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EU wants to criminalize hacking tools

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 08 Apr 2012 14:42 User comments (5)

EU wants to criminalize hacking tools The European Union (EU) has proposed a new law that will criminalize hacking tools.
While the production or sale of certain hacking tools should certainly be banned, civil liberties advocates are up in arms over the proposed move, claiming that the law will make legitimate security researchers into criminals.

If passed, the law will impose a 5-year maximum jail sentence for hacking into a site or using a botnet of zombies for denial of service attacks, much stiffer penalties than what are currently allowed.

For the time being, the proposal has only passed the European Commission's Civil Liberties Committee and still has a long way to go before being signed into law.

Says EFF international rights director Katitza Rodriguez of the proposal (via Wired): "There are times when security researchers need to access systems without permission with no criminal intent. The language in these proposals could undermine legitimate research." Rodriguez believes that intent should first be taken into account before criminalization.

Some researchers worry that eventually even the command line seen in Windows computers could be banned from use.

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5 user comments

18.4.2012 15:18

This law if passed won't even last. You can't have security professionals who only have experience in a closed environment. It doesn't work, and when businesses are slammed with attacks to the point they can't even switch on their high end servers, then what? Not to mention they are having any barely luck finding anyone that's affiliated to a hacking group. So what's the point? Sounds like a waist of tax payer $ to me.

28.4.2012 19:03

my guess is that the ones trying to get these laws passed are people who are barely computer literate themselves and have been the victim of cyber-crime because they lack the basic skills and common sense to protect themselves and their computers from malicious attacks. Besides, most politicians have been wasting tax payers dollars by visiting questionable (ie: porn) sites, instant messaging their mistresses and prospective sex partners and doing their online shopping during business hours with no repercussions so why should they be held accountable for allowingthe computer at their desk be infected by trojans, viruses and worms? We obviously don't care because they remain in office and hold everyone else responsible for their own incompetence.


your conscience doesnt absolve your guilt

39.4.2012 6:14

That's it, BSD327. And those people won't be able to determine whether a tool is intended for hacking or not. Most programming tools would be banned if this law is adopted and taken seriously. Let's think about it. Is perl language a hacking tool? Is a debugger a cracking tool? If not, why? What's next? Banning knives, cars, stones or rooftops, because they can be used to kill?


"You know, it seems that quotes on the internet are becoming less and less reliable." -Abraham Lincoln.

49.4.2012 7:45

Isn't this what was done to the original DVDDcrypter because it enabled noobs to compress a dvd movie to one large file ready to compress? Lot of good THAT did! lol :)

59.4.2012 11:41

On a twist of the statements made in another forum, outlawing these tools would be akin to outlawing mechanics tools for the common folks. I.e., you couldn't put aftermarket parts on your car, put an addition on your house, put replacement parts in your own computer... all forms of hacking in their own right.

All of you previous posters are correct. It's obviously people who are/were forced into this new electronic age kicking & screaming (technophobes) and they are desperate to control it.

Problem is, instead of growing with it when they had a chance, they sat back on their well fed fat asses being spoon fed & the technology outran them. Now their lost, drowning and there's nothing they can do about it. Including listening to the people who actually 'know'. Even if it means giving up a chunk of their wealth to hide their illicit online behavior (defined in whatever manner that may be).

What!?! Did they think they could remain as anonymous online about their mistress as they have been throughout the ages any other time? We've seen how that's worked out. What the hell made them think that was going to change?


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