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Science and Technology Law

2008

Vanderbilt University Law School

Information technology

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Opinionated Software, Meiring De Villiers Jan 2008

Opinionated Software, Meiring De Villiers

Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

Information security is an important and urgent priority in the computer systems of corporations, governments, and private users. Malevolent software, such as computer viruses and worms, constantly threatens the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of digital information. Virus detection software announces the presence of a virus in a program by issuing a virus alert. A virus alert presents two conflicting legal issues. A virus alert, as a statement on an issue of great public concern, merits protection under the First Amendment. The reputational interest of a plaintiff disparaged by a virus alert, on the other hand, merits protection under the law …