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Re: [dvd-discuss] The power of a click
On 2001-12-03 16:56, Scott A Crosby wrote:
> On Mon, 3 Dec 2001, Christophe Beauregard wrote:
> > The effect on the legal system would be similar to a large drug
> > cartel breaking into hundreds of thousands of vehicles and planting
> > some marijuana butts (or whatever) in the ashtrays.
> I was only pointing out that there isn't safety in numbers, at least
> if the number of people is under a million. If they can arrest the
> greater part of a million marijuana users a year, whats to keep them
> from calling all of us evil hackers and arresting the million of us?
But what I was pointing out is that there's a large difference in how
you go about identifying illegal activity. In the case of marijuana,
it's not so often that a person possesses it without consuming it.
Certainly, it's only a very small fraction of of marijuana users.
With a network system, it's possible to skew the numbers, if only
temporarily, such that the majority of "users" are, in fact, ignorant
of their participation. If you add the threat of criminal prosecution
into the equation the incentive for doing this becomes much, much
greater. At this point, the only way to tell that someone is actually
using freenet (or a similar system) is to catch them in the act of
issuing requests. In drug war terms, this means actually using the
drug, not possessing it.
Making things worse, you have to keep in mind that the class of systems
that you'd want to infect would be higher bandwidth targets,
representing a very different class of person being prosecuted. The war
on drugs would probably not be received very well by the public if the
people usually being arrested were typical suburbanites.
The war on drugs and japanese internment in WWII are good examples of
how far a government will go if they see fit, but I suspect that things
will have to degenerate a lot more before we see a "war on hackers".
The japanese internment happened in a very different environment than
today. For one thing, there was a war against an identifiable group of
people who "weren't like us". For another, there was a very different
viewpoint then with respect to human rights.
Even the war on drugs has some half decent motivation, even if the
methodology and results leave a lot to be desired.
Even with hollywood behind them, the government would be hard-pressed
to come up with PR bad enough to start a full out war on hackers.
Informatics Specialist, Software