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SubjectRe: [OT] DMCA loop hole
On Tue, 14 Aug 2001, Helge Hafting wrote:

> "Joshua b. Jore" wrote:
> >
> > I'd beg to differ with you on that. The way I've heard it is that writing
> > viruses is not legal in the US. Some of you aren't here so you have your
> > own laws but then you aren't bound by the DMCA. I recall that was the
> > impetus for this thread in the first place.
> >
> > I'll just have to beg off and say that I've understood it that
> > 'educational' are as illegal as say, something you meant to release into
> > the wide world.
> >
> How is making a virus any different from making any other weapon, like
> a gun? Using it against someone might of course be illegal.
> There are certainly valid reasons for making viruses. For example
> in order to test (and develop) antivirus software that
> automatically detect new viruses without being told about them first.
> Oh, and surely someone can invent an excuse for using a virus
> offensively
> too. "I need this to defend my site from cyber-terrorists..."
> Helge Hafting
> -

There really has to be laws that are created by persons
who have no direct interest in the matter being regulated.

Everybody knows that you can't "trust" politicians. However,
you can't really "trust" any particular group because their
perspectives will always be filtered by their education and

As an example, do you think that scientists should be allowed
to make decisions that can affect the lives of others?

Case in point; In the forties, just before the first Atom
Bomb explosion, there were roughly 60 percent of the
Engineers and Physicists at Los Alamos who thought that
the bomb would actually work. Of those 60 percent, an
equal percentage thought that once the explosion started
it would continue forever, destroying the earth, the
solar-system, and possibly this entire corner of the
Milky-Way Galaxy. This was long before "supernova" was
a buzz-word, and before anybody understood the placement
of iron in the periodic table.

So, they blew it up anyway, just to see.

That's why there are laws in the United States about making
computer code designed for "destructive" purposes. If
Software Engineers had their way, there would be no such
laws because they would consider this a "learning experience",
justified, as in the Los Alamos example.

Once a technology has matured to the stage where ordinary
persons rely upon it for their well-being, there has to be some
regulation to protect the well-being of the general population
from those who would continue to "experiment".

This regulation works. For example, the FAA doesn't allow pilots
to experiment with flight dynamics when an aircraft has been
placed into revenue service, even though it may be "perfectly safe"
to perform slow rolls and other acrobatic maneuvers in transport
aircraft. In the same manner, once computers are placed into
revenue service, even qualified, hackers are not allowed to
experiment upon those computers.

You can, however, experiment in an isolated laboratory environment.
However, should one knowingly allow such "dangerous" experiments
to be released from such a laboratory environment, they may
be guilty of one of several felonies in the United States.

Dick Johnson

Penguin : Linux version 2.4.1 on an i686 machine (799.53 BogoMips).

I was going to compile a list of innovations that could be
attributed to Microsoft. Once I realized that Ctrl-Alt-Del
was handled in the BIOS, I found that there aren't any.

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