April 10, 2012, 11:00 AM —
European Union pushes to stop the sale of hacking tools, law may turn security researchers into criminals.
Not every user of hacking software is a criminal, because researchers and consultants often use the same tools as hackers. How can you test security if you don't use the types of tools that the attackers use? But a pending law in the EU proposes a minimal five year stretch for hacking into a site or running a botnet.
Proponents still need some time to move the law along to a vote, giving security experts time to weigh in. But outlawing Wireshark and perhaps even the command line will catch far more white hat consultants and researchers than criminal hackers. The US may then decide to upgrade penalites in the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) to stay in step with the EU, which will hurt security research in the US as well.
If you ban something, then the law-abiding will not have it, but criminals, who by definition ignore and break laws, will also simply break the law to possess the item. Because they are criminals.
CommonSense033 on wired.com
Most programming tools would be banned if this law is adopted and taken seriously. Let's think about it. Is perl language a hacking tool? Is a debugger a cracking tool?
dali on afterdawn.com
Politicians really are too stupid to handle technologically related issues. They need to hand these sorts of decisions over to bodies of people who actually know what they're doing.
MustBeSaid on wired.com
Remember, with great programming tools comes great responsibility.