Guy Who Helped Mod Cable Modems Arrested By The FBI
from the freedom-to-tinker? dept
What a world we live in: if you tinker too much with the electronic equipment you buy, you might get charged with a crime. That seems to be what happened to a guy in Oregon who helps mod cable modems. Now, clearly, some people can and do use modded cable modems to access cable service that they haven’t paid for, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons to hack your own hardware or to buy modded hardware. Just like unlocking a mobile phone should be perfectly legal, the same is true of unlocking a legally purchased cable modem. As the article linked above explains, most of the indictment seems to focus on the actions of others in this guy’s forums, which should lead to an easy Section 230 dismissal (as he shouldn’t be responsible for their actions). The only “questionable” issue for the guy is a request for certain information that could potentially have been used to gain unauthorized access — but that’s not evidence that he actually did so. All in all, this seems like an attempt to crack down on anyone interfering with artificial locks put on legally purchased hardware by the cable companies. And, if that’s the case, why is the FBI involved at all? Shouldn’t this just be a civil issue involving the cable companies?