Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist
3 May 2004

Eric Lee makes an interesting argument – he suggests virus writers are targetting working class people (because they don’t have the money for anti-virus software and are less lilely to have the time to develop the experience or skills to avoid viruses). I can’t see that virus writers actually bear working class people any ill will but I do think it is worth pointing out viruses as one more reason why use of the Internet is less likely among the working class.

I disagree with his suggestion following on from this that unions and other service organizations should be promoting open source software to the working class as a way for them to avoid vulnerability to viruses. As I have “said earlier”:http://blog.org/archives/cat_open_source.html#000215 because it is still not fully user-friendly it may be difficult to train non-computer literate (or indeed semi-literate) people to use. I also worry about whether the basic skills Linux users learn will be useful if they enter the world of work where the environment is Windows.

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