by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jul 16th 2008 3:34pm
Well, here's an odd one. A kid in New Zealand who was arrested for creating software used by an online organized crime group to access people's usernames, passwords and credit card details has been released and the charges against him dropped. What's odd about it is all the praise being heaped upon 18-year-old Owen Thor Walker. Prosecutors raved about how the info-grabbing program he wrote was "one of the most advanced they had seen" and the judge said that convicting him would "jeopardise a potentially bright career." Meanwhile, the police noted they "were interested in using his skills to fight cyber-crime." While we usually see police and judges overreact to hacking cases, talking about how dangerous some kid and some code can be, this almost seems like the opposite. Not that the kid should necessarily have been convicted, but all this praise just seems like we've entered backwards-for-a-day world.
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