Republished: UK government wants to put our networks at risk

This was originally published to in May 2006

Once again we are seeing another stupid law from our government. The story can be found on ZDNet as well as on Slashdot.

The very tools that the government are looking to ban are the tools used by Network adminstrators to find and patch security holes. Without these tools it will only make life easier for the Crackers (note use of the correct term). They certainly won't care about the legality of using these tools, and the tools will always be available in one form or another, all it serves to do is make it more difficult for the honest people to secure their networks. You may be thinking "Why would you use hacking tools?" the answer is simple, these are the tools the Crackers will employ to try and gain access to your network, therefore you need to test the security with these. Incidentally a lot of the software that is likely to be covered by this amendment to the Computer Misuse Act is software designed to test the security of networks that you have Authorised Access to. Another thing that may well be covered by the law is Perl. Perl is used by many many people, it is to an extent getting replaced by PHP in terms of its web capabilities. But there are many programs written in Perl available. All these would be potentially wiped out if the bill is not amended to have some specificity. As mentioned on Slashdot this seems very very much like the old Politics trick of attacking something that the public see's as the greater evil, in order to gain votes and popularity.

Between this and the Governments law about encryption keys it is becoming more and more clear that the people making these laws do not have a clue about the repercussions. We can only hope that the House of Lords vitos it.

Shifty_ben - 21:26 20/05/2006