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  PC Advisor. 15:16 22 Jan 2003
  PC Advisor. 15:16 22 Jan 2003

Hi folks,

It's that time of the month again. A young Welshman by the name of Simon Vallor has been sent to jail for two years for writing email viruses.

How do you feel about this? Vote in our current poll and post more in depth comment here.

If your PC was infected by such a virus, would you be prepared to come forward and testify?

Are these cyber-criminals really so dangerous to society, or are they just frustrated misfits in desperate of a girlfriend?

  TLzook 15:29 22 Jan 2003

i have no sympathy for the idiots who write these things but the crime is that a virus can cause such damage due to crap operating systems riddled with security loopholes.
They are actualy pointing out the lack of r&d in software usually one big software giant in particular.

2 years seems excessive though, you dont jail a gunmaker when someone gets shot do you.

flame away ;-)

  nangadef 15:59 22 Jan 2003

Q1 - Yes
Q2 - Yes, think what they could do to an air traffic control system
Q3 - frustrated? yes, but probably because their talents are under-utilised by society

TLzook you don't jail a shopkeeper when someone pilfers either, so why are you trying to blame M.....?

  Elrond 16:16 22 Jan 2003

There's quite clearly something wrong with them if they get a kick out of messing loads of peoples computers up. It makes me wonder what there reaction would be if they got a virus and it rendered their virus writing capability useless. Sad sad people.

  watchful 16:25 22 Jan 2003

Q.1 - The sentence was about right - they should put their talents to better use.

Q.2 - Yes.

  BrianW 16:31 22 Jan 2003

At the minimum level virus writers can be equated to graphiti artists (a damned nuisance) but when they start destroying peoples data stores and, as nangadef points out, create safety hazards to the public at large, then their activities range from criminal damage through - in the extreme - to attempted murder (much as the idiots who put concrete slabs on railway lines to see what happens!). To argue that, because there are flaws in system security it is partly the system designers fault, is like saying you are partly responsible when somebody steals your car or burglarises you home - if you didn't have something they wanted then they wouldn't commit the crime. People carry out criminal activities because it satisfies a need in them. It is their choice and they should bear the consequences of their actions.

  TLzook 16:35 22 Jan 2003


All im saying is that if the product was more robust to attacks from virus's ? or hackers you would not have to download security patches etc.

if my shopkeeper left his doors open for all then i would!

  terminus 19:25 22 Jan 2003

People in any civilised society have to be responsible for their actions!

To blame the victim of the crime, for being vunerable?? (the lest said about that the better)

At 62 years of age, and 9 months on the internet I really feel sorry for all these frustated (kids)
its about time they grew up!

So if I offend any of the more liberal?

regards.T :)

  bremner 19:44 22 Jan 2003

This sentence must be seen as sending a message to others. In its self the sentence is harsh and disproportionate when compared to sentences handed down to crimes of violence and burglary.

As a comparison consider this.

18 months ago a 40 year old member of my family was attacked by a drunken yob in a Taxi office. He received 10 stitches in his head and was suffering nightmares until recently. The judge stated that it was an unprovoked attack on a total innocent victim. The assailant had a history of offending and was sentenced to a community curfew order for 6 months.

  Rtus 19:50 22 Jan 2003

I cant vote in the poll as there isn't a category (not harsh enough) As in my opinion it should have taken the public safety into account and a minimum 1st offence 5 yr sentence is then about right ..

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