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Bug#222899: Is this legal? [RFP: djohn -- Distributed password cracker]



Hi,

>>>>> In <1007a32a0701032156m548e4bd1m78b2633fcc3704c6@mail.gmail.com> 
>>>>>	"Andrew Donnellan" <ajdlinux@gmail.com> wrote:
> Password cracking in itself has always been legal AFAIK.

> Using password crackers to crack other peoples systems without
> permission (ie. illegally obtaining access) is definitely illegal.

> There are legitimate uses for tools like djohn, eg. for security
> testing, for data recovery, etc.

A Japanese software developer was arrested recently because he
developed a P2P file-sharing implementation called Winny.  Winny can
be used legally, but some (well, I should say many) people used Winny
as a mean of copyright violation (file sharing of proprietary movies,
music, and so on).  And somehow the police arrested those violators as
well as the developer.

See:

https://www.cpsr.org/act/global/japan/enews/Winny2006

So, at least in Japan, I think it can be dangerous to develop or
distribute legal tools with some foreseen illegal use.  I know it's
almost insane(we Debian already distribute such software), and the
trial is not yet concluded, but that's the situation nowadays.

As usual, IANAL, btw.

--
Masayuki Hatta
Graduate School of Economics, The University of Tokyo



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