Collateral damage

Jul 11, 2008 19:13 · 177 words · 1 minute read

According to Jonathan Zittrain, we’re all going to go to hell in a handbasket because devices are increasingly closed.

According to Adam Thierer, it doesn’t matter because they’ll get cracked open anyway:

So, Jonathan, I hate to pick on you again buddy, but what exactly is the problem? Apple has put another great device on the market and people immediately took steps to open it up and see if they can make it even better. Sounds like progress to me.

The Zittrain thesis is just getting harder and harder for me to take seriously.

Well, yes, up to a point. The issue isn’t that it’s possible to crack open devices like the iPhone. The issue is the collateral damage that gets caused when heavy-handed legislation is used to try to prevent what’s going to happen anyway:

Germany has just passed a new law that adds more “anti-hacker” provisions to the German criminal code. Although the new rules are meant to apply narrowly to hacking, critics are already complaining that they may prevent necessary security and network research.