Analysis of Symantec's stance on censorship

Monday, 22 September 2003, 4:52 PM EST

According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, Chief Operating Officer of Symantec, John Schwarz, was quoted as "calling for laws to make it a criminal offense to share information and tools online which could be used by malicious hackers and virus writers". If this is the official stance from Symantec, then I must say they can consider me an strong advocate of their competitors and a boycotter of their product line. Our country has a history of censorship blunders and what I call "censorship legislation" that has mucked up our legal system long enough and crippled the responsible citizens with little-to-no effect on actual crime. What's even scarier is that a VP from Symantec was recently named the Dept. of Homeland Defense's Cybersecurity director, putting friends of Symantec in high places where this legislation could actually become a reality. This short article will take a look at the negative effects of the censorship legislation backed by the COO of Symantec and also a couple of recent examples of "censorship legislation" ... and what little effect it has had on criminals, while having a substantial effect on responsible citizens. I can only draw one of two conclusions about Mr. Schwarz based on this stance. In my opinion, he is either completely ignorant of the effects of this type of legislation, or he is an avid supporter of weakening American infrastructure, American jobs, and the US Constitution.

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