When a bunch of important people meet at the White House to discuss a problem, chances are the problem is pretty big. Such is the case with botnets, the subject of a White House summit yesterday. Botnets are series of computers that are infected without their owners knowing it. Those computers, possibly your computer, are then used to send spam, relay stolen data — all sorts of bad stuff. Declan McCullagh writes for CNET and has this news about the war against botnets.
But Chris Hoofnagle of Berkeley’s Center for Law and Technology says you and me play a large role in fighting botnets. “The government has finally caught on to the idea that much of the problem resides in the private sector, but the private sector doesn’t want to clamp down too hard on its users. I mean, just imagine if your ISP started to annoy you about the security settings of your computer, you might try a different ISP or all those security settings might get in the way of you using the Internet, and then all of a sudden, you know, the Internet is no good for you. So, there is this balance between accepting responsibility for how one uses the Internet and ease of use.”