product liability (was 'we should all be uncomfortable with the extent... wrote:

Your analogy is flawed.

The question is, should Firestone be responsible for someone going around
slashing the tires? No they shouldn't.

No, but they should be held accountable for not making a product that will
last as long as expected (warrented) or that acts in a manner that causes
harm to a user who is not abusing the product (constantly blowing out at
speeds considered "normal" like 65).

Then why should Microsoft or any other software manufacturer be responsible
for the damage done by third parties?

Why not? 3rd parties (script kiddies) are no different than rocks on the
road: They are there; you can't get rid of them; they cause damage; and
products should be made with them in mind...

You could make the argument that Microsoft should have designed more
security into their products to prevent security breaches of this nature,
but you could also argue that Firestone should make their tires out of
kevlar to prevent people from slashing them.

Firestone (and most all other) tires *are* made with kevlar to give them
puncture resistance... They and other manufactures want to make tires
that will last x amount of miles or time on the road. They provide
treadwear ratings so you can compair against other makes and models.
And there are a jillion different tire makers out there that make
products of compairable quality that all can work with each other as
well so you don't have to buy 5 tires of the same make/model... And
there is a standard system for fitting tires onto rims.

We shouldn't hold the software manufacturers responsible, unless they
willingly and knowingly left the security flaw in place. We should hold
the programmers that release malicious code responsible.

If Microsoft (and other OS makers) had the same quality standards as
tire makers, we would see up-times of 3 to 10 years. (Or however long it
takes to use a computer to the equivilant amount of putting 100000 miles
on a tire...)

Oh, wait--VMS and UNIX boxes have already been known to stay up for that
long... =)

Should people sue all makers of screw, nails, and other puncturing devices
for selling things that can screw up tires?