Sony managers (i.e. Cyber Criminals) should go to jail.

1) Creator of Melissa Computer Virus Sentenced to 20 Months in Federal Prison
NEWARK – The New Jersey man accused of unleashing the “Melissa” computer virus in 1999, causing millions of dollars in damage and infecting untold numbers of computers and computer networks, was sentenced today to 20 months in federal prison, U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie and state Attorney General David Samson announced.
2) Pathogen Virus Perpetrator sentenced to 18 months in prison
On 15 November 1995, a judge sentenced Pile to 18 months in prison. The judge declared: “Those who seek to wreak mindless havoc on one of the vital tools of our age cannot expect lenient treatment.”
3) Sony installed spyware on the computers of anyone who simply inserted some of Sony music CDs into her Windows-based computer. Users were not informed of this installation. [Paradox: you buy the CD, you get the virus. At least Pathogen and Melissa were free!!!]
So simple question: if Melissa brought 20 yearsmonths in jail to his creator and Pathogen 18 yearsmonths, how many yearsmonths you think Sony managers should spend in jail?
And I don’t even want to believe that one of the world’s largest software and information technology companies, Computer Associates International Inc. says the truth. They claim that the antipirating software also secretly communicates with Sony over the Internet when listeners play the discs on computers that have an Internet connection. The software uses this connection to transmit the name of the CD being played to an office of Sony’s music division in Cary, N.C. The software also transmits the IP address of the listener’s computer, Computer Associates said, but not the name of the listener. But Sony can still use the data to create a profile of a listener’s music collection, according to Computer Associates. and confirming its new status, Computer Associates yesterday reclassified Sony’s software as spyware and will begin searching for and removing XCP with its anti-spyware software.
Sony says that’s not true and I believe Sony, that would be astonishingly criminal behaviour, just think about it for one second! No, that’s not even thinkable! I could not believe they would do this.
In the meantime, PcWorld reports that an Italian digital rights organisation has taken the first step toward possible criminal charges over the XCP software which, it was recently discovered, cloaks itself on users’ computers and communicates with Sony servers over the Internet. The group, calling itself the ALCEI-EFI (Association for Freedom in Electronic Interactive Communications – Electronic Frontiers Italy), filed a complaint (in Italian, babelfished) about Sony’s software with the head of Italy’s cyber-crime investigation unit, Colonel Umberto Rapetto of the Guardia di Finanza. The complaint alleges that XCP violates a number of Italy’s computer security laws by causing damage to users’ systems and by acting in the same way as malicious software, according to Andrea Monti, chair of the ALCEI-EFI. “What Sony did qualifies as a criminal offense under Italian law,” he said.
I hope Sony will be submerged by Legal investigations. Sony managers should start reading Cyber Criminals on Trial.
So what you can do? Of course stop buying anything related to Sony. Precise information can be found on Boycott Sony blog in which I just read this pearl:
Sony President of Global Digital Business Thomas Hesse dropped the most outrageous statement to date on their DRM nightmare during an NPR interview, in which he stated that “Most people, I think, don’t even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?” (…) Some day someone will write a marketing case study about what not to do and say when dealing with a customer revolt, and that statement will be its epigraph.
UPDATE: I miswrote “years of jails” instead of “months of jails” and this of course was a big mistake.

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