Sticks and Stones
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By etrigan - Last updated: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

bq. ??Federal prosecutors in California went too far when they put a man in prison for disclosing a website security hole to the people at risk from it.??

That’s right, Bret McDanel served sixteen months for “telling the customers of Tornado Development, Inc”:http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/179 that Tornado had not closed a security hole six months after he informed them about it. The guy’s tactics were crappy, but free speech doesn’t apply to computer security apparently.

bq. ??It’s important to note that McDanel was prosecuted not for a denial of service attack against Tornado by an e-mail flood, but apparently because Tornado, and the government, were unhappy with the content of the e-mail message and associated webpage — content that is presumptively protected by the First Amendment. The “losses” suffered by Tornado, were only in lost reputation and lost clients. There was no evidence that McDanel or anyone else ever exploited the vulnerability.??

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