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March 9, 2005
French "Felten" Fined for Posting Security Research
CoCo blog: "Yesterday the French security researcher Guillame Tena, a.k.a. Guillermito, has been fined a suspended fine of 5000 euros by a French court for publishing a vulnerability in the Viguard anti-virus software of the company Tegam. ...This ruling can cripple security research in France, making it illegal to publish security vulnerabilities or the proof thereof by reverse engineering."
For more on how anti-circumvention laws threaten security research, check out this letter [PDF] by a group of Canadian researchers horrified at the prospect of Canada adopting DMCA-like legislation (via Cory @ BoingBoing).
Update: From my EFF colleague Gwen Hinze, two good stories on the French ruling: Publishing exploit code ruled illegal in France? [ZDNet Australia] and Security researcher to be jailed for finding bugs in software? [same].
Says Gwen, "This looks like a charge under the 1991 Computer Directive Art 7 regime -- the EU TPM (technological protection measure) regime for software -- yet the Australian article states that he was convicted under the French provision implementing Art 6 of the EUCD -- which doesn't apply to software."
Update #2: Ren Bucholz @ miniLinks: "When all security research is outlawed, only outlaws will conduct security research."
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