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
    Anthony Ball, 22 May 2006 @ 12:37pm

    We produced a program called SpyMon...

    We are aware that people could use our tool for purposes that it was not intended for, stopping them would be impossible.

    We have had no choice but to withdraw our product. Our product is aimed at making sure your children are safe on the internet by allowing you to monitor their activites. But in the wrong hands...

    We cannot afford the possibility of a legal battle against the state, with the possiblilty of directors being imprisoned if we lose.

    But the new law poses interesting questions as to what depth does the new law extend. For example if I wrote a tool to say, crack a password. Are the operating system routines (50% of the tool) also illegal? All a keylogger is a program that sends data from a keyboard hook to another location. 90% is OS software calls. Are Microsofts hooking calls now illegal?

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