Idiotic Quote o’ the Week (pat. pending)

So far, anyway.

A Tuesday New York Times piece reported that 14 Anonymous hackers were arrested last week for “being part of a criminal conspiracy to damage the Web site of PayPal, the online payment company owned by eBay, which announced last December that it would stop processing donations for WikiLeaks after it exposed classified government information:”

In defense of the suspected hackers, Eugene H. Spafford, a computer security profesor at Purdue University, told the Times:

“This was kind of the equivalent of a spontaneous street protest, where they may have been throwing rocks through windows but never thought that was against the law or hurting anybody.”

Really? Throwing rocks through windows isn’t against the law and doesn’t hurt anybody?

The hardworking staff is not signing up for Prof. Spafford’s courses anytime soon.

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8 Responses to Idiotic Quote o’ the Week (pat. pending)

  1. Steve Stein says:

    Eugene H. Spafford, a computer security professor at Purdue University, was not convinced that the arrests last week would serve as a deterrent. Rather, he said, it could prompt others to be more careful in the future and even prompt retaliatory strikes.

    “A whole bunch of people were angry, they didn’t really think about whether it was legal or not. It never entered their minds,” Professor Spafford said. “This was kind of the equivalent of a spontaneous street protest, where they may have been throwing rocks through windows but never thought that was against the law or hurting anybody.”

    Spaf wasn’t saying HE thought throwing rocks and breaking windows wasn’t against the law. He was referring to the state of mind of the spontaneous street protesters. He was trying to explain his view of what might be an effective response to the hacking.

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      Sorry, Steve – to posit that ANYONE could think throwing rocks through windows is legal and harmless is . . . idiotic.

      • Steve Stein says:

        Read it again, John. Spaf NEVER says that anyone thought it was legal or harmless.
        He’s positing that no thinking was going on at all.

      • Campaign Outsider says:

        Sorry, Steve – just don’t read it that way. (Spaf? You know this guy?)

  2. Steve Stein says:

    Of course I know (of) this guy – he’s Spaf. This thing we play with called the Internet – he was there when it was just Usenet.

    When he speaks, you should listen. At least when he speaks of net-related or security-related things – maybe not about the mentation of mobs.

    You might even want to take one of his courses.

  3. Steve Stein says:

    Huh, the link didn’t come across in my previous post.
    Here’s a Spaf overview: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_Spafford

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