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


>>>>> 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.



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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