US Congress should legalize attacking hacker’s computers with malware, physically destroy networks and take photos of data thieves and copyright violators with their own cameras in order to punish IP thieves, the IP Commission recommends.
The commissioners – former US government officials and military
men – say that the “scale of international theft of American
intellectual property (IP) is unprecedented”. However, the US
government response has been “utterly inadequate to deal with
“Almost all the advantages are on the side of the hacker; the
current situation is not sustainable,” the commissions’s report says.
“New options need to be considered,” the authors call, then
adding that current laws are limited and “have not kept pace
with the technology of hacking.”
Thus, the commission suggests allowing active network retrieving
stolen information, “altering it within the intruder’s networks,
or even destroying the information within an unauthorized
For example, locking down the computer of unauthorized users and
forcing them to come out to police could be one of the options.
“The file could be rendered inaccessible and the unauthorized
user’s computer could be locked down, with instructions on how to
contact law enforcement to get the password needed to unlock the
account,” the commission recommended.
In other words, authors suggest legalizing ransomware – an
extortion tool used by organized criminals, when malware that
blocks access to the computer system it infects, and demands a
ransom paid to the creator to remove the restriction.
Such measures, the commissioners stressed, do not violate existing
laws, but still might help to prevent attacks and even provide both
time and evidence for law enforcement to investigate the
As additional measures, the report recommends “physically
disabling or destroying the hacker’s own computer or network,”
implanting malware in the hacker’s network or photographing the
hacker using his own system’s camera.
“The legal underpinnings of such actions taken at network speed
within the networks of hackers, even when undertaken by
governments, have not yet been developed,” the authors say.
So, if counterattacks against hackers were legal, companies could
use a variety of techniques and cause severe damage to the
capability of IP pirates.
“These attacks would raise the cost to IP thieves of their
actions, potentially deterring them from undertaking these
activities in the first place,” the report concludes.
However, if counterattacks were legalized, this would not be just
about companies and hacker. Some pirated movies or songs on private
computers, could be deemed an IP theft and allow rights holders to
do horrible things to suspected systems.
This article originally appeared on: RT