Your death panel login has expired

Who knew? The 800-lb gorilla wants to be in charge of the delicate matter of computer health:

Microsoft is calling for infected PCs to be quarantined from the internet, with access denied unless they can produce a ‘health certificate’.

In a position paper published this week, Scott Charney, the company’s corporate vice president for trustworthy computing, argues that the world needs a common health policy that would prevent malware-infected machines from connecting to the internet.

“This approach involves implementing a global collective defense of internet health much like what we see in place today in the world of public health,” he explains.

I dunno. I’m more of a Darwinian in this matter: after your third $175 trip to Best Buy to fumigate your $400 PC because you clicked on some stupid-ass link, or some link sent you by a stupid ass, there’s at least a small chance that you’ll realize that you’re just not suited for this environment, and you can crawl back onto the sofa with the remote control and veg out in peace.

The usual “Buy a Mac” crowd will refrain from chiming in here, because they don’t want you either.

(Via SteveF at Daily Pundit, who observes: “It’s pretty rich for near-monopoly purveyors of crap to blame users for having crap.”)


  1. ak4mc »

    8 October 2010 · 12:25 pm

    I wouldn’t want to participate in the kind of fascist internet that makes anti-malware utilities unnecessary, just as i wouldn’t want to live in the kind of antiseptic world that makes my autoimmune system unnecessary.

    Besides, such a world only has to fail once to cause mass extinction. No thanks.

  2. fillyjonk »

    8 October 2010 · 1:07 pm

    Damn, if that happens, I’ll have to start chasing my neighbors’ cats around and gluing funny captions on them. And writing my own snarky comments for the bad celebrity photos in magazines.

  3. Mark Alger »

    9 October 2010 · 6:56 am

    That’s lawsuit bait. If they’re going to police the Net like that, they’re going to have to PROVE that computers ARE infected, with what, and notify the owner (who most times don’t or can’t know) and give them instructions on how to fix the problem.

    Currently, operators of spam RBLs are one step from being bankrupted by class action suits because they A) won’t tell you what evidence they have against you, B) don’t make any attempt to contact you, and C) peremptorily deny any forum for defense. They are, in short, in toritious interference with business communications. If they did something similar to telephone lines, they’d be making little ones out of big ones at Club Fed. And, frankly, I don’t see the difference.


  4. SteveF »

    10 October 2010 · 2:54 am

    The use of RBLs is voluntary. Individuals wishing to communicate may be inconvenienced, but the company as an entity chose to use the RBL.

    The closest equivalent I can think of for the telephone system is if someone, a company or a person, hired another company to screen calls. I don’t think a blocked caller has any grounds for a lawsuit if the screener is overzealous.

    None of which negates your assertion that RBL operators are being sued into bankruptcy. But that’s more a slam against the US court system than against RBLs. It’s also telling that the only lawsuits against RBL operators that I know about, or could find with a quick search, were by spammers.

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