Re: a holiday gift from Robert Morris


kovar@husc4.harvard.edu
10 Nov 88 02:43:49 GMT


In article <10791@dartvax.Dartmouth.EDU> matthews@eleazar.dartmouth.edu (Jim Matthews) writes:
>It is very easy in the aftermath of something like this to indulge in
>the devil theory of crime -- that all bad things must come from evil
>minds. The more you find out about rtm I believe the more you will find
>he has in common with the people criticizing his behavior. He has done
>significant work in computer security, including warning people for
>years about the security holes that made the worm possible. He has
>worked as a sysadmin for an arpanet host. He is a serious student of
>computer science and was making contributions to the field at an age
>when most of us were trying to learn Pascal. He's also one hell of a
>great guy, and no one seems more appalled by the effects of his actions
>than he is.

>We can argue about the advisability of what he did, but I urge you to
>resist the temptation to pigeon-hole someone you don't know on the basis
>of fragmentary information.

>Jim Matthews

  I may be a really nice guy but if I, by accident, kill someone by driving
recklessly, the state of MA is going to toss me in jail for manslaughter.
And I'd expect as much. Nice people are just as responsible for their
actions as "evil" people. If we fail to prosecute someone just because
they appear to be nice, brilliant, et al, then what's to stop many others
from doing similar things and claiming "I'm just as nice as RTM! Let me
go."

  With the press holding RTM up on high many a hacker is going to say,
"This is how I get recognition! This is how I get a job!" And, surprise!,
it'll work. Set an example and set it before things get out of hand.
If at all possible, punish RTM to the fullest extent of the law. It may
be more than he deserves but unfortunately (?) someone must set the
example and show that such anti-social activities are not acceptable.

  Perhaps a suitable punishment, at least in this case, is just denying
RTM access to any systems that connect to any other systems. You pollute
our nest and we're going to toss you out of it.

-David Kovar
 Technical Consultant
 Harvard University



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