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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/5604/causation-spam-and-worms/

Causation, Spam, and Worms

September 13, 2006 by

Hackers Jailed for Zotob Worm Attack provides an illustration of how the crime of trespass can be committed remotely by computer means, such as, in this case, by “creating and distributing the Zotob worm that squirmed through Windows 2000 networks in August 2005.” Likewise, as argued here, spam can also be considered to be a form of trespass against property rights.

But to view these as such requires a broader, less rigid, and more subtle theory of causation and responsibility, such as that discussed in my Causation and Aggression.

***

See also Eric Sinrod’s Trespass – An Ancient Legal Doctrine Gains Traction In Cyberspace.

{ 3 comments }

David C September 13, 2006 at 11:22 pm

Well, I didn’t have the time to digest the 100 pages. But being in the tech industry, and IMHO it is trespassing, but at the same time I think it is very important to understand that the solutions to these problems are not political nor legal, but social, technological, and economics.

In the big picture of things, I think we will be far better off in a world with spammers and hackers than in a world with a federally managed internet. These fines and sentences for spammers are a joke and they only catch the ones who are not smart enough to cover their tracks or opperate from distant juristictions. The fact that all governments would need far reach and tracking abilities everywhere to even consider making these laws effective should be an omnious warning.

Gideon September 14, 2006 at 11:46 am

I don’t really see this as trespassing.

While the idea of ‘visiting’ a website sounds nice, we must not forget that this is only a metaphor; It’s not a real visit.

Consider this: If you where to phone a company and would persuade an employee to send you the information you want did you then trespass on this employee? The same is true of computers. In the end, the internet is just another communication network.

It’s the responsibility of the owners to make sure that their computers don’t do stupid things when someone not authorised tells them to.

oregonnerd August 21, 2008 at 1:30 pm

Interesting, because I’ve once again begun pondering the concept(s) of good and evil, particularly with regard to causation. For some reason the various perspectives at the time concerning Jesus have occurred and recurred to me as exemplary. Social stability versus quicker reconsideration and potential upward mobility. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But I’m a masochist. Where and when does one draw lines, and with what sort of pen (which allows infinitely thing but utterly impermeable lines, and unchangeable yet adaptable definitions based on exclusion)? Is truth itself to be defined in terms of the accepted and that seen before–or in terms of moment-to-moment perception, with then the possibility of using experience to organize and interpret the perception utterly excluded?

How does one judge?
–Glenn (http://oregonnerd.wordpress.com/)

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