Badness is its own punishment

Certainly your parents, your religious institution and even your kindergarten teacher taught you that stealing is wrong and not to do it. Besides being wrong, stolen property just might have its own deadly poisonous back bite which ultimately kills the illegal grabber. If goodness is its own reward then badness is its own punishment. And that just might what have been at the core of Iran's widely reported problems with the delays in its nuclear program, mostly commonly blamed on ingenious computer worms speculates Spengler in the Asia Times.

As a rogue nation Iran steals big time, ignoring basic international laws of intellectual property, especially those from the US and Europe. And Iran blatantly steals one of the most integral items to society today, virtually everywhere--the software to run computers. And that is perhaps how Stuxnet infiltrated the computers running Iran's nuclear centrifuges. And everything else.

[M]uch of the Islamic Republic runs on pirated software. The programmers who apparently cracked Siemens' industrial control code to plant malware in Iran's nuclear facilities needed a high degree of sophistication. Most Iranian computers, though, run on stolen software obtained from public servers sponsored by the Iranian government. It would require far less effort to bring about a virtual shutdown of computation in Iran, and the collapse of the Iranian economy. The information technology apocalypse that the West feared on Y2K (the year 2000) is a real possibility.


Even the software that the Iranian authorities use to block Internet access is apparently stolen. Wikipedia reports, "The primary engine of Iran's censorship is the content-control software SmartFilter, developed by San Jose firm Secure Computing. However, Secure denies ever having sold the software to Iran, and alleges that Iran is illegally using the software without a license."

For all the Iranians know, every word-processing document and Power Point presentation in the country is loaded with malware created by hostile intelligence services

But the Iranians are an intelligent people, inheritors of an ancient, advanced civilization many Iranians are highly educated in the new technology. So, instead of stealing someone else's software, why don't Iranians write their own codes; why not train people to search for worms, malware?

Whoops! Caught in a bad web of their own making; Iranians get their their punishment.

But a software industry depends on such preconditions as enforceable patents.


A country that steals its software cannot build its own, even if the sort of individual who excels at software development wanted to live in Iran. Most of those who can, leave. A 2002 study reported that four out of five Iranians who received rewards in international science competitions subsequently left Iran;


In 2006, the International Monetary Fund noted that Iran had the worst brain drain of 90 countries surveyed.

Iran has so few skilled programmers that it could be that the security services do not have the capacity to distinguish sabotage from incompetence.

So, stymied by non functioning computers accelerating their societal decline what can Iran do? What will it do?

The only weapons on which Iran can rely are unguided missiles that require no electronic controls and simply shoot in the general direction of a target.

That target would be relatively close Israel.

And then Iran could and does fund raw terror at its ugliest.

Iran is likely to risk a demonstration of its power through Hezbollah. The more successful the cyber-war attack on Iran's nuclear capacities, therefore, the more dangerous becomes southern Lebanon.

So enjoy a bit of schadenfreude, the German word for enjoying another's problems, before worrying about a boxed in Iran, feeling it has nothing to lose, letting loose with a deadly barrage of deadly weapons at its perceived enemies and the risks this entails.

Badness is much more comforting.

No matter what, Iran continues to spread its evil.