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IP: Re: Another take on Microsoft-specific worms from Poor Richard
From: Dave Farber <farber () cis upenn edu>
Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 11:05:15 -0400



I agree with Gene djf

Date: Mon, 29 May 2000 09:51:52 -0500
To: farber () cis upenn edu
From: Gene Spafford <spaf () cerias purdue edu>

At 10:24 AM -0400 5/29/00, Dave Farber wrote:
From: Poor Richard

more to the point: poor richard regrets to inform the offended digerati that
microsoft is selling products that consumers want to buy.

Well, the tobacco companies are selling products that consumers want to 
buy (in fact, are compelled to buy after making an initial purchase.  Hmm, 
more parallels)   However, does that make the tobacco companies less 
culpable for selling a product they know to be dangerous?  Does it matter 
that the consumers shell out money willingly for the product?  (Even those 
who have some idea of the danger believe they have no control or choice?)

There is a fundamental question involved in the area of informed 
consent.   If the consumers actually understood the technology and the 
risks posed by their choices, and if they actually were able to make an 
unconstrained choise, would they make the purchases?   If not, there is a 
moral (and potentially, legal) obligation for the vendor to make wise 
decisions on their behalf.

--spaf


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