Would you say that, generally, breaking and entering or otherwise trespassing on private property is ok?
But breaking and entering doesn't make a thief. It makes a trespasser. We conflate the two specifically because in most of our narratives one follows the other. If a guy were being chased by a lynch-mob, and cut through someone's backyard, entered his house from the back and exited the front, would he be a thief? Would he be guilty of a crime?
Unlawful access to a computer system -- the digital version of breaking and entering -- is grossly inflated as a crime here in the United States thanks to the CFAA. We have plenty of hacktivists in prison for longer than we put our thieves (and some rapists and murderers) for the crime of unlawfully accessing a computer, and that's before considering what they actually did when they got there.
This is before we get to the way we regard the lives of the impoverished as worth less than the belongings of the wealthy. But our entire society seems to be fixated more on property law than it is on human rights. But this is a separate issue that is worthy of volumes (some of which have been written).
But what's crazy (and has been discussed here on TD often) is that we all are (even you) guilty of the CFAA, if someone in power wanted to remove us from free society. The typical internet end-user averages three felonies a day.
That hasn't changed, and in the new administration can only be expected to get worse. And more lives will be ruined for it.
If the black-hat robbed the system of fifty million dollars and then published their criminal evidence, he should still be convicted of robbing fifty million dollars. He might be convicted of hacking, if for some reason using a computer to commit a crime makes it a greater crime (I'm not sure why that should be the case, though. It's not justified the way gun-crime laws are. It would be like making it criminal to use glass cutters to cut glass in the commission of a crime.)
But if he went in, didn't rob the system and just published the evidence of crime, then he shouldn't get jail time for using a computer to commit a crime. Well, he could if we were to criminalize whistleblowing efforts, but if we want to encourage whistleblowing, then no.
So yeah, I guess you're right. When the end is revealing information important to the public (e.g. the evidence of a crime) then the means (using a computer to penetrate a security system and access that evidence) is justified.
The FBI certainly thinks so, even to the point of damaging the systems in question. That might go to far.
So, this isn't to say I believe that the end justifies the means in all cases, but certainly, this hypothetical one.
The initial intentions of the hacker are irrelevant once he decides to publish incriminating data. He's at that point a whistleblower, and it's the data that matters.
American mobsters became heroes in the 1930s for uncovering Nazi spies, sometimes because those spies came to the mob expecting them to not have much loyalty to the state. Black-hat hackers can, too, be principled.
Regardless, the credibility or culpability of the acting whistleblower only detracts from the greater crime being uncovered. Snowden shouldn't be the story, and no-one who uncovers a crime should be criminalized for the uncovering...well, to do so delegitimizes the legal system.
You libs don't watch Fox news so you get one view only, no matter which other news show you watch. Just look at the surprise on the left that Trump won. Leave your bubble and you will see what is really happening.
This liberal doesn't regard Fox News as anything but corporate propaganda, but it's the same for CNN, MSNBC or any of the US-based mainstream media channels.
Case in point, Ferguson neighborhoods were being saturated in CS gas and journalists wrangled into fenced first-amendment zones and not a peep.
If you rely on Fox or any MSM it's not that you're only getting part of the story, you may not be getting the story at all.
Back on subject, the NSA mass surveillance program is an atrocious violation of the constitutional rights of US citizens, not to mention the rest of the world. That's the story. The details of who Snowden was or if he did it right are incidental to the ongoing operation of a government mass surveillance program in violation of human rights.
If you're arguing about Snowden, you're missing the story.
There's also the matter that parental control software databases come from the same source...
...and it is a source that has certain biases that are consistent with specific religious attitudes that align, if coincidentally, with the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (not necessarily the Vatican or the Holy See) and the Southern Baptist Church statement of faith.
Specifically, hate sites that target LGBTQ interests and individuals are not regarded as hate sites, and sex education sites that provide accurate data are regarded as pornographic.
We need to reform what IP law does before we enforce it.
As it currently is, every story published is one less story the rest of us cannot tell, is a dozen or so fewer characters we can never use, is another fifty-plus tropes and plot turns that no-one after them can invoke.
Much like every song published is not just words that can never again be arranged in that order, but countless sounds, beats and arrangements that can never be organized those ways again.
Copyright is becoming censorship, where it is becoming impossible to express a thought or idea without plagiarizing someone else, given the amount of content protected and the breath of the spectrum that is qualified to be infringing.
No one speaks for the public domain.
No one speaks for fair use.
And at this point there little left that can be freely said.
There isn't supposed to be any requirement for US citizens to carry ID while in the United States. I suspect this doesn't stop overenthusiastic law enforcement officers from deporting people who look too Latin. I also bet it's difficult to track how many Americans get deported.
But considering that American citizens got Gitmo'd (or Extraordinarily Rendered) to get tortured and detained indefinitely without due process, I suspect that, yes, a proportionate number of Americans are regularly deported to nations where they are not citizens. And few people bother to try to track them down.
So Clinton's basket of deplorables commentwas referring to 32 million voters, now that we have the results. That compares to the:
42 million black Americans that Trump generalized as all being in ghettos on welfare and have nothing to lose. He calls them the blacks and seeks to facilitate the system that channels them into prisons and graves. I believe he imagines the blacks will be Miss Housekeeping once we expatriate all the Latins.
55 million Latin Americans that Trump regards as criminal and illegal Americans, even saying they're rapists. Considering that there's no required documentation to be an American (yet) it'll be interesting to see if he errs on evicting two many illegals or too few.
3 million Muslim Americans that Trump is considering registering or even interning. I wonder how long it's going to be before we decide it's too expensive sustaining all these Muslims, and we have a Muslim Problem
125 women in the United states (which shares cross section with the groups above) that Trump feels it is acceptable to sexually assault and harass, even when they are underage.
Considering the policies and staff selections by Trump, these attitudes do not appear to have changed since after the election.
Anonymous Coward if, in order for a party to win an election in the United States, they need to offer demagogues and monsters as candidates who imply permission to the rest of us to forgo civilization for our baser (more tribal) natures, I'd regard the United States as a failure, and would rather keep losing and instead retain my personal integrity.
But that's just me. I understand that for Trump losing is so terrible a prospect that he will lie, cheat and even murder in order to say he's won.
PS: I, too, cringed at Clinton's basket of deplorables line too, but as with many matters, there seems to be an abundance of eagerness to look at Clinton's scandals and not compare them or contrast them to the cornucopia of scandals and problems that surround Trump.
It's like Trump gets special exceptions in the minds of those who've decided he's the new hero of the United States.
And that, to me is more troubling than Trump himself. Are we really that gullible? That manipulable? Is it really that hard to see his authoratariansim? His complete lack of morality? His psychopathia?
Part of the problem is that the justice system has no checks or balances for lapses in judgement.
When a judge shows a lapse in judgement innocent people go to prison for life. Innocent people die.
So no, until our system is such that it takes three judges (or nine) to sign a warrant, until the fourth amendment is stringently enforced, until we criminalize use of new technology for detection until it is rigorously tested and regulated, until we tolerate not one false positive dog sniff (or any other test to get probable cause)...
Then no. One incident of a lapse in judgement should disbar a prosecutor, dismissal of a judge, or the firing of an officer with prejudice.
People die from lapses in judgement within our legal system, and for that we have no respect for the legal system. It's only there because they hold the guns and they use the guns to stay in position.