Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Software Liability Laws from an Alternate Universe...

I wrote this nearly one year ago, and decided not to post at the time. In light of recent events, including the refusal of a Breath-a-lyzer appliance manufacturer to provide source code as required by law, I will now step out on a limb, probably really annoy some people, maybe everyone and post...


The ten alternate by-laws:

1. If your operating system cannot either detect or prevent a bad guy from running his program on your computer, it is badly written, and you've purchased defective software.

2. If operating system software requires monthly patches in order to correct security issues identified by former (and current) bad guys, you've purchased defective software.

3. If operating system software contains no native anti-virus or other malware prevention features in its fourth of fifth iteration in fifteen or twenty years, you've purchased defective software.

4. Talking about trustworthy computing at trade shows does not make defective software non-defective. Or trustworthy.

5. If operating system software is designed so that popular anti-virus and anti-malware programs can't be installed with crashing the operating system, you've purchased defective software.

6. Grafting an internet browser to an operating system is like grafting a leg onto your head.

7. Creating an impression that walking around with a leg grafted onto your head makes you run better does not make you run better.

8. If an operating system is defective and subject to an exploit in a computer at home, it is more than likely to be equally defective and subject to same when ported to a mobile device.

9. Case hardening defective operating system software in a FIPS enclosure does not make the operating system software non-defective, but it probably does a great job at protecting defective software.

10. A thirty day programming hiatus is never sufficient to correct security vulnerabilities in various operating systems containing millions of lines of code.

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