Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

UK Thinking About Protecting Ethical Hackers

from the pointing-out-a-vulnerability-isn't-a-crime dept

There have been plenty of problems with laws that haven't even tried to distinguish between various types of computer break-ins. If someone is just trying to point out a vulnerability, do they deserve the same type of punishment as someone who breaks in, takes data and trashes a system? Some more tech savvy politicians in the UK are even considering protecting so-called "benign" hacking in an update on their computer misuse laws. Of course, the definition of "benign" is going to be problematic. In the article, for example, one politician suggests it should be legal to hack around censorship laws by the government to let users access websites the government has blocked. That seems particularly confusing: the government would allow people to hack around a law they, themselves, had passed?

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