NY AG Spitzer Targets Hackers
Source: Red Herring - Posted by Pax Dickinson   
Government New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has called for tougher penalties on computer criminals. He wants to prosecute people who gain access to computers surreptitiously, but who do not do any harm. The proposed legislation would also make encrypting information a crime if it concealed some other crime.

The anti-hacker part of Mr. Spitzer’s proposed legislation has drawn criticism from computer experts.

“I’ve always admired Elliot Spitzer because of the types of bad guys he went after,? said noted cryptographer Phil Zimmermann. “But I think it would be a mistake to make it a crime to use crypto. It’s pervasive, and built into our web browsers and applications. It would be hard for most people to avoid using crypto because of its ubiquity.?

Making cryptography a crime when it is used to conceal illegal activity would be a step in the wrong direction, said Mr. Zimmermann, who created an encryption program called Pretty Good Privacy. “We need an ever-increasing ubiquity of crypto deployment across all relevant applications on the Internet, in databases, in access control, in authentication, in backup utilities: everywhere,? he said. “That will help reduce identity theft, which is certainly a goal shared by Mr. Spitzer.?

Read this full article at Red Herring

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