No Legal Protection for Ethical Hackers
THE HAGUE, 31/05/13 - Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten is not planning to protect hackers who only want to demonstrate weaknesses in security in such a way that they can never be prosecuted, he said in a Lower House a debate on cyber security.
A number of parties in the House are concerned about the protection of 'ethical hackers'. The legal framework will not however be adapted. “The ethical hacker is not always protected” against prosecution by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM), the minister said.
According to Opstelten, the activities of the hacker must be “necessary within a democratic society and the action must be proportional and subsidiary.” If the hacker meets these criteria, “it will not be considered opportune to start a prosecution,” the minister said.
Opstelten had already presented a guideline last January. For example, hacking is only permitted to detect leaks. Copying of data is not allowed, nor is making changes to the systems hacked into. The company involved must be informed and given the time to stop the leak before this is made public.
PvdA MP Astrid Oosenbrug is unhappy with the minister’s position. “If a company is not happy with a hack, it can always decide to prosecute the hacker. We simply want these hackers to be protected.” Oosenbrug wants to draw up a bill in consultation with the hackers community in order to be able to prevent the possible prosecution.”