UK Computer Misuse Act could ban security tools

    Date22 Nov 2006
    CategoryGovernment
    6038
    Posted ByBenjamin D. Thomas
    The new Police and Justice Act, published today, could criminalise legitimate IT security activity. There are fears amongst security experts that changes it makes to the Computer Misuse Act will make it illegal to distribute some vital tools. The new law modifies the Computer Misuse Act of 1990, the cornerstone of Britain's anti-hacking law. The changes make clear for the first time that denial of service attacks are an offence; but they also address the distribution of hacking tools.

    The new Act will make a person guilty of an offence "if he supplies or offers to supply any article believing that it is likely to be used to commit, or to assist in the commission of, [a hacking offence]." The word "article" is defined in the Act to include "any program or data held in electronic form".

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