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Government Security Your Rights Online

Should Cyber Vigilantes Be Cheered Or Feared 232

snydeq writes "InfoWorld's Ted Samson raises several challenging questions in the wake of HBGary, first and foremost being, should the cyber vigilante acts of 'hacktivists' such as Anonymous be embraced? No doubt the alleged HBGary plot is troubling, Samson writes, 'but also troubling is how quickly some members of Congress seek to use illegally acquired information to further their own political agenda.' The underlying message seems to be that cyber vigilantes may have more leeway than those who engage in equally illegal, though decidedly nontechnical methods to expose their targets."
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Should Cyber Vigilantes Be Cheered Or Feared

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  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @08:36PM (#35363998)
    Once it has been exposed, it has been exposed. The toothpaste is out of the tube. There is no putting it back.

    So why is the fact that some people made use of that information "troubling"?? I would be troubled if they didn't.

    Is anybody complaining that people shouldn't use information that was exposed by WikiLeaks? No? Why not? How is that different from information that was exposed by anybody else? WikiLeaks did not commit any crimes, but somebody did.
  • Re:False dichotomy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ruke ( 857276 ) on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @08:57PM (#35364142)

    But in this case, the vigilantes are addressing behavior that the government is turning a blind eye to, not behavior that the government had addressed and approved of. It would be quite a different story if there had been a criminal investigation of HBGary and they were found innocent; however, certain parties within the government would seem to have known that they were acting illegally, and chose to do nothing.

    And again, it still doesn't mean that the vigilantes are in the right. It just means that they're addressing (for better or for worse) a problem that the government should be addressing, but has failed to.

  • by shentino ( 1139071 ) <> on Wednesday March 02, 2011 @08:57PM (#35364146)

    The consequences are nothing but a pack of powers that be that are looking for a convenient excuse for something they are hell bent on imposing anyway.

    They have the motive and means. The hacktivists only provide opportunity.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson