by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jul 17th 2008 11:07pm
As I've mentioned before, back in high school, I had an art teacher who taught me both how to pick locks and how to make lockpicks (it was a fun class). Since then I've always been fascinated by the whole process of picking locks, though I haven't kept up with the field or even picked a lock in years. However, there is a huge community of folks online -- many coming from the tech/hacker community -- who spend a lot of time exploring lockpicking, and talking about it in great detail online. And, as Gizmodo notes, this is pissing off some locksmiths. What's not stated overtly is the obvious reason, and it's the same for any professional system that requires "certification." It's rarely about making sure people are good enough, but has everything to do with limiting the competition to keep fees high. The locksmiths aren't really so worried about criminals learning how to pick locks online (even though some claim that). They're worried that people won't need to call locksmiths anymore when they get locked out of their homes. On top of that, the lock companies hate to admit that their locks are pickable (they are), and so they hit back at those who prove it, just as software companies hate to admit that their software has vulnerabilities. Over time, perhaps locksmiths and lock companies will recognize that an enthusiastic hobby community that helps make sure locks are more secure can only be a good thing.
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