Canadian Journal of Law and Technology


Richard Owens


viruses and worms, malware, liability


Two aspects of the virus/worm liability problem are of particular note. The first is how tightly the Internet binds together many possible defendants; those who build and run it, those who populate it with increasingly complex electronic commerce Web sites, those who provide terminal software, those who send electronic mails, those who design its security algorithms, those who insure it, and those who hack it, amongst others.

The second aspect is how speculative such a review is. Little case law pertains. Even the language of the law(what does it really mean when we assess liability on the basis of a ‘‘trespass’’ in cyberspace?) sometimes obscures analysis.

This article, then, is a brief speculation on liabilities in Canada for the spread of viruses and worms.