RealNews

Getting Realistic in the War on Hackers

Give up on the notion that computer security can be improved by putting more people in prison. The war on hackers is failing for the same reason the war on drugs failed: Most individuals can control themselves, but there is a substantial group of people for whom no legal penalties will be enough to discourage their behavior. The temptation to try and “beat the system” that is often felt by hackers and crackers, and even just regular computer users, can be enormous. People will succumb to the temptation to pirate copyrighted material, to disable copy protection on software, and to try and break into other people’s computer systems. Meanwhile, the costs associated with the war on hackers are unreasonable: the PATRIOT act, the DMCA and similar bills now working their way through state legislatures will cause irreparable harm to the rights of all Americans — and those costs alone likely exceed the benefits offered by these laws. That’s why I think it’s time to adopt a “harm reduction” approach to computer security. Traditionally, harm reduction is a strategy applied to illegal drug use, as an alternative to an unwinnable war on drugs. It’s an approach that acknowledges the reality of drug abuse, and seeks to reduce the dangers posed by those drugs, both to the users and to society at large. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

OODA is comprised of a unique team of international experts capable of providing advanced intelligence and analysis, strategy and planning support, risk and threat management, training, decision support, crisis response, and security services to global corporations and governments.