In writing the article on the BBC’s crime fighting exploits in the realm of cyber security, I had no idea that anyone might attack their efforts to expose and caution the public against dangers that lurk for the unsuspecting on the internet.
A TV show on the BBC is highlighting the ongoing problem of botnets — by acquiring one of its own and using other people’s computers in it to mount a DDOS attack on a security company’s web site. The BBC says it had the security company’s approval to do so, and that it didn’t have any criminal intent, making its action legal. But some people aren’t so sure, and say that intent doesn’t offer a way out under British computer law. A tech lawyer says it’s unlikely the broadcaster will face prosecution because there wasn’t any real harm done, but those whose computers were used in the attack might disagree and view the methods used to make a point about computer security as a bit extreme.
When I read the story, I was not upset about the means used, in the least, as it was clear that exposition, and not infliction of damage was the point. Some may argue that this is a classic case of whether the means are justified by the ends, but in this one carefully controlled example, I would say it does.
|Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve. Max Planck|