Hacking in the Physical World
This subject can get a little semantic so I want to compare entering someone’s system to entering their property uninvited.
How should we regard people who walk along a street trying to open doors and windows to see if they are open? If a window or door was open, they go into the house and walk around and:
1. Just look
2. Look and take photographs
3. Look, take photographs and post them on the internet for free
4. Look, take photographs and sell them to newspapers
5. Look, take photographs and sell them to burglars
Most people would not regard the above as being equally serious matters and in legal(ish) terms we have:
1. Trespass, entering the property
2. Burglary, entering a property and stealing or with the intent to steal
3. Housebreaking, breaking into a property and stealing or with the intent to steal
I see parallels between entering someone’s system (hacking) and the law regarding property. The term hacking seems to equate to them all and I don’t regard this comparison as helpful.
In my home I don’t want to meet someone claiming that they had a right to be there because they weren’t stealing anything and one of my household had left a door open.
I live in England and gun ownership is very limited and shooting people if seriously frowned upon. I suspect that in many jurisdictions of the USA people would feel that shooting the intruder would be OK. I also suspect that the legal system would not look to harshly at this action.
My opinion is that trespass is wrong as a matter of principal and housebreaking is wrong because of the consequential harm. I suspect the majority of others do not want other people walking around our houses either physically of via devices because someone left the door open.
Hacking should be illegal and the seriousness of the legal consequences should escalate with the harm.