The increasing frequency of computer virus infections and attacks by hackers around the Internet is a growing concern. The Web has remained largely open like the Wild West with very little policing of any kind. Microsoft wants to change all of this by suggesting an Internet tax that could help put some structure around the Web.
When Internet users catch a virus there is really no process in place to help quarantine the machine. Without a proper mitigation plan in place nasty Internet viruses can spread like wild fire. In real life, when a case of a serious virus infection is reported, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would storm in and quarantine the infected.
However, since there is no such organization in place for the Web, viruses usually tend to spread fairly easily. Microsoft has spent millions in patching Windows operating system on a constant basis. According to PC World, Microsoft is suggesting a new strategy to put some structure around fighting Web viruses.
Microsoft’s VP for Trustworthy Computer, Scott Charney recently stated that the IT industry needs to start thinking about leveraging “social solutions” against hackers. Charney also commented that the heath care model is a good example of how the industry can combat viruses and hackers.
He stated that with health care there are programs to not only educate but also to inspect and quarantine the sick. Charney believes that a similar model could work to fight computer viruses too. He stated, “You’re not just accepting it [virus] for yourself, you’re contaminating everyone around you.”
Of course the question is – who would be responsible and pay for the service? Charney believe that an Internet usage tax may help cover the cost of ISPs providing this service. He stated, “You could say it’s a public safety issue and do it with general taxation.”
It’s definitely a difficult proposition to raise as almost everyone cringes at the thought of another mandatory tax. However, with hackers getting smarter and no foundation to combat them, this may not be such a bad idea.