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Blog posts detailing potentially illegal activities

Discussion in 'Internet & Social Media Law' started by 9900, Mar 13, 2019.

  1. 9900

    9900 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I have a tech blog on Wordpress where I talk about cyber security and hacking among other topics. I would like to write about some black hat hacking techniques I've discovered over the years, but I'm afraid such posts could become a legal liability and result in me getting sued should someone read them and decide to employ my techniques on say a big corporate or government computer system (you never know). Since I'm focusing on the technical side of computing, the description of the hacking methods would be detailed enough that a reasonably tech-savvy individual could easily replicate them on their own. What are some steps I can take to avoid liability?
     
  2. Tax Counsel

    Tax Counsel Active Member

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    I don't know in what country/state you are located and what the reach of your blog is. But you'd be well served to consult an attorney in your country/state/province to outline in detail what you plan to present, go over what kinds of risks the hacking techniques you describe could have, and what your exposure would be to liability from those that might be harmed from it. If you are the in U.S. I would suggest that at the very least you'd want insurance to cover you in the event of a lawsuit. You'd need a policy that specifically covers that sort of thing.
     
  3. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    There may be steps that would limit your liability and there may be defenses to criminal prosecution.

    But there are no steps that you can take to prevent a lawsuit from being delivered to your door or handcuffs slapped on your wrists. Once either of those happen you are looking at $20,000 and up for defense costs.

    If you have that kind of money and want to roll the dice, feel free. Just understand that people who think they have covered all the bases usually haven't.

    See:

    Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman among dozens charged in college bribery scheme
     
    hrforme likes this.
  4. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    I am NOT versed in the laws of your lovely island nation, The United Kingdom.

    I am NOT licensed to practice law in The UK.

    That said, the following thoughts would protect anyone living anywhere, so don't tinker with PERFECTION, just implement my sage suggestions which will keep anyone safe.

    <=====================================>

    1. Say nothing about nothing to anyone ever.

    2. Do NOT type, then subsequently post something about anything anywhere on the internet.

    3. Do write your thoughts using pen, pencil, or crayon in a journal that you show to no one, ever.

    4. Wham bam, thank you Jimmy McJam for keeping my silly, blabbing, little arse outta the slammer!
     
  5. 9900

    9900 Law Topic Starter New Member

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    I'm living in Massachusetts, but my blog is read by an international audience, including people from Canada, Australia, India, Pakistan, and the UK. That's why I didn't bother to specify my jurisdiction. But looking at yours and other replies, I'm thinking I won't bother to post any black hat hacking tutorials on my blog until after I've monetized it to the point where the ad revenue will cover my insurance and other legal costs.

    Yeah, that's kinda why I came here in the first place. I was in the process of typing up a blog post on black hat hacking, wrote a disclaimer to the effect that I'm not responsible if someone decides to use my hacking methods for evil, then realized that that might not be enough to cover my ass legally. I'm probably going to forego any posts about illegal activities until I'm bringing in more funds and have done some thorough research on the applicable laws (which may include state, federal, and international laws as well as laws of other countries, since my blog serves an international audience).

    Heh, I'm actually in the US. The VPN I'm using is based in the UK, that's why that shows up as my nationality. Just curious, how did you find that information? Is it automatically logged in my profile or something, or did you do some kind of fancy WHOIS lookup on me?
     
  6. adjusterjack

    adjusterjack Super Moderator

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    Disclaimers can often be invalidated in court and might not be worth the cyberpaper they are printed on.

    We Super Moderators have superpowers that we are pledged not to reveal.
     
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  7. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    As our leader says, Lgjhst thy uio lsdcprt yfvgt thadjjlk! :D
     
  8. army judge

    army judge Super Moderator

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    In a past life I, too, was a hacker.

    I regretted and confessed my past misdeeds and our wonderful US government forgave me and blessed me into a very special agency.

    Today I serve a powerful government acronym agency as a cybersecurity legal expert.
     
  9. zddoodah

    zddoodah Well-Known Member

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    Don't provide people with instructions for committing illegal activity.
     

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