[Wolves] I'm back!

Chris Owen wolves at mailman.lug.org.uk
Tue Aug 5 16:40:01 2003

Fizzy wrote:

"Is stealing from BT wrong? I would say that's a
question for ones own conscience."

	Mine says its wrong.

"BT have announced 1st Quarter pre tax profits are up
by 56%. Which works out at =A3502 million for the first
3 month of the financial year alone"

	This is also wrong.  Excess profits from monopolies are also
theft in my book.  There - confounded your stereotype ;)

"The cost of the electricity is sub 1p, is stealing
this electricity from this company morally wrong? You
may say yes, personally i would say no."

	But as you well know this is a legal convention to gain a
prosecution under a fairly strange piece of legislation.

"You may not want someone entering your house if you
leave the door open, would you want someone to point
out that door has been left open?"

	I would appreciate that piece of good neighbourliness, providing
it did not involve letting me know by spray painting the message on my
bedroom wall.  Nor would I appreciate someone jemmying my kitchen window
in order to prove to me that I needed a stronger kitchen window.  The
moral justification that hacking and virus mailing simply prove to us
the need to improve security is bogus.  If you weren't trying to break
in, I wouldn't need to live in a fortress.

"Personally i would say that yes, breaking into
someone's home machine and intruding on there privacy
is pretty pointless, but i wouldn't say that breaking
into a corporations business machines was morally
wrong, depending on your reasoning for doing so..."

	Not just pointless Fizz.  There are stronger terms that would be
appropriate.  I'd stretch to agreeing in principle that there may be a
moral defence for some hacking, in some circumstances, onto business
systems.  But every time I've seen the results, the intent was clearly
just to cause havoc.  Taking the entire network of a County Council out
for a day through an indiscriminate virus attack, despite the best
efforts of that organization to protect itself is not just stupid.  It
threatens lives and wastes huge amounts of public money - your money and
my money.  Yes, I know that the intent of hacking and virus mailing may
be different, but their end results are often the same.

"Either way I would question whether this is really a
matter for the legal system to deal with..."

	Better the legal system under some form of democratic control
than self-appointed vigilantes, for all its weaknesses, and its tendency
to favour the powerful and wealthy.

Good debate.  Thank you - I'm sure its kept the board entertained...


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