By | July 31, 2002

When the DMCA was passed, a lot of us in the tech
industry figured that bad things were on the horizon. After all, this law
is so broad and gives so much power to companies, it seemed inevitable that
some company would abuse that power for their own purposes.

It is surprising, however, that Hewlett-Packard is the first company to do so. The Register has an article titled: HP Invokes DMCA to Quash Bug Report.
HP is not happy that an individual has published reports of a vulnerability
in their Tru64 UNIX, and is using the DMCA as a tool to try to keep these
reports from being distributed.

Before the DMCA, it was standard,
accepted practice for security researches to find security holes in a company’s
product and publish reports about these security holes. These reports put
pressure on the company to fix these holes. Now, thanks to the DMCA, the
companies can simply keep these reports from being published.

I really
don’t want to know how much further out-of-control things are going to get,
thanks to this stupid law. But I am even more worried now than I was before.

– Miguelito

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