The ACDC Act: Should You Be Allowed To Hack The Hackers?

The ACDC Act: Should You Be Allowed To Hack The Hackers?

Those familiar the Old Testament will be familiar with the axiom from Exodus and Leviticus “An eye for an eye”. In short, it means if someone hurts you, hurt them back equally. Thankfully, we have moved on from retribution-based justice – or so I thought. Republican congressman Tom Graves says we should be able to hunt the hackers that attack us and give them a dose of their own medicine.

The problem with “An eye for an eye” is that, eventually, we all end up blind. In the above example, it also requires law enforcement to give way to vigilantism to fight alleged cyber criminals. (Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?)



  • In the future, as an “active cyber defense measure” phones will securely erase all personal data with a rigorous chemical exothermal reaction. In other words, the battery catches fire.

    “it’s not a bug, it’s an undocumented feature”

  • Defensive Hacking is Legal as long as it is on your own network, but that’s about it.

    “There is no law that actually allows you to engage in an attack,” says Ray Aghaian, a partner with McKenna Long & Aldridge, and a former attorney with the Department of Justice’s Cyber & Intellectual Property Crimes Section.“If you attack an attacker, you’re in the same boat,” he says.

    The only kind of hacking back that’s considered tolerable is what you might enact defensively within your own computer or network. What’s clearly illegal are offensive hacks, where you leave your territory and actively pursue an assailant online.

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