How To Get Arrested For Using Distributed.net
from the ridiculous dept
An article over at Salon about the David McOwen situation - in which he might go to jail for installing the distributed.net screensaver on computers at DeKalb college where he worked. If you don't know, distributed.net was the first major "distributed" computing program which is being used to try to solve encryption problems by using spare processing power when you're not using your computer. It's a pretty simple program (I used to have it running on a few of my computers). Since distributed.net became popular, tons of other distributed computing applications like SETI@home and others for solving medical problems have gotten lots of press. McOwen, though, was fired from his job because folks at DeKalb thought he had installed a "hacking tool". He resigned, and now he might face criminal charges, time in jail and a half a million dollar fine. Yes, it's absolutely ridiculous. I'm beginning to agree with people who think we need special courts to deal with legal cases involving technology.