UK Looks To Make Denial Of Service Attacks Illegal -- But Does It Go Too Far?

from the about-time dept

Last year, we noted that denial of service attacks apparently were not illegal in the UK, based on current law. While some have tried to convince the courts that such attacks really were illegal, most seemed to realize that the current computer crimes law was inadequate to cover more modern-day threats. Along come politicians to the rescue, with a new bill designed to make all sorts of new computer crimes illegal. However, as with other times that politicians try to deal with new computer ills, it seems like the new law could go a bit too far. Among the provisions is that it would be illegal to "make or supply hacking tools" which seems a bit broad, as this would appear to include all sorts of legitimate tools that security researchers use to bypass security systems or crack passwords. It's great that updates are being made to the existing law, but politicians should be careful that they don't go too far in the other direction, outlawing plenty of perfectly reasonable activities.

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  1. identicon
    Wolfger, 7 Mar 2006 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re - Giafly

    You have to read all of the words in section 1a: "... course of or in connection with an offence" A legitimate pen test isn't the same as committing an offense.
    You get in trouble via incomplete quoting... Your half-quote means exactly what you say it does, but the first half of the sentence, "knowing that it is designed or adapted for use" clearly states that committing the offence is not a requirement. Making, adapting, supplying or offering to supply a tool that the law deems "designed or adapted" for breaking the law would mean that the makers of Ethereal (or your sniffer of choice) is headed for jail, because hackers most definitely have adapted network sniffers for illegal use.

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