Fri, May. 25, 2007

Overbroad Computer Crime Act

CK - Washington.   In its 100th session, the Berlin diet, Bundestag, passed revisions to the federal criminal code, Strafgesetzbuch, late on May 24, 2007. The amendment includes rules defining additional computer crimes, mostly those commonly referred to as hacking. In implementing European Union directives, the rules address the destruction of media and computer hardware as well the capturing electromagnetic waves which might emanate from computing systems by accident or purpose.

The statute addresses a number of procedures characteristic of cracking. Certain beneficial hacking activities are likely to meet the criteria established by the same rules which rightly worries security experts and the Chaos Computer Club. For example, some security defense tools on the BOSS CD published for general download by the federal government may qualify as prohibited tools. A strong argument can be made that even the mere possession of these government-endorsed tools would be illegal in Austria which has had such laws on the books for some time.

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