Crossing the line

Palin E-Mail Hacker Says It Was Easy | Threat Level from

Lessons to be learned.

Don’t have as your password resets information that is easily googled.

But there’s another fundamental question that one of the guys in the office hinted at today.  That of why do people do this in the first place.  Why do bad people consider this appropriate.  Yes I know that this is a naive statement but why does someone think this is okay?  Why is crossing the line considered normal?

I get this Google blog alert feature and today there was an unusual posting. a bunch of 1’s and 0’s.  And based on googling on what the site does it’s a bittorrent site.

So why does everyone think this is okay to do as well?  And I’m not just talking about what appears to be a bittorrent of SBS on the web, why does our online society look at the bittorrent, pirate bay sites and think that downloading what they are downloading is appropriate?  “Oh, but the Manufacturer charges us too much so it’s fair to download and copy it”.  What if I came to your house and stole the car you drive out of your garage.  Is that okay? 

Why is it that when it comes to someone doing something to us we’re outraged but when something is done to someone else, like accesing an email account that you shouldn’t that you don’t realize that you just crossed the line.  Or that downloading a something from a file sharing site is crossing the line as well?

Today on one of the SMB listserves there was another of this crossing the line incidents.  “It’s my right of free speech!  This is a free country.  I can do whatever I want” was the viewpoint put forth.  Sorry this country and this world comes with a price tag.  One of responsibility.  One where you realize that there are lines that should not be crossed.

I’m getting a bit tired that the online generation is crossing that line way too often.

Gawd, I’m getting old (1).  I’m sounding like my Mother.

(1) Yeah, yeah, Vlad.. make that “am old”. 

7 Thoughts on “Crossing the line

  1. Of course the car-theft metaphor fails in that you’d lose your precious Mini, but copying software takes nothing *from* anyone.

    Sure there’s the money angle, but this can’t be bought yet, which makes it more of a timing justification.

    In my instance, I’m tempted to look for that torrent because:
    * I’m scheduled for the 70-653 exam soon.
    * There is no available trial of SBS 2008 RTM to practice on (RC1 only).
    * My Action Pack subscription won’t deliver SBS 2008 until next month.

    Fortunately (or not), my exam is actually tomorrow, so there’s no use pursuing it. Hopefully RC1 and Microsoft’s docs are enough… (yknow, the ones perpetuating the 1 DC myth :>)

  2. If the software has a price tag, exactly how do you say it doesn’t take anything from anyone?

    RTM is on TechNet and MSDN. If you have even one client on SBS 2003+SA, they have TechNet Plus access (which means you do too)

  3. P.S. RC is not much different than RTM.

  4. Vlad probably says, “Anyone older than me is old!” A corollary to that is what I’ve told my kid: “Any one driving faster than me is speeding.” :-)

  5. Craig Carrigan on September 19, 2008 at 10:45 am said:

    You can’t, with a degree of 100% certainty, say that because someone downloaded something that the company lost money. In some instances the person who downloaded item XYZ would never have purchased it.

    That doesn’t make it right, certainly, but it’s not very much like stealing a car, and if it is like stealing money from a company I don’t think one can be sure.

  6. I’m not trying to defend piracy (the software-is-not-material-goods argument has been thrashed enough), just responding to the “why would someone think this is okay” question. Specifically, someone might think it’s okay if they plan on buying it, but want to trial RTM now and can’t. “Borrowing” your car is a little different :>

    Thanks for the reminder about customers’ SA & Technet Plus. I *can* do that, and probably will.

  7. That’s like saying that if I had a machine that could duplicate your mini it would not be stealing from the car company because they never had the duplicate in the first place.

    Although you could make this argument, I’ve made it myself in the past, which is “If I can’t afford to buy the product but I can make a copy then the company isn’t out any money because I would not have been able to buy it anyway.”

    Yeah, I know it’s a stupid argument.

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