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Microsoft exec suggests Internet tax to pay for cyber security

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How will we ever get a leg up on hackers who are infecting computers worldwide? Microsoft's security chief laid out several suggestions Tuesday, including a possible Internet usage tax to pay for the inspection and quarantine of machines. Today most hacked PCs run Microsoft's Windows operating system, and the company has invested millions in trying to fight the problem.

Microsoft recently used the U.S. court system to shut down the Waledac botnet, introducing a new tactic in the battle against hackers. Speaking at the RSA security conference in San Francisco, Microsoft Corporate Vice President for Trustworthy Computing Scott Charney said that the technology industry needs to think about more "social solutions." That means fighting the bad guys at several levels, he said. "Just like we do defense in depth in IT, we have to do defense in depth in [hacking] response."

"I actually think the health care model ... might be an interesting way to think about the problem," Charney said. So who would foot the bill? An Internet usage tax might be the way to go. "You could say it's a public safety issue and do it with general taxation," he said.

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