I Love.... Enforcing the DOJ Remedy
May 2000

Looking ahead to the consequences of the DOJ victory over the Microsoft monopoly, the question arises: "But how do we *enforce* this thing?" I have the one and only answer that is guaranteed to work: VIRUSES.

The recent "I Love You" virus and its offspring "Joke" virus show clearly that Microsoft products are highly susceptible to virus attacks. Anonymous cretins sitting at inexpensive PCs in dark corners of the globe can bring Microsoft-based computer networks to their knees. Even the best security experts are beginning to look a little edgy as they are being forced into "repair mode" instead of "prevention mode".

The U.S. government could learn a lot from this escapade. Instead of spending a fortune on enforcement officers, inspectors, bureaucrats, and legal maneuvers, the DOJ simply needs to hire a couple dozen of the world's best virus makers and put them to work... targeting selected Microsoft products. Instead of random attacks designed as acts of vandalism, the DOJ and its "Net Force" could mount precise, coordinated virus attacks that specifically deactivate any Microsoft products that were not in compliance with the new regulations. No need for guns and tanks like at Waco; a coordinated global assault via carefully-engineered software bugs would be far more effective in quickly quarantining illegal products.

Some people may worry about government-produced computer viruses running amok. However, we take our children to have government-sponsored vaccines injected, and we rely on government-approved genetic engineering for more and more medical and agricultural products. This is not rocket science -- simply grab a copy of the illegal product, generate an image of its unique code footprint, and design a deactivation code. Then tell it to replicate and distribute itself at a reasonable, non-overloading rate throughout the Internet.

Nothing else that the DOJ could do would be fast enough, effective enough, or as reasonably priced. The alternative would be a team of crack commandos who visited office after office, home after home, deleting the illegal products. Nobody wants this, and we sure cannot afford this (in more ways than one). It is high time for the DOJ to get creative and learn to "fight fire with fire" -- or in this case, "fight code with code".

Most recent revision: May 15, 2000
Copyright © 2000, Tom Nadeau
All Rights Reserved.

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