Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Those Hacking Aussies

Since good, old fashioned police work doesn't seem to work very well down under, Australian police are asking for permission to hack into computers in their quest for evidence.

There are several troubling aspects of this proposal. It's good that they would still need a warrant, although as we've seen from the FBI here in the states, that doesn't always mean law enforcement has been above-board or followed all of the rules.

If a judge gave their approval, police could hack in, monitor for up to seven straight days, and not have to tell the owners for (conceivably) up to three years. Where's the due process in that?

Most software and security vendors are on record as opposing these kinds of efforts, but you can almost read the writing on the wall - eventually, some enthusiastic group of lawmakers will get involved and enact legislation requiring vendors to build in rootkits and back doors for use by investigative agencies.

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