Did The BBC Break The Law By Exposing Botnets?

from the but-we-didn't-mean-any-harm dept

A TV show on the BBC is highlighting the ongoing problem of botnets -- by acquiring one of its own and using other people's computers in it to mount a DDOS attack on a security company's web site. The BBC says it had the security company's approval to do so, and that it didn't have any criminal intent, making its action legal. But some people aren't so sure, and say that intent doesn't offer a way out under British computer law. A tech lawyer says it's unlikely the broadcaster will face prosecution because there wasn't any real harm done, but those whose computers were used in the attack might disagree and view the methods used to make a point about computer security as a bit extreme.

Filed Under: botnets
Companies: bbc

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  1. identicon
    Andy, 13 Mar 2009 @ 12:39am

    Stop shooting the messenger!

    Oh for heaven's sake. What's the point of bleating about what the BBC did wrong, when it specifically set out to demonstrate the existence and extent of the problem? This is the same as firing whistle blowers who point out failings in the company they work for. Why the obsession with shooting the messenger? The people whose computers were used for this should just be glad that they were not being used for genuinely nefarious purposes. In fact, perhaps they already are!

    If the BBC are charged it will be another case of law enforcement targeting the "low-hanging fruit" because they are not competent enough to catch real criminals and that is something of which they should be deeply ashamed. A case against the BBC would only highlight the failure to catch the real criminals and they would be well-advised not to go down that road!

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