Locksmiths Pissed Off At Geeks For Letting Out The Secret: Lockpicking Is Easy

from the without-the-internet,-we'd-all-be-safe dept

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.

Filed Under: geeks, hacking, lockpicking, locksmiths


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  1. identicon
    Ben, 18 Jul 2008 @ 8:45am

    Re: Doesn't Follow

    "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."

    "By that logic, we should welcome virus writers, data thieves, and malicious hackers as a "good thing" because they help make operating systems more secure."

    How very wrong you are virtuadept. He said that "an enthusiastic hobby community" made things better - he didn't say that the breakers and enterers did. People who write viruses to expose vulnerabilities and then inform people about it ARE helping - because there's someone else out there who will write it and NOT TELL ANYBODY so that it ends up costing millions of dollars. The people who know how to pick locks don't want you to know how easy it is either - they want you to think you are safe while they break in to your house. The people who are telling us how easy it is are trying to help - exposing a flaw for all to see so that they know how to fix it.

    Shut up. Please.

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