxes are already paid. (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337020)

Personally, id rather the government stay out of my business.. If you demand they 'fix the problem', then they will be in your face every second you are online and you wont like the result.

Tax Credit? (5, Funny)

Chris Lawrence (1733598) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336540)

Do Mac or Linux users get a tax credit?

Re:Tax Credit? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336590)

They get double the tax.

Why? Because Mac and Linux are not Windows and therefore need special training for the cleaning crew.

Re:Tax Credit? (2, Funny)

Azureflare (645778) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336744)

What are they cleaning?

Re:Tax Credit? (1)

ipquickly (1562169) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336600)

Why would we be taxed for other people's mistakes?

This would just lead to people not caring and increase the amount of malware out there.
If it doesn't cost you anything to clean it up, then why would you worry about making a mess?

Re:Tax Credit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336660)

Why would we be taxed for other people's mistakes?

As a single 26 y/o male with no kids, I already am heavily taxed for other people's mistakes...

Re:Tax Credit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336852)

Why would we be taxed for other people's mistakes?

As a single 26 y/o male with no kids, I already am heavily taxed for other people's mistakes...

It sounds like you need to go to a bar and "tax" some ass.

We're taxed to pay for positive externalities. (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336946)

You shouldn't look at this as paying for someone else's mistakes, but as a way to cover the cost of the benefit to us. We all would benefit from reduced spam, scams and malware, we all should pay. Given that spam makes up over 80% of Internet traffic, we could all download far more porn, far more quickly were spam to disappear.

This couldn't possibly lead to people caring any less than they already do. Sure, I would love to tax only the people who actually get a virus, but getting rid of the malware is more important than making idiots pay for something they don't understand.

Re:Tax Credit? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336602)

Maybe Linux, but not Mac. Mac has it's own malware, while small it's still there and growing as Mac is growing. Mac even has it's own botnet ( http://theappleblog.com/2009/04/24/mac-botnet-how-to-ensure-you-are-not-part-of-the-problem/ [theappleblog.com] )

Re:Tax Credit? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336846)

linux has a small amount of malware too. Just because its safer than windows does not mean its perfectly safe and you never have to even think about security.

Re:Tax Credit? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336968)

It's just such a small market and thus has the least amount of malware and other such worries. Also why I said MAYBE Linux, because I know there is no such thing as a perfectly secure OS. It can always be broken.

Re:Tax Credit? (3, Insightful)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336646)

People who do not have children to send to school, or oppose the wars, or do not drive cars do not get a tax credit.

Taxes are a collective action, not an individual purchase.

Then again, I wouldn't be surprised to see that happen given our legislators' feigned misunderstanding of progressive taxation or Keynesian spending.

Re:Tax Credit? (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336702)

New Hampshire believes in an environment where tolls, gas taxes, and registration fees pay for the roads, property taxes pay for police and fire protection, those who get lost in the woods are billed for their rescue, hunting licenses pay for the regulation of hunters....

Basically, they have no sales or income tax, but you've got to pay for what you use. Want to save money? Stop doing wasteful things!

Re:Tax Credit? (2, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336756)

With a ridiculous approach to taxation like that, how would an entire nation manage to pay for important things like invasions of foreign countries and bailing out mismanaged banks?

Oh wait...

Re:Tax Credit? (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336832)

With a ridiculous approach to taxation like that, how would an entire nation manage to pay for important things like invasions of foreign countries and bailing out mismanaged banks?

We already pay for bank mismanagement that way... all banks are required to have FDIC insurance, and all credit unions are required to either get FDIC coverage or an equal state program. Traditionally $100,000 of coverage has become $250,000 for the time being, again at the banks' expense. Some even carry more insurance than required so that they can reassure large depositors.

War taxes? Those are usually left behind long after the war is paid for.

Re:Tax Credit? (1)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337030)

Who pays for the schools? Do you only have private, for pay libraries in New Hampshire? Your emergency rooms turn away people who can't pay, contrary to Federal law? You've installed pay turnstiles at all your public parks?

Re:Tax Credit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336726)

Considering how Linux has its own huge share of vulnerabilities, how about no?

Re:Tax Credit? (2, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336996)

No, they get arrested since only terrorists wouldn't use Windows..

Microsoft wants others to pay for its mistakes? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336554)

Who do they think they are, bankers?

I totally agree (5, Insightful)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336560)

Considering 99% of all infected machines out there in userland are running some Microsoft product; Microsoft SHOULD be taxed for each and every one of them, It is fortunate we have such an industry leader as Microsoft, fessing up to their own damn foolishness and offering to make good.

Re:I totally agree (0, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336768)

A fully-patched Windows installation is mostly unhackable... it's the nuts who won't let Windows Update run that are the problem.

Re:I totally agree (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336894)

Just pointing out the parent said *unhackable,* not "uninfectable," or "invulnerable to social engineering," etc. And there's a solid point there, since the latest version of an OS is often difficult to compromise without user complicity, even if it's unknowing complicity.

Re:I totally agree (2, Interesting)

Jeng (926980) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337058)

Cause Microsoft never let a zero-day exploit just sit around till they felt like patching it?

Sometimes they can be goaded into releasing a patch early.

Yes, most infections are for an exploit that is already patched, but not always.

Re:I totally agree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336892)

Brilliant! I mean, if I were Microsoft and forced to pay a tax for infected machines, I'd be pushing updates 5, maybe 6 times a day to try to prevent it. And just to make sure they install correctly, I'd force a restart on every one. Yeah, that'll keep the infections down.

Re:I totally agree (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336948)

You do realize that the proposed tax will just be passed along to the consumer, right?

I'm paying for WHAT? (3, Insightful)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336564)

Does this mean that clueful people with secure computers are going to be required to pay to help clueless people with insecure computers?

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336638)

z"Does this mean that clueful people with secure computers are going to be required to pay to help clueless people with insecure computers?"

Yep, just like the govt. healthcare 'reform' coming up...wants you to pay for Jerome and Debbie Public down the block who can't seem to understand contraception, exercise, food that isn't fast food, and that smoking is bad for you.

You might do things the right way...but the govt. is wanting you to also pony up for those that don't know or won't do the right things in life...and to save them from their own ignorance/stupidity.

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336848)

Yep, just like the govt. healthcare 'reform' coming up...wants you to pay for Jerome and Debbie Public down the block who can't seem to understand contraception, exercise, food that isn't fast food, and that smoking is bad for you

Do you have a source for this? I don't believe it is at all true.

The only thing even being considered at the moment is an individual mandate to buy insurance. It's total bullshit to anyone who doesn't own a health insurance company, but not because of the fictional situation you described.

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31337008)

"Does this mean that clueful people with secure computers are going to be required to pay to help clueless people with insecure computers?"

Yep, just like the govt. healthcare 'reform' coming up...wants you to pay for Jerome and Debbie Public down the block who can't seem to understand contraception, exercise, food that isn't fast food, and that smoking is bad for you.

You might do things the right way...but the govt. is wanting you to also pony up for those that don't know or won't do the right things in life...and to save them from their own ignorance/stupidity.

You're mistaken. You're paying for your health care services that you'll either take advantage of when needed or use down the road in the case need arises, instead of paying the lump sum then, eventually you will need it and will pay out. I strongly feel that most tax dollars (whether for Health Care or Internet), can certainly be used incorrectly, but public options should make sure that Health care providers make the Tax money worth while. Right now most Hospitals are Hotels with bandages, and your service isn't guaranteed.

I can only imagine a Microsoft representative spouting this because they would be involved in the policy making and if their software offers built in security, they would be paid as well. As for ISPs, most have the option and charge you for it now. I can only imagine what they would do if they were paid for in tax dollars. They'd probably hike the price anyway.

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (2, Funny)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336640)

Don't you love the government?

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336732)

Everyone benefits from an internet largely free of infected machines. Just as everyone benefits from an educated and healthy society.

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (5, Interesting)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336860)

But I DON'T benefit from an educated and healthy society! Have you seen our society? It's only healthy and educated by society's standards. But not MINE. Fuck you and your Internet tax I know how to freshly install a damn operating system when I need to.

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336988)

Everyone benefits from an internet largely free of infected machines. Just as everyone benefits from an educated and healthy society.

Baloney. Only *******s benefit from an educated and healthy society. *******s benefit from the alternative.

And yes, asterisks benefit from self-censors.

(Go on, count them to figure out whether you're offended.)

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (2, Informative)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336800)

Paying for someone else's fuck up. A lot of that going around these days.

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (3, Insightful)

cheddarlump (834186) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336808)

Why are you surprised? Those of us that work hard and succeed are taxed more to pay for the lazy, those of us who pay our medical bills are paying for those that receive ER care for free, and my property taxes are paying for a failed school system that I wouldn't let my kid set foot in. It was only a matter of time before somebody figured out a politically sell-able way to tax those that are ignorant about security online. Just wait, I would bet my right testicle that eventually there would be an add-on that helps compensate companies for lost "revenue" due to piracy which would require a slight rise in the "online safety" tax..

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (1)

ComputerGeek01 (1182793) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336844)

Yes, didn't you read the blurb? You can't read the article maybe because the host site didn't pay the taxes for the infections their Ads are causing. We are trying to solve a non-issue by adding an unnecessary tax to a thing (The Internet) because that is what we do for a broken system (Our Health Care). Even having this meeting is possibly the most back-assward thing the Obama Administration has done.

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (1)

Spectre (1685) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336858)

Usually, we already do. No matter how many "No, I won't effing fix your computer" T-shirts you own and wear, you still end up removing root-kits, eliminating spyware, and fixing damage done by the bits of malware for friends, relatives, or whoever. 'cause you "know about that stuff".

I already pay, I don't need to be "taxed". Hell, I could use the excuse "I gave at the office" too ...

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336896)

Dear Thinboy,

We acknowledge your concern about the new Net Tax proposal, and would like to take a few moments to clarify our thoughts with you and other Microsoft product users. It has come to our understanding that there are many bad things on the internet. As you can tell from the last two decades, we here have been completely incapable at stopping these threats from manifesting. As such, our competitors are doing better and our profits are down. This usually means smaller bonuses for us in the Vice Presidency positions.

In order to keep our yachts and mercedes, I have come up with a new way to get money flowing back into our accounts, via the legal system. This means that we can take your money, without question, and that not doing so will be punishable by law. I hope this clears up any confusing misconceptions you may have had.

Thank you for your continued support,

-Microsoft Vice Presidents Committee

Re:I'm paying for WHAT? (0)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336972)

That is how society works in general.

Tax Microsoft operating systems (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336580)

A special "insecure software" levy on software responsible for more than 10% of "owned" machines on the net would be more appropriate.

Re:Tax Microsoft operating systems (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336902)

Yes. While users are one of the larger security issues, certain pieces of software have just as much potential to cause problems. Make the user pay extra for software that's inherently insecure? Hell yeah!

Deal. (1, Flamebait)

Whispers_in_the_dark (560817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336582)

Microsoft should get taxed every time one of their crappy products lets in yet another piece of malware.

Re:Deal. (0)

dave562 (969951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337048)

That sounds like a losing proposition. Most malware developers are looking at alternative vectors into the system because the core OS has been pretty well hardened.

It is time to get serious (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336606)

Spend whatever it takes to find those that are behind the problem. Then kill them. Then start on the scammers that target the elderly.

Re:It is time to get serious (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336812)

"start on the scammers that target the elderly"


I doubt that the GOP would get behind that platform...

Why should the we pay? (0, Redundant)

crustymonkey (731497) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336632)

I don't use Microsoft products. Why in the hell should I pay for the standard idiot who can't help but click on the "super-awesome-porn.exe" attachment in Outlook? This isn't like the medical industry at all. You can't prevent a lot of the things that happen to you healthwise, whereas a computer "infection" is 100% preventable. This is just another case of punishing the intelligent. This is also a classic example of a shitty corporation (Microsoft) trying to redirect their monetary responsibility of making quality software onto the general public. Complete bullshit is what this is.

In other words, (4, Insightful)

overshoot (39700) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336664)

Get the rest of us to underwrite cleaning up after Microsoft's sloppy software.

It's not so much the principle of the thing as it is writing into law Microsoft's PR message that bugs in their software are "Computer Problems" or "Internet Problems."

On the other hand, if the charges were discounted for running non-MS systems, I might change my mind.

Re:In other words, (4, Interesting)

HalfFlat (121672) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336958)

Thanks to Microsoft, the typical computer user believes that sporadic crashing is unavoidable, machines and programs must be restarted periodically if they are to maintain efficiency, and that the threat of viruses is the price paid for the convenience of email. It has come to the point that recently, when trying to explain that it was important for long-running (scientific number-crunching) code to be careful about memory management, the people I was talking to refused to believe it was possible that a program could run for over a week without slowing down. Trying to convince people that the overhead of ECC in cost and speed for computers destined for number crunching is worthwhile is hard when they believe crashes and instability are as manageable and predictable as bad weather.

Remember the days of breathless warnings about emails, which if read, would destroy your computer? And how Microsoft made the dream come true?

I should not be surprised at the gall of Microsoft to suggest that this world-wide problem, born from their neglect and short-sightedness, should be addressed with public money.

Like all new government programs (4, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336674)

1. Start a new program
2. Institute a new tax
3. Collect the tax, but don't put it in a lockbox.
4. Taxes are thrown into the general fund, where they're used to buy favors from senators and congressmen.
5. Program has no funding, is cut back and made useless except for an overpaid bureaucracy that does nothing.
6. When fiscal conservatives propose scrapping the program, they are instead blamed for the shortfall and taxes are raised to "fix" it.
7. Repeat from step 3.

I see how this works (5, Interesting)

SoTerrified (660807) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336714)

Police: "This is a fine store you have here"

Shop Owner: "Yes, I'm quite proud of it."

P: "It would be a shame if something happened to your store... But for only 20% of your gross, we could protect it."

SO: "But, I have no crime in my store. I have state of the art security cameras, proximity alarms, private security guards. I've spared no expense and made sure my store is secure"

P: "True, but you see there's another shop down the street and it gets broken into every week. Someone has to pay for that."

Sure, Why not (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336716)

Majority of the infected machines run MS software. Let MS pay one quarter of their revenue as the tax. This helps everybody in the world. Follow Bill Gates MS and do good to the world like him

Silly Microsoft (1)

Jonesy69 (904924) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336722)

What, are they TRYING to piss off their shareholders? I've never heard of anybody who wants to essentially tax themselves...

Fix health care first you FUCKER (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336730)

I don't know about anyone else here, but I would be livid if where I lived I was taxed to disinfect computers while healthcare was a mess.

Tax rebate (1)

TheSimkin (639033) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336736)

For running not running windows? or tax surcharge for running windows?

why not a fine instead (4, Insightful)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336748)

Why is it if you drive a car that's unsafe to operate and something happens, nobody thinks twice about the fact that it's the owner's responsibility and when they are hit with a fine everyone just nods, but if it's a computer that's in poor condition (ie: infected), it's an issue that the community must bear to clean up. I realize that not everyone is technically adept and able maintain their machines adequately themselves, but I don't want to pay for them. They can hire someone to maintain their machines for them, much like most people do for their cars now, and perhaps the fine could be waved or reduced if they prove that they were current on their maintenance and somehow still got hit. Hell, it'd be a potentially decent revenue stream for repair-shops and even ISPs that want to offer some kind of maintenance package.

Of course, the problem here is that people don't feel they should pay for anything to do with a computer other than the price-tag they see when they go to BestBuy. They'll scream blue-murder if they're told that they actually have a responsibility, both financially and in how they operate their machine. Most people want to treat a computer the way they do their microwave oven, buy it, and if it breaks, replace it, but never, ever have to spend any time or money on maintenance.

Shove it. (2, Informative)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336760)

Or they could take their brilliant little plan and shove it. Then I will have to take care of my own security. I know it sounds impossible for a simpleton like myself to accomplish, but I'm sure I'll manage somehow.

Why blame Microsoft? (1)

NEDHead (1651195) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336766)

Why don't we focus on the bad guys. None of the Microsoft, or Adobe, or any other, software imperfections are a criminal problem until some ass tries to steal something using it. It's like blaming a car maker for a hit & run accident. Blame the criminals!

Re:Why blame Microsoft? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336836)

No, this is more like blaming a car maker who does not put brakes in the car for a hit and run.

Re:Why blame Microsoft? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336906)

People are rightly showing their concern and upset at this because it's because Microsoft floating the idea of using a tax on everyone to "fix" their products weaknesses rather than them actually fixing the loopholes themselves, not that everyone loves those taking advantage of those chinks in the armor.

Re:Why blame Microsoft? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336956)

So if your car doesn't have a working lock, you don't blame the car manufacturer?

So long as I get a tax credit (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336818)

I support it if I get a tax credit for not having any windows machines.

too big to succeed (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336840)

when you've become so big that you can viably get the government to forcibly extract money from people to facilitate you keeping your market share

WTF? (3, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336842)

Approach the problem of dealing with malware infections like the healthcare industry, and consider using 'general taxation' to pay for inspection and quarantine.

First off, there are two separate issues, one is that anyone can get sick, and in general, only badly configured -Windows- machines get malware. Yes, you -can- make Mac/Linux malware but other than a few isolated issues they aren't big deals.

Secondly, the computer industry and the internet should not be taxed! I don't mind paying for -some- taxes because I get benefits because of it, defense, roads, etc. But what positive government involvement in the internet has occurred post-1990? Other than trying to regulate it, crushing internet freedoms and privacy the government hasn't done shit.

Taxes should be akin to buying something in the store, you pay money, you get benefits. I pay taxes, I get protection, freedom to bear arms, unrestricted freedom of expression, etc. Just like I pay $200 and get a new Wii console.

Unfair characterisation (1)

Eth1csGrad1ent (1175557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336854)

FTS -

Approach the problem of dealing with malware infections like the healthcare industry...

I know most healthcare systems are BAD, but classifying them as malware is going a little far, isn't it ?

I have a better idea (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336856)

Now that we are in the business of popping out silly ideas, then why not hold commercial software accountable for their own security bugs in their products and make them liable to civil damages. All engineering fields have that, why not IT? If we need to solve a problem then we impose incentives to eliminate it. No one will ever eliminate a security problem by subsidizing an industry which relies on security problems for it's livelihood.

But I already paid the tax... (1)

brianwells (809913) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336868)

... I bought a Mac.

Others I know paid the tax by installing Linux instead of using the Windows OS that shipped with their computer.

If they want to add a tax, perhaps they should refund those of us who do not use Windows.

Re:But I already paid the tax... (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337044)

You don't think that Macs and Linux machines are unhackable, do you? It's just that XP was so easy to hack, and had such a huge market share, that you'd be foolish to hack other systems.

no tax - accountability (1)

bingbong (115802) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336890)

I would prefer that software vendors be held accountable for their products. Every other industry is.

Though this is what former Cyber Security Czar Richard Clarke said at Blackhat in Vegas around 2003, and well... look what happened to his career after that.

Last I Knew (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31336918)

Internet was not a basic subsitance... nuff said.

Why am I not surprised? (1)

hotcorrado169 (1662993) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336920)

Microsoft would.

inspection and quarantine (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336938)

This via door to door searches?

Quarantine... (1)

Erinnys Tisiphone (1627695) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336950)

In today's healthcare system, one who pays for insurance can generally opt to go or not to go to the doctor if he or she is ill. However, if somebody is deemed extremely infectious or a harm to his/herself or others, there is precedent for authorities to force a person to accept treatment and quarantine. I think that people are less likely to address computer security concerns (particularly computers which are being used as bots to attack or spam others) than illness in their actual person. So what would be the end outcome? The potential that one's computer could be confiscated for cleaning? Certainly admirable from a security standpoint, but a gross violation of privacy and personal property as we know it today. This would take a tremendous rethinking of how critical our network infrastructure is to society and the liability of individuals for computer security. I personally would not want my computer removed from my home if I were to get an infection which I myself could clean within an hour or two. This opens the door to some interesting interpretations of the law and public defense.

I don't run anti-virus (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336954)

OK, I admit it's mostly an experiment for me to see what happens, but I also took offense to the endless popups from the McAfee software that was installed on my netbook when I purchased it.

I don't tend to read email on the machine so it's not too susceptable to a bad attachment. I do download OSS goodies like Gimp, but I tend to only get them from places I trust, like sourceforge. I do use windows update. So I'll find out in a year or so if I really should have used the anti-virus. I suspect that the machine is faster without it and quite frankly I don't think I felt that using it removed all risk from malware.

I operate the PC from behind a firewall so right now I suspect the biggest threat is from infected usb thumb drives.

Wordplay is no reasoning. (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 4 years ago | (#31336970)

We may *refer* to it as computer "care" and computer "health", but that doesn't mean it's anywhere near the importance of human healthcare. I think it's more in line with vehicle care than human health care and in that same vein, should we then have universal car repair? Computers are devices upon which we rely greatly.

There should be no universal tax for someone (oh, gee... maybe Microsoft?) to delve into our computer, stumbling across private information, all in the name of "health". If I can fix my own car without cost to anyone, if I can fix my own computer without cost to anyone, then I will do it.

I think the previous posters have it right: Tie an optional service to the ISP and call it a day. Have such a service provide regular scans and alerts. In severe cases, quarantine the computer. But it should ALL be optional.

Re:Wordplay is no reasoning. (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337000)

Apparently, I forgot some words: "Computers are devices upon which we rely greatly, but not so much as our bodies and as such it follows that they don't require the same universal care."

Dear Microsoft Fuckwad: (3, Insightful)

Chris Tucker (302549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337028)

I run Mac OS X, you insensitive clod! Why should I pay to clean up YOUR CRAPPY OS?

Hey, here's an idea: Why not fix WINDOWS so it's not such promiscuous virus/trojan/worm whore?

who better to suggest a tax on computers (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 4 years ago | (#31337040)

And I'd bet that they are also offering to collect that tax and manage it and the "cleaning" process.

You know, Linux CDs are free. And, if our schools would get off their butts and realize their students would have an advantage if they were using and learning from open source software then there would also be a huge supply of cheap and eager youngsters ready to clean off the infected Windows botnets and install a version of GNU/Linux. No tax required. Oh wait, our gov and businesses are financially and secretly tied to Microsoft Windows so this kind of thing would also be a threat to them. Is this democracy at work or what.

And all you AC Microserfs can suck dry toast with your dumbass posts. flame on.

LoB
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