Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Guns don't kill people

My late dad always used to explain to me that Guns do not kill people, people kill people. He really loved guns and always carried one, he also used to sell them to people for self-defense. He lost a close cousin who accidentally shot himself, although my dad never had an opportunity - and he always lived in Joburg - to shoot anyone.

So I do buy into the common hacker refrain mentioned in this amazing article I read in WIRED a few months ago; "See no evil". I can't get my mind off this story, please read it.

The "common hacker refrain is that technology is morally neutral. This libertarian (hmm.. yes I am a libertarian) ethos holds that creators shouldn't be faulted if someone uses their gadget or hunk of code to cause harm. But this case in example makes clear that the US government rejects that permissive worldview. The technically savvy are on notice that calculated ignorance of illegal activity is not an acceptable excuse." But as identified by WIRED, at what point (in the US) does a failure to be nosy edge into criminal conduct?

Last week I read another article about a (UK) scientist revealing codes for creating keys to start luxury cars. Sounds pretty much similar to the standard hacker refrain...  is this not the same thing happening in the UK too (well at least this guy in the UK doesn't have to sit in jail like in the USA)?

I did a little research by asking local people and a few foreigners about having a hiding place in ones car. Without fail, every South African thought it's a really cool thing (mainly as they thought it would be hiding things from 'criminals' breaking into ones car) and every foreigner thought what a useless thing, only criminals would want such a thing (to hide things from cops). Cultural bias?

Anyhow I'm really disturbed by the fact that Alfred Anaya - a genius at installing secret compartments in cars - was sentenced to do MORE time than the drug smugglers that used him. Can anyone explain to me if this is the case, how can the Colt and S&W factories exist in the US since they manufacture weapons that kill dozens in US every year?

In my future I'll certainly chose to holiday in Bali before Hawaii...

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