Re: Nov. 20 Business Viewpoints Column, "Hail, Don't Jail, the Genius Behind the Virus," by Ira Flatow.
Flatow gives the "phone phreakers" and (reputed computer virus instigator Robert) Morris (Jr.) far more intellectual credit than they deserve. The only lesson these delinquents have to offer is that unusual intellect does not necessarily ensure good character nor one's ability to ascertain acceptable social conduct and professional ethics.
By his own account, Morris' "experiment" ran amok, so he isn't even a good computer scientist. Valid scientific analysis requires that the experiment be controlled and provide a means of examining test results. How then did Morris plan to quantify the extent of his mischief or qualify its virulence? Did he plan to acquire user IDs and passwords for all 6,000 infected systems?
There is little if any genius in destruction . . . genius is found in creativity and innovation. Unfortunately, there will always be parasites who vandalize mankind's innovation and technological creations.