US Department of Justice announced to review its policy on allegations of violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. For the first time in history, it has been officially announced that no charges will be brought against hackers who conduct a bona fide security research.
Conscientious, or “white hat” hackers are busy testing various vulnerabilities in security systems. In doing so, they seek to prevent harm to society or individuals. And the information they receive is used to protect devices or services and improve user safety.
The Department of Justice has stated that it has never been interested in pursuing good faith computer security research. And the official statement is meant to provide clarity and guarantees to white hat hackers.
A number of large companies, including Microsoft, Oracle and valve, pay rewards to bona fide hackers for cracking their software if the discovered bugs help improve security. Often they even offer hackers a kind of hacking competition with cash prizes.
The Department of Justice further clarified that a number of publicly condemned acts are not criminal offences. These include, in particular, lying on dating sites, checking sports results during work hours, creating fake profiles on social networks or visiting prohibited resources.
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