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Penalty: Student arrested for security secrets

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by jamming, Jan 5, 2003.

  1. jamming

    jamming Banned

    The FBI has arrested a Russian college student who was accused of stealing and distributing hundreds of secret documents about new anti-piracy technology from DirecTV, the US' leading satellite television company.

    The student, identified as Igor Serebryany, 19, of Los Angeles, was accused of using the internet to distribute hundreds of sensitive documents describing details of DirecTV's latest "access card" technology, which uses credit card devices to control which of the company's 11 million US subscribers can view particular channels.

    More Information
     
  2. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Well, he did a stupid thing. The Access 4 will be on the net regardless, although it would have taken people longer to acquire the decryption.
     
  3. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    I pressume he was arrested under the DMCA? the link provided is somewhat sketchy on the details. Personally, I object to this type of arrest in the strongest terms. If he stole the information via illegal means, then most certainly he deserves to be prosecuted for that. Just for that however, and not for distributing the information. I believe that any arrests made for creating a tool to effect things like this, are a direct threat to our civil liberties. The crime should come in using this knowledge to steal, not in publishing the information. If he is punished for publishing the information, we have made a crime out of speech and curtialed human ingenuity. This seems to be little different than the MPAA vs 2600 cases presently going on. If we follow the logic that by making knowledge available one is responsible for what it is used for, then I suspect that the descendents of Einstein owe more than a few japanese citizens some compensation.

    (sorry for the rant, I am rather sick and this is a topic I am very passionate about.)
     
  4. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    If he distributed information he knew was stolen and proprietary he is guilty. Not a lawyer but that is accessory if I am not mistaken.
     
  5. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    To me, it would depend on where he got the info from. If he happened upon one of the sets and used his own knowledge to hack it, then I don't see anything wrong with distributing that information. If the data was gathered through intrusion into a computer system, or even more basic forms of theft, then he most certainly is guilty.
     
  6. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    I guess I am missing something. Nobody capable of hacking that would know it was not a propritary encryption system. A system designed to protect their propritary data. Is is considered just a sport to deny people their right to make money off their talent. I don't agree with not being able to make a master copy but that does not give me the right to distribute how to hack it.
     
  7. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    The thing is, that I don't feel hacking the system itself is a crime. Nor distributing your own knowledge. I do believe that if a person uses that to steal DirecTV, then they are certainly guilty of the crime. I find it hard to demonize someone for distributing data they have gotten. I do not see how this person denies people the right to make money off their talent. If enabling someone to commit a theft and even going so far as to instruct a person how is a crime, then the security industry is in trouble.
     
  8. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Distribution is enabling people to bypass the security thereby making illegal copies. I fail to undestand a right to distribute proprietary data. The internet is a wonderful tool. Defending the right to take somebody's living will not help us in defeating bills that go to far.

    I think Yazdzik said it best, we should not consider the medium with which a crime is committed. It is either a crime or not. This appears to fall under that category to me. But I could be wrong.

    Please explain why it is okay to distribute how to hack the security codes and/or distribute them.
     
  9. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    for the same reason it would be ok for me to tell you that in order to get into a house one might try knocking down the door or breaking a window.

    Now, a logical argument against what I have said would be that that knowledge cannot realistically be considered to be in any way proprietary.

    That is a fair argument, and one which would have merit. What I must suggest however, is that there are many things which one can consider to be intellectual property that IMHO should not be, and encryption is one of them.

    If anything, an argument could be made that he is liable for any damages the company recieves since he did not make an attempt to notify them of their security holes. I'll be the first to admit that what he did was somewhat blackhat, but I disagree with it being criminal in much the same way as discussing exploits in various operating systems should not be illegal.
     
  10. jamming

    jamming Banned

    How he got the information and what he is charged under.

     
  11. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    The 'kid' worked for a document duplication company that was copying confidential materials for DirecTV for their own internal use. He took the documents in digital format home with him (read stole them) and uploaded nearly 800 MB of data to hackers websites.

    http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/business/4865504.htm
     
  12. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    if that is how he truly obtained the data, then I support any and all appropriate legal action against him.

    what is worse is that he said he wanted to do it to benefit the hacker community. The LAST thing any ethical member of the "hacking community" (whatever that is), wants is to be associated with a petty thief who probably thinks Kevin Mitnick was a hero.
     
  13. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Damn, you guys are awesome. I learned more about the issue in this thread than any story on the net.
     

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