Is A Security Check On A Gambling Site A Crime?

from the and-where-does-that-lead... dept

Interesting discussion from Mark Rasch over at Security Focus about the efforts by US government officials to go after anyone who somehow touches an online gambling company. He sets up the hypothetical situation of an American computer security consultant who is hired by a legal, registered in the Cayman Islands, casino that is trying to set up an online gambling operation. The security consultant does their usual tests, gets paid and flies back home. They haven’t broken any laws… or have they? According to Rasch, such a person is violating US law because the US often considers anything online to take place in the US – and, thus, that site is breaking US law, and the security consultant has broken the law as well by helping them out – even though all the actions are completely legal where they occurred. Of course, that’s a slippery slope – where anyone would need to make sure that the work they’re doing won’t ever be involved in a potentially illegal act. As Rasch writes, this could lead to a situation where a network administrator at Andersen gets in trouble because the copy of Norton Utilities they installed for someone at the firm is used to delete Enron documents. At what point does the law separate legal activities that are used in illegal acts, and how does it apply to various jurisdictions online?

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