More Confusion On The Criminality Of Writing Software

from the if-they-don't-like-you,-you're-in-trouble dept

In August we wrote about the odd story of a guy who created a keylogging software being indicted, but the news reports were unclear what he was indicted for. They simply seemed to assume that writing a keylogger program was illegal -- but there are legitimate keylogger programs out there, and various legal precedents suggesting that the creator of the software shouldn't be held liable for how people use it. This has started to change ever-so-slightly with the Supreme Court's decision in Grokster that set up an "inducement" standard -- but the timing would hardly make sense for using that standard. Mark Rasch apparently was wondering the same thing and has dug a little deeper into what was so illegal about creating this software, and basically found that there's almost no consistency at all in how the government views this type of situation. Basically, if they don't like what you're doing, they find a way to twist the laws to favor their position. However, in other situations (such as their own investigations and with political allies, such as gunmakers), their reasoning changes completely. Who needs consistency when there's politics?

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Pundit, 3 Oct 2005 @ 6:17pm

    welcome to America

    > Basically, if they don't like what you're doing,< br>> they find a way to twist the laws to favor their
    > position.

    That's pretty much true of our entire DA/prosecutor system. There just isn't enough oversight by "the people" into what DAs are doing. I hate to add more beauracrats to the mix, but many roles in the executive branch would be better off as committees of 3 or more people. Yes, that's right, committees. So long as you have an odd # of people, you can get a majority opinion. So long as you have more than one person making the call, you can have balance and more "in the know" whistleblowers.

    What's better yet is when DAs not only decide to single you out, but they load so much on you that they basically force you to cop a plea, or go broke and risk a jury sending you away for 3 times as long.

    This country and each state needs a new constitution which reflects the pace of our times and technology.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown for basic formatting. (HTML is not supported.)
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.