'Good' Worms and Human Rights

11 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2009

See all articles by John Aycock

John Aycock

University of Calgary

Alana Maurushat

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - UNSW Law & Justice

Date Written: March 17, 2009


The extent of Internet censorship in countries like China is regularly tested, but the testing methods used from within a censored country can entail risk for humans. A benevolent worm can be used for testing instead: the worm’s selfreplication, long the bane of suggested benevolent viruses and worms, is shown to be essential here. We describe the design of this benevolent worm, along with some other related applications for it. A full technical, ethical, and legal analysis is provided.

Disclaimer: the following paper discusses a novel type of computer worm. Release of such a worm, and possibly even its creation, could result in severe legal penalties. We do not advocate the creation and release of this worm, but present it here for research purposes only.

Keywords: computer law

Suggested Citation

Aycock, John and Maurushat, Alana, 'Good' Worms and Human Rights (March 17, 2009). ACM SIGCAS Computers & Society, Vol, 38, No. 1, pp. 28-39, March 2008, UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2009-6 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1412007

John Aycock

University of Calgary ( email )

Alberta T2N 1N4

Alana Maurushat (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) - UNSW Law & Justice ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052

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