Economic cost of the virus

Those wacky virus people have done it again. The virus (W32.Sobig.A@mm) has mutated into the virus (W32.Sobig.B@mm).

Ariella and I were chatting about this over lunch. She suggested that if the government simply bought the rights to distribute Norton Antivirus and legislated that it be installed on all computers, we could do the economy some good. Congress would probably be a little reluctant to write a check for $8 billion (back-of-the envelope calculation: ~200 million Windows PCs times $40 a copy), but it would probably pay off over the long term. The Slammer virus alone apparently cost $1.2 billion in lost productivity. And that was just in the first 5 days alone!

Think about it. The US Postal Service checks our snail mail for Anthrax. Why shouldn’t the government check our e-mail for viruses?

In the meantime, perhaps we should invest in some SYMC.

2 thoughts on “Economic cost of the virus”

  1. Good idea. In fact, while we’re legislating that our computers must run a particular government-sanctioned program, we might as well roll out some other programs with it to “protect our other freedoms”. Nobody wants copyright infringement, so we’ll go ahead and delete those illegal MP3s you accidently acquired (probably through viruses). And heck, China has shown us how easy it is to stop its citizens from viewing illegal material on the net. Toss up a filter to protect our liberties!

  2. hyperbole. I like it.

    maybe I went a little too far “legislating that it be installed on all windows PCs”.

    perhaps instead it should be like the $300 tax credit that president Bush gave us a couple of years ago. you get it by default, but you can choose not to use it if you don’t want it.

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