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Might Governments Clean-up Malware?

Author

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  • Richard CLAYTON

    (University of Cambridge)

Abstract

End-user computers that have become infected with malware are a danger to their owners and to the Internet as a whole. Effective action to clean-up these computers would be extremely desirable, yet the incentives conspire to dissuade ISPs (and others) from acting. This paper proposes a role for government in subsidising the cost of clean-up. The organisations that tender for the government contract will factor in not only the costs of the clean-up, but also the profits they can make from their new consumer relationships. A model is proposed for what the tender price should be – and, by plugging in plausible values, it is shown that the cost to the tax payer of a government scheme could be less than a dollar per person per year; well in line with other public health initiatives.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard CLAYTON, 2011. "Might Governments Clean-up Malware?," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(81), pages 87-104, 1st quart.
  • Handle: RePEc:idt:journl:cs8104
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    malware; cybersecurity; security economics;

    JEL classification:

    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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