DeCSS Really Is Terrorware!

Fake News written by James Baughn on Wednesday, May 2, 2001

from the bet-you-didn't-see-that-one-coming dept.

A lawyer for the US Government argued in court that DeCSS is just like "software programs that shut down navigational programs in airplanes or smoke detectors in hotels."

You can stop laughing now. After some extensive research by the Humorix Vast Spy Network(tm), we were able to uncover an incident in a which a plane crashed and a hotel caught fire because of DeCSS.

On October 13, 2000, a computer hacker named Eric boarded Flight 1024, bound for Miami, Florida. Eric was scheduled the give a presentation entitled "Microsoft Windows: Unsafe At Any Clock Speed" to the local Linux User Group the next day.

After extensive delays, the plane finally took off. Faced with boredom and a horrible in-flight movie (Star Trek XXXII: Where No Product Placement Has Gone Before), Eric decided to pull out his trusty laptop to watch a DVD.

Unfortunately, the laptop refused to boot into Windows, citing some kind of Registry Error. The hacker didn't feel like re-installing Windows, so he decided to boot into Linux and use DeCSS to play the DVD. As he got to a good point in the movie, the pilot announced that the plane would shortly land. The pilot added, "Please turn off all electronic devices until we come to a full and complete stop at the terminal."

The hacker was too engrossed in the movie to notice the landing. Moreover, the flight attendants were too busy taking care of a belligerent passenger in Row 24 suffering from "Air Rage" to notice that the hacker was (oh the horror!) using an electronic device during landing.

As you can imagine, the plane's navigation system was designed in such a way that even the slightest interference would cause it to go ballistic. The plane crashed.

And where did it crash? The Worst Eastern Hotel located just next to the airport.

And it set off a fire.

And the hotel's fire alarm system failed to go off.

At the time, the hotel's manager had been in the back office watching a DVD movie on his computer using DeCSS. While getting up to go grab a cup of coffee from the hotel's Starbucks, he tripped over the power cord connected to the server that controlled the hotel's fire alarm system. It was at this instant that the plane crashed into the roof of the hotel.

Oops.

Thankfully, the lack of fire alarms didn't matter, since everybody could hear the plane crash into the roof. Indeed, the fire klaxons would have been more of an annoyance than anything by distracting the hotel customers as they tried to escape.

Nevertheless, it was the "terrorware" known as DeCSS that was responsible for the plane crash and the lack of fire alarms, just as the Government lawyers argued in court.

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