Epidemics, virus outbreaks, we want and try to stop them. We’ve seen their destructive capabilities throughout history: small pox, yellow fever, and more recently, swine flu. Often, the best way to slow and even stop an outbreak is through research, education, and enforcement.
At a meeting of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences on the Hill last week, Prof. Deirdre Mulligan of the University of California-Berkley analogized applying tactics used in preventing the spread of real world diseases to limiting the spread of viruses on computer systems, stating “We must manage the ‘disease’ in the computer system” much in the same way we manage diseases in the real world.
This analogy makes sense, but Prof. Mulligan was speaking to a room of House and Senate staff who might misinterpret the analogy to justify new laws instead of using exising laws to protect the common online good. Read more