Making The Internet Safe For Users, Unsafe For Microsoft

Fake News written by James Baughn on Thursday, July 4, 2002

from the turning-the-router-tables dept.

In a landmark agreement, thousands of script kiddies, warez d00dz, virus writers, illegal file traders, software pirates, identity thieves, and evil spammers have decided to take a hiatus and move to a more redeeming line of work, at least for a few years. The unexpected move comes in response to Microsoft's Palladium (pronounced "You're Screwed") initiative, which is designed to thwart illegal activities -- but also many legal activities.

"If the bad guys suddenly drop off the Net, then Microsoft no longer has a justification for Palladium. Why would consumers then fork over root access for their own computers to Microsoft for no reason?" explained one former script kiddie who, for the first time in years, is speaking in plain English.

While not everybody has signed off on the hiatus, the level of spam, denial of service attacks, virus infections, and other annoyances should drop considerably in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the amount of illegal file trading will also plummet (with the exception of RIAA executives posting fake songs to P2P networks), which will seriously frustrate those Congressmen who will no longer be able to push through the anti-Internet laws that Hollywood has already bought and paid for.

Several former crackers have already obtained more traditional jobs in the Real World, such as running pyramid schemes or becoming "financial experts" that receive payola to hype stocks like WorldCon or Endrun. "Not only do I make more money this way," said one ex-virus-writer who now practices insurance fraud, "But now I'm fighting to make the Net a more hostile place for Microsoft's world domination schemes." He then added, "Back when I wrote viruses, the only people that profited from my toil and trouble were the anti-virus software vendors. With folks like me now turning to more productive activities, these companies will quickly go out of business. Oh, darn!"

It's not clear who first proposed the idea of a voluntary halt of online criminal activity, but the plan quickly spread via IRC, Usenet, and email, and many people agreed without hesitation. "Microsoft is our number one enemy now," an ex-domain-name-hijacker said. "If Palladium comes to pass, the only thing we'll be able to do is hand over our money to Bill Gates -- everything else will require explicit authorization from Microsoft."

However, not everybody is convinced that Palladium represents the total elimination of online freedom. Argued one pundit, "Remember Xenix? Microsoft Profit? Bob? Chrome? If Microsoft could make software as good as they make vaporware, then Windows wouldn't suck and the world would be a much better place. Palladium is doomed to become yet another forgotten vaporous buzzword."

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