posted Dec 05, 2000

Council of Europe drops plans to ban hacking tools
Hacking & Cracking
12/5/2000; 1:19:25 PM

'The Council of Europe has scrapped controversial plans to ban the use of "hacking" tools by IT professionals, after industry groups successfully persuaded it that the proposals were unworkable.

'Original proposals by the council would have made it illegal to distribute tools or discuss techniques that look for weaknesses in the security of systems, for example software used to scan the perimeter of networks for security vulnerabilities. This provoked fierce opposition because it would ban tools used in security audits as well as those used by hackers.'

"Hacking tools" is a misnomer anyhow. There are tools that can be used for hacking, but they have other, better uses. They've saved my bacon before, showing me that I had left vulnerabilities open that I thought I had taken care of.

The tools they were talking about banning were vital tools of the trade for networking professionals. It'd be like banning crowbars because they can be used to pry open doors illegally. Do we call a crowar an "Illegal Entry" tool? (Then again, with the disturbing predilection governments are showing towards control at all costs, maybe we soon will. Thank God for the Supreme Court.)


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