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RE: Cybercrime treaty



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Isn't there legal precedent defending source code as free speech -
and hence protected by the first amendment?  This sounds like a
no-brainer to me...  Of course, some of the people drafting this sort
of legislation do, on occasion, come across as being brainless.

There needs to be a clear distinction between the distribution of
demonstration code and the distribution or use (with malicious
intent) of exploits.  Because that is a VERY gray area, it might be
better to decide such things on a case-by-case basis.  I liked the
locksmith/burglar analogy (but what of the convicted burglar who
decides to become a locksmith?).  A more accurate analogy, though,
might be a gun.  I can own a gun.  I can even shoot it under certain
conditions.  As soon as I shoot it AT someone else, though, it's a
crime.

- - Jim

> -----Original Message-----
> From: David LeBlanc [mailto:dleblanc@MICROSOFT.COM]
> Sent: Wednesday, May 03, 2000 2:34 PM
> To: 'Steven M. Christey'; cve-editorial-board-list@lists.mitre.org
> Subject: RE: Cybercrime treaty
>
>
> Given prior precedent in many other areas, I don't expect
> that something
> like this would be constitutional in the US - for example, it
> is quite OK
> for me to buy Anarchist's cookbook, and have the recipe to
> make bombs or
> drugs, but quite illegal for me to actually make these items.
>
> This of course only loosely applies to code, since it could
> be that having
> the code isn't illegal, but having the binaries are illegal.
>
> IMHO, even though I really detest seeing code whose main
> purpose in life is
> to enable script kiddies to commit felonies, the safest thing
> to do all
> around is to not worry about the programs, but how people use
> them - e.g.,
> having a crowbar isn't bad, but smashing your door in with it is
> bad.
>
> The whole thing is a real mess - one can expect civil
> liberties to come
> under pressure when people start getting worried.
>

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