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The Economics of Executing Virus Writers

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the kill-9 dept.

The Courts 857

applemasker writes "Slate.com has an article titled Feed The Worms Who Write Worms to the Worms which argues based on economic theory (and somewhat tongue-in-cheek) that it is a 'better investment' to execute the creators of worms, virus and trojan authors, than murderers. Anyone who has tried to resurrect a network or computer after a nasty infection may agree. Although the author does not seriously argue for capital punishment for the script kiddies, it does raise some interesting issues about how much 'value' society puts on certain types of harm and the author's view of a government's role in protecting us from it."

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857 comments

Punishments go up, never down (5, Insightful)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266773)

Politicians love to associate their names with "get tough on crime" laws that raise the punishment for certain crimes... but you rarely here about anybody supporting lower sentances for crimes.

Is it just me, or is there an inflation effect hitting our criminal justice system as over time the punishments keep getting higher for the same crimes...

Humans keep living longer (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266849)

In the old days, you might die at 40 or 50, and now you can live on until you're 70 or 80. That means the old 30 year sentence for a 20 year old, which would've released him near the end of his life, isn't nearly as effective. He could get out of jail at 50 and commit a bunch more crime.

Re:Punishments go up, never down (4, Insightful)

Q Who (588741) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266926)

In other words, capital punishment was never abandoned anywhere?

Re:Punishments go up, never down (4, Insightful)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266931)

Is it just me, or is there an inflation effect hitting our criminal justice system as over time the punishments keep getting higher for the same crimes...

I wouldn't be surprised. Crime is always considered high by the populace, and the most obvious solution is always to increase the penalty. Not that it always works.

Personally, I think the most effective solution is to convince people that if they break such-and-such a law, they will get caught. Presently, most ways to back up that threat involve trampling on civil liberties.

Given the choice, I'd rather put up with the crime rate and have the option of protecting myself.

Let the heads roll (5, Funny)

treehouse (781426) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266777)

And spammers, and people who put spyware in the programs you buy, and companies which design operating systems so they won't run a competitor's apps, and company lawyers who keep you so busy fighting their lawsuits that you eventually just give in.

"They never would be missed, They never would be missed."

Abu Ghraib (2, Funny)

soloport (312487) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266895)

So why destroy Abu Ghraib prisons in Iraq? Seems like a worthy use of these facilities!

Re:Let the heads roll (5, Funny)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266950)

And peope who drive too slowly in the fast lane.

Along the same lines... (0, Flamebait)

EulerX07 (314098) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266780)

Wouldn't nuking Redmond be a better investment then killing worm writers?

Re:Along the same lines... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266874)


QUICK!
Somebody tell this to dubya!

There might be a use for the old boy yet if we tell him Redmond are terrorists.

Re:Along the same lines... (4, Funny)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266963)


"And then we nuke it from orbit; it's the only way to be sure..."

Re:Along the same lines... (3, Insightful)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266970)

Oh yeah, nuking the producers of the most-used OS on the planet would be brilliant.

This sort of joke isn't funny, its just demonstrative of an unhealthy vitrol towards Microsoft. Linux is great, no one is saying otherwise, but it has serious lackings. It lacks ease of use, unification, game support, hardware support, etc. Quit bitching [everyone] about Microsoft, and help develop a viable Linux solution to the home user desktop.

Actually... in a few years (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266782)

When someone develops a virus tuned to someone's DNA to kill them, then the virus writer is a murderer.

Right idea, wrong target (5, Insightful)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266785)

First, let's execute some spammers, _then_ we can move on to the virus & spyware folks. Viruses and worms only are a problem for one segment of the online population, spam has to be dealt with by all of us.

Re:Right idea, wrong target (4, Insightful)

moitz (65511) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266834)

Technically, murderers are only a problem for one segment of the population too...namely, the segment they're merrily killing off. Just because it's not you doesn't mean it's not a problem of concern.

-moitz-

Re:Right idea, wrong target (1)

augmenter (681324) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266866)

I agree to some extent but dont forget that spammers are just annoying little pests, while virus/spyware folks have a more malevolent purpose. It sure is annoying to get penis enlargement and online Phd ads, but at least you dont lose any data because of them.

Re:Right idea, wrong target (4, Insightful)

Kainaw (676073) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266914)

It sure is annoying to get penis enlargement and online Phd ads, but at least you dont lose any data because of them.

The truth is that many people are losing data because of spam. They aren't losing data that is already on their computer, but data they want to get in incoming emails. Many good emails are accidentally deleted by spam blockers as well as the human who is trying to quickly parse out the good from the bad. That is one of the rarely discussed spam problems.

*snerk* (3, Insightful)

Analise (782932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266786)

Well, there's a thought. Though some would say the punishment wouldn't really fit the crime. Unless a worm/virus/whanot caused someone's death because it screwed up the computer that ran air traffic control. Or, you know, something a bit less unlikely and somewhat more likely.

Kind of scary the process by which people can take anything and reduce it to a number somehow. That's probably why I hated statistics class.

Re:*snerk* (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266979)

Na, the primary reason si that viri writers arn't predominantly black

A Better solution... (4, Funny)

baudilus (665036) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266788)

They may not fear death. I'd suggest limiting them to 33.6 kbps internet connections. That's the real hell.

That's lenient... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266816)

Give them 1200 bps

Re:That's lenient... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266943)

Give them 1200 bps

Still too lenient. Make them use Linux.

Re:A Better solution... (1)

Jondor (55589) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266949)

Just trough out a pile of 1200/75 viditext modems.. But then again, that's probably a crime against humanity..

Re:A Better solution... (1)

14erCleaner (745600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266972)

And make them use Linux, since we all know Linux is immune to viruses and worms.

Re:A Better solution... (1)

kabocox (199019) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266983)

33.6 kbps? You want to really make them suffer, force them to use 1 KB per hour.

Simple (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266791)

Killing people is wrong. No matter who does it.

Re:Simple (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266826)

If it is so simple then tell me why? Now do it without invoking any religous doctrine.

Another Idea (1)

millahtime (710421) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266885)

Maybe a better punishment is to make them live in the hell they created. They have to spend all day working at computers running windows that are left unsecure and always being infected.

Re:Simple (1, Insightful)

goldspider (445116) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266965)

Rewarding murderers, rapists, and child molesters with a lifetime of food, shelter, and medical care at taxpayer expense is even more wrong.

traffic jams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266792)

I think along these lines each time I'm stuck in a traffic jam because of some bonehead. Makes me want to holler to the dipshit parked on a highway lane because they ran out of gas: "You just wasted the total sum of more people's time than 20 years of your life, asshole!"

Death by sand paper (2, Funny)

poutine514 (776744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266797)

I say first we take their fingers and toes, and rub them down with sandpaper, taking a break every 5 minutes to dip the stumps in salt. How can you program viruses if you have no fingers, you fucking script kiddy.

Re:Death by sand paper (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266825)

Script Kiddes dont program viruses. But since you sound so lame, you will get the treatment you just prescribed.

Pathetic fuck!

Re:Death by sand paper (1)

freeze128 (544774) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266901)

"Well, that sounds like a pretty good deal. But how about this: I give you 'the finger', and you give me my phone call?"

As long as we're making modest proposals... (2, Insightful)

dark404 (714846) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266798)

we should add spam to the list of capital crimes as far as wasting the world's time, resources, bandwidth, and money.

worms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266799)

worms will always be there whatever they try to do...

Wow (3, Insightful)

elwell642 (754833) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266801)

Tounge-in-cheek or not, this article is comparing a person's life to a dollar figure. Now, I'm as much a fan of cleaning out virii as anyone else, but that's just messed up. How much is a human life worth?

Re:Wow (1)

gavri (663286) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266857)

How much is a human life worth?

How much would you pay to eliminate a one-in-million chance that you would die today?

RTFA

Re:Wow (1)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266893)

How much is a human life worth?

Well, I know that one of those and three-fifty will get you a Starbucks Latte.

Re:Wow (1)

Exatron (124633) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266906)

About ten bucks a pound, probably less.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266925)

Put yourself up on Ebay and find out ^^

Re:Wow (2, Interesting)

baudilus (665036) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266929)

It kinda depends on how much someone is willing to accept for the act of killing you. Crackheads will take $5, so I guess the answer to your question is: Five Dollars.

Here's an interesting article [bovination.com] about the value of a life.

Re:Wow (5, Interesting)

Hayzeus (596826) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266936)

Tounge-in-cheek or not, this article is comparing a person's life to a dollar figure. Now, I'm as much a fan of cleaning out virii as anyone else, but that's just messed up. How much is a human life worth?

We perform this kind of calculus as a society all the time. When the national speed limit (in the US) was raised from 55mph, there was a predictable cost in human lives. In fact, the fact that we allow cars in the hands of private individuals at all has a steep cost in terms of human lives, and so we attempt to mitigate the cost to some extent with mandatory safetey features, license issuance, etc. The same can be said of alcohol and tobacco. The same kind of math goes on in wrongful death civil suits on a regular basis. Human life does indeed have some finite value, although that value seems to vary depending on the human or humans in question.

Re:Wow (4, Informative)

pclminion (145572) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266977)

Tounge-in-cheek or not, this article is comparing a person's life to a dollar figure. Now, I'm as much a fan of cleaning out virii as anyone else, but that's just messed up. How much is a human life worth?

According to the U.S. government, anywhere between $1 million and $6.3 million [tufts.edu] .

I seem to remember hearing that the U.S. military uses the value of $2 million per soldier. I can't verify that at the moment.

Re:Wow (4, Interesting)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266989)

Our legal system actually employs actuaries whose primary task is to compute the estimated earning potential and household work potential of a dead person based on what they had done at the time of their death and what statistics indicate what that person would have done in the future.

It's a sick job, but somebody's got to do it in civil cases involving a wrongful death finding in order for there to be a dollar value assigned to the verdict.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266992)

It said the approximate value right in the article...

Why the government? (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266802)

Does anybody actually believe the government will be able to do anything serious about this problem? For one, it's an international issue, and secondly, the technological arena in which the battle is fought changes far too quickly for most government agencies to adapt.

I say, follow Microsoft's example and put bounties out on these guys...

Re:Why the government? (1)

Julien Brub (727173) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266993)

I say, follow Microsoft's example and put bounties out on these guys...

Yeah... somehow we could make a living of it! Getting into these script-kiddy gangs, just like a secret agent infiltrating terrorist groups... and then some stoopid republican president will find a wat to take credit out of it, saying he, once again, made his homeland safer and blah, blah, blah...

FIRST POST!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266804)

FIRST POST!!!

While you're at it (5, Insightful)

Safety Cap (253500) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266807)

Execute the lazy/ignorant sysadmins and infrastructure guys who fail to keep their servers patched, have their firewalls set to "Allow all" and who leave the default passwords on their systems.

Wouldn't that be Aiding and Abetting? (2, Funny)

lecithin (745575) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266872)

Same punishment could apply.

Re:While you're at it (2, Informative)

tsheriffk (750882) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266995)

I have wasted the last two days fighting the nachi.b virus that has been running around in our network. I can tell you that the biggest problem we face is trying to convince the execs that it is in the best interest to lock down the computers more.. also, the fear of taking down users caused by conflicts with the ms patches and our application has been such a big fear that we have rolled the dice and prayed that tipping point catches and stops all these viruses..

All we need... (3, Insightful)

kneecarrot (646291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266809)

Slammer and SoBIG and some of the other viruses have been costly and damaging, but nowhere NEAR as costly and damaging as a virus could be.

As soon as there is a virus/trojan/etc. that spreads easily and is highly destructive (overwrites crucial hard drive sectors, for example) I think everyone will start seeing the punishment of virus writers in a whole new light.

They should do it (4, Funny)

MrRuslan (767128) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266813)

by putting them in a room with a bunch of spammers on penis enlargement pills and viagra.

Sure, Kill ALL the Worms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266814)

Start with the virus writers. Then go on to the bio-weapon developers. Next execute all mass murderers. How about people who design crappy electronics? Or force non-standard "industry standards" on those of us who are too enlightened to fall for the sales pitch. How about bureaucrats who waste billions of dollars on overpriced widgets? I know. I know. I know. Let's kill all the lawyers next. Ppfftt.

Re:Sure, Kill ALL the Worms (1)

Analise (782932) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266859)

Actually, we should put them all on a big spaceship and send them to colonize another planet somewhere.

Especially the lawyers.

:D

Re:Sure, Kill ALL the Worms (1)

Hiro Antagonist (310179) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266923)

Next execute all mass murderers.

Now that's a nice self-referencing loop.

Maybe... (1)

AdrianFletcher666 (783207) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266815)

We should just feed them worms, that should be punishment enough. While we are at it, why not feed the spammers SPAM?

Capital punishment is stupid (1)

ehiris (214677) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266819)

It's an easy way out for people like this [cnn.com] .

Re:Capital punishment is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266952)

*It's expensive(unless done in china style)

*It's final(people do make mistakes and it's proven many times that the system isn't perfect)

*It's easy for the ones that would 'deserve' it by any means.

Bad (2, Informative)

ThisNukes4u (752508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266823)

Any execution of anyone is a bad idea, no matter how much they "deserve" it.

Get yer... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266827)

...64-bit windows viruses [sarc.com] here!

why stop there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266835)

execute everyone

Feed them to THESE worms (1)

aardwolf204 (630780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266837)


I suggest feeding the worm writers to these worms [team17.com] .

Nothing like a worm with a bazooka

Re:Feed them to THESE worms (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266938)

The least you could do is link to the decent version of the game. WWP was shunned by the masses just like W3D was.

WA has recently been taken over by a Worms player, DeadCode. He has implemented so many new features and bug fixes this year that he is a God amongst Wormers.

wa.team17.com [team17.com]

Fan/League site that kept WA popular when Team17 abandoned it [cl2k.org]

Corporate malfeasance... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266839)

Execute bad CEOs first.

Why bother (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266843)

Just ban them from eating pizza and drinking coke, that'll be much worse

kill 'em all! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266844)

kill 'em all!

I dont judge a virus-writer as worse.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266846)

as a murderer. That is the most stupid thing I have read today.

redamndiculous (3, Insightful)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266848)

ok, if you are thinking about executing a person for writing a piece of malicious software (that didn't even cause any human harm), you need to step away from the computer, turn off the power, get out of your office and walk through the woods for a while.

and if you come back and tell me "financial harm is human harm" i say go back and walk through the woods some more. maybe read a book while you are out there... something that doesn't mention computers. Something by Emerson.

It says a lot.... (1)

benito27uk (646600) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266852)

About modern society when resurrecting a computer is considered to be as serious a crime as murder.

what is the value of damanage? (1)

archen (447353) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266853)

What is exactly the value of the damage. Is it the time lost, productivity lost, data lost? We see values like 5 billion dollars assigned to damage done by a virus, but who comes up with those figures and decides what is worth what?

And how about this: Why do we talk about executing virus writers, but don't talk about executing say - crooked polititans who ruin our country, or CEO's who destroy companies through their own incompetance/bad judgement.

Re:what is the value of damanage? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266922)

Can't agree more. Kenneth Lay and his ilk have destroyed the life's work (retirement savings) of thousands of people - yet it is "OK". In an economic sense, they commit mass murder and get away with it. There was a time when people like this would be "made to dissappear" - a good, quality hit man would cost much less than $1 per shareholder. Justice?

I somehow agree... (1)

Julien Brub (727173) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266862)

I'll agree with that, but only if the same punishment is given to spammers.

Is that a joke? I don't know...

worms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266863)

recursive worms eaten by worms eaten by worms...
recursive worms eaten by worms eaten by worms...
.

Worm food (1)

cyber_rigger (527103) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266868)

What about the companies that feed the worms?

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266869)

i like cake

Personally... (2, Funny)

D-Cypell (446534) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266875)

I think that it would be even better to execute the senior management at companies that release their software to the general public while it is still full of holes that can be exploited by authors of malcious code...

Infact... wasnt this what Tarintinos new flick is about... I havent seen it yet! ;o)

One of my oldest fantasies (1)

Creosote (33182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266880)

I'm not a violent person in real life, but back in the early days of spammers when I cared enough to post diatribes about them [virginia.edu] to Usenet, I used to have embarrassingly detailed daydreams about the treatment of spammers that I thought would make a good deterrent. They tended to involve graphic videotapes that would be distributed to media outlets. If there had been an organized anti-spammer Al Qaeda-like group back then, I would have been ripe for recruitment.

I do wonder, though, whether things would be different today if a couple of the early spammers had met with serious retribution instead of nothing worse than floods of unwanted magazine subscriptions ("Spam King" Jeff Slaton boasted he was building a rammed-earth house in Albuquerque using all the magazines that he was getting...)

Startling. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266882)

Microsoft's press wing advocates executing intelligent teenagers rather than writing secure software. Film at 11.

insanity (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266894)

i have actually seen a fair amount of similar sentiment - not always "tongue in cheek" - expressed, lately, on the net.

i can not believe that anyone, in their right mind, can seriously equate an action which causes a temporary inconvenience with one which causes a permanent end to a human life.

i find this trend very disturbing.

About 3.4 Million Dollars (1)

jafiwam (310805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266898)

About 3.4 million.

If one uses the airlines approach to safety as a guide, at the point where it costs them more than 3.4 million dollars in liability and litigation per person is what each person's life is worth. The number varies, but has been quoted on the Discovery Channel's "air disasters" tv show several times.

By that measure, any worm creator can have his economic impact translated into "if they'd murdered instead" numbers.

When damage estimates are in the billions... at a certain point even if the estimates are way wrong... you gotta figure the death penalty is not out of the question.

Seriously though, intent is a big portion of how severe the punishment is, thus the difference between manslaughter and first degree murder. the problem is these guys always have the "well I was just fooling around and didn't mean it" excuse to make them not seem so bad.

the problem with capital punishment... (3, Insightful)

hak1du (761835) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266899)

The problem with capital punishment are that (1) it's irreversible, and (2) it is dangerous to give governments that kind of power. The economic costs resulting from these two properties of capital punishment are probably enormous. The first means that you need a complex judiciary and review process (and, in fact, executions seem to be more expensive than life imprisonment). The second means that it creates a serious risk that governments become totalitarian.

I suspect the evidentiary situation for virus writers is even hazier than for your average murder, so capital punishment would, on balance, probably be worse.

Incidentally, there is an easy way to avoid paying a high cost for the effects of viruses: don't let them infect your systems in the first place. And that's easy: keep them patched and up-to-date. So, while virus writing isn't nice, I think people whose systems get infected are contributing to the damage through their negligence. By comparison, while stealing cars is illegal, if you leave your car unlocked and running with the key in the ignition and it gets stolen, you won't get much sympathy from either the police or your insurance company.

Other Inveresting Questions of Value (1)

PhyrricVictory (773671) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266912)

> it does raise some interesting issues about how much 'value' society puts on certain types of harm and the author's view of a government's role in protecting us from it. Someone robs a quick-e-mart, steals 200 bucks, and gets 10 years in prison for armed robbery. Someone robs a company of billions and little or nothing happens, maybe mansion arrest.

Why stop there? (1)

awhelan (781773) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266913)

expand this to the people who buy herbal viagra, the people who open the "official_paper_virus_not_found.scr" attachments, and anyone who clicks on a flashing banner because they're "visitor number 22194!"

Death costs more than life... (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266916)

Death penality opponents point out that under most state laws, a death sentance generates an automatic grounds for appeal and other safety measures to designed to lower the risk of executing an innocent person... therefore, it actually costs "the system" more to go through the execution process than it does to lock the person up in prison for life.

This article neglects the fact that a death penalty case spends more time in court than a typical case, which would impact the financial values the author is assigning.

Stupid Article (4, Insightful)

TheFlyingGoat (161967) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266917)

"Which would you rather have, the safety or the cash? Almost every American would take the cash; that's exactly what we learn from studies like Viscusi's."

This is just dumb. Perhaps if the monetary value were higher than the 83 cents they've calculated. They also fail to take into account that the safety increase is not just for that individual, but also for everyone they care about. So, would you rather have 83 cents, or the knowledge that you, your family, and friends are slightly safer?

Stupid, pointless article.

Grandma (3, Insightful)

J_Omega (709711) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266919)

I first laughed at the simple concept of it.

But what happens if a nasty worm/virus starts disrupting food transport, shredding hospital documents, places trains on the same track, open the doors in the CDC, route airplanes into skyscrapers?

A properly designed infection could wreak havoc, and kill hundreds, thousands?

I realize that I'm being overly dramatic, but there's probably a point where capital punishment WOULD be a justifiable answer.

Caveat Emptor (4, Interesting)

lsw (95027) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266927)


While reading the article, just bear in mind that Slate is owned and paid by Microsoft.

Crime and Punishment= (2, Insightful)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266934)

Want to eliminate certain types of crime?

Make the punishment so harsh, no one will want to commit said crime.

This either:

(a) Solves the problem

or

(b) Turns your country into a police state.

Which will it be?

so.. (2, Insightful)

radja (58949) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266935)

should we also execute fraudulent managers of big corporations?

The economics of executing liars.. (1, Flamebait)

deego (587575) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266937)

I think taking the whole western world to war on a lie wasted many more resources than did any spammer, and continues to do so.

Should that deserve an equivalent punishment?

Hackers! (1)

Spackler (223562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266941)


Hackers.

Kill em all, and let God sort it out!

Deterence is not measured in the ammount of money (2, Insightful)

ganhawk (703420) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266945)

saved. Capital punishment deters the ammount of people killed. You cant quntify that a life is worth 10 millions and argue based on that.

Just wrong (2, Insightful)

jb.hl.com (782137) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266955)

Capital punishment is inexcusable. Full stop.

Even tongue in cheek, it's just wrong to say that another person should die for writing computer viruses. It's also wrong to say that another person should die for killing someone.

Confiscate computers, not somebody's life.

on irc (2)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266956)

SK: d00d, I just got sentenced to death.
l4Mer: sux0r
SK: At least I'm going to die for something important.
l4Mer: I'll sell you one of my lives. PayPal me.

GAH! (2, Funny)

Xel'Naga (673728) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266957)

If we can effectively deter malicious hackers by cutting off their supply of Twinkies or crippling their EverQuest avatars, then there's no need to fry them.

I swear to god, if they nerf archery, I'll write a worm that'll bring the world to it's knees!

Xel'Naga

Hear Hear!!! (3, Interesting)

zulux (112259) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266962)

I tired of "white-collar" crime that ruins family, lives, and dreams getting such light punishment.

A ghetto-born man who kills a police officer gets executed.

A suburb-born CPA that ruins the retirements of thousands of families gets a slap on the
wrist.

It's not fair, just, or right.

How come (1)

Santana (103744) | more than 10 years ago | (#9266994)

How can killing people be better than educating them (do not open suspicious e-mails, do not download suspicious software, write better software, etc;)

You've got the wrong executee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9266999)

Starting one year from today, each major virus outbreak will result in the execution of one senior Microsoft executive selected at random.
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