Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Score Another one for Joe Q Blogger

Score another one for Joe Q. Blogger working hard to keep another company honest.

This time it was security researcher Mark Russinovich who first reported earlier this month that some of Sony's new music CDs were monkeying around with a Windows "rootkit", helping Sony to prevent copying of the music -- and opening up users' PCs to potential security leaks.

Information Week has a good piece on the news, including this stinging summary:

"Sony made an unpopular product decision and got its reputation incinerated by
waves of flaming bloggers. That's a lesson for other companies."

Sony indeed made a mistake when they tried to brush this off. Why not just take your lumps on day one. "We screwed up, we're pulling the CDs. And we'll make this right." That's the way to go. But during a Morning Edition interview on NPR on Nov. 4, the Sony exec interviewed tried to say that this problem was an esoteric technology thingy that the average person wouldn't care about. "Most people don't even know what a rootkit is so why should they care about it?, " he said. That arrogance hasn't played very well. Hundreds of bloggers have ripped Sony for this. Sony's users might not care about the details of a rootkit but they do care about privacy and their computer's security.

You'd think by now a company with the smarts of Sony would see the potential downside of trying to sneak one by. But oh, the bloggers are watching you...

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