Soon, Programmers will be Licensed, and Software will be Verboten.

European Council: Creating hacking tools should be criminal across EU
Ministers want Europe-wide legal net for cybercrookery

Posted in Crime, 14th June 2011 15:11 GMT
The making of hacking tools and computer viruses should be a criminal act across Europe, EU ministers have said.

The EU's Council of Ministers has backed the extension of criminal sanctions to toolmakers in response to European Commission plans to update EU laws tackling attacks against computer systems. Responding to European Commission plans to create a new anti-hacker Directive, the Council has said that the making of hacking tools should be criminalised, adding this to the list of currently criminal practices.

"The following new elements [should include] penalisation of the production and making available of tools (eg, malicious software designed to create 'botnets' or unrightfully obtained computer passwords) for committing the offences [of attacks against computer systems]," the Council of Ministers said in a statement (pages 18-19 of 38-page/176KB PDF).
...
Under the Act a person is guilty of an offence if he "makes, adapts, supplies or offers to supply any article intending it to be used to commit, or to assist in the commission of, [a hacking offence]." The word "article" is defined in the Act to include "any program or data held in electronic form".

Read more: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/06/14/making_hacking_tools_should_be_c...

===> IMPLICATIONS:

1) Of course, the first target is the indefensible (botnets) in order to keep resistance to this new policy at a minimum.
2) The reality is that a big move is being made: where before it was criminal to make _use_ of hacking-oriented software, but soon it will be criminal simply to author such software--or by logical extension, even to be in _possession_ of it.
3) This is very dangerous! It is one thing to be considered a criminal for _using_ hacking-oriented software to actually enter&damage other people's property. But this creates a whole new class of criminal: the one caught merely in _possession_ of digital contraband. Not child pornography, but merely source code.
4) Even then some people may ask, "Well, why not? Why should someone be in possession of botnet software anyway, except an authorized security expert?"
5) The first reason "why not" is because the list of forbidden software will grow. Botnets are only the beginning. Over time, through the bureaucratic operation of incrementalism, all sorts of software designed to protect human freedoms, such as Bitcoin, will end up on that list.
6) The second reason "why not" is because this will lead to the licensing of programmers. If only certain security experts and government personnel are authorized to have copies of "forbidden code", while others are considered criminal for such possession, then it will become necessary to license programmers--and to behave punitively towards individuals or corporations who deal with unlicensed programmers.
7) Before you say, "That is absolutely ridiculous," let me remind you that taxi drivers are licensed, and that doctors are licensed, that dogs are licensed, plumbers are licensed, drivers are licensed, fast-track-fliers are licensed, etc.
8) Apple's "App store" clearly reveals intentions to control and throttle the installation of software onto people's computers. Already you must "jailbreak" your iPhone if you wish to have full choice over what software is installed on the phone.

More and more, Richard Stallman and Linux Torvalds appear to have made the greatest contribution of all time towards human freedom, with the GPL license and Linux, respectively.

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