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No more Switchblades in Germany?


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In a law left vague enough for ridiculous exploitation, the German government has just passed Paragraph 202C, which states that it's illegal to possess, produce, use or distribute a "hacker tool".

Make points out that the law could easily encompass network monitoring systems, and that since the ban, Kismac WiFi detection software has shut down. Here is the note left on Kismac's site:

  " With the introduction of §202c German politicians proved their complete incompetence. Law in Germany: possession of child pornography - two years imprisonment. Distribution of security software is half as bad. Even worse politicians still believe in the successful ban of digital information, obviously not reckoning globalization.

    We are heading straight to a country I do not want to be living in."

There are legitimate threats that this bill will stop. But my guess is the government will create more defiant computer users as a result.

Do they really think this will be effective?  What implications does this have for anyone in Germany who wants to use the switchblade/hacksaw?  In court I'm pretty sure it would boil down to "This tool steals passwords/info/etc" making it a "hacker tool."

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Screw the switch blade, what happens when you use nmap or cain&able? The biggest issue with this law is that it makes certain things illegal based on what they are, not how they are used. Its akin to banning all knives because some one got stabbed, makes cooking a whole lot harder.

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This is why tech people and hackers need to work on public relations (call me a pussy if you wish).  When most people think of a hacker they always assume bad things, which is obviously not the case (mostly).  I'm just glad I am not a systems admin in Germany.  It sounds like they left the law vague enough to relate most things to hacking tools.

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Well, actually, I would consider it rather interesting to work as a sysadmin in Germany after that law was enacted. I mean, imagine for a minute what the BOFH would do with such a situation to do even less work. :)

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