Just a few years ago, I was able to overhear a conversation between a hacker and an interested person. This would-be client asked the hacker whether he would be able to hack into the Blackberry he had obtained via court order from a business partner gone bad. I was pondering about the consequences of this happening, both legally and also ethically. Obviously, the borders of moral are fuzzy these days, with everyone and their uncle spying on anyone else if they can, and noone having a bad conscious in services and governments asking for the golden key in encryption or even making encryption unlawful.
“Hacking is so mainstream nowadays that even the most tech-illiterate person can break into his boss’ email address.
While everyone’s focusing on major hacking scandals like Sony and Nasdaq, there’s also a flourishing “cottage industry” of people hiring hackers for espionage — basically like TaskRabbit for petty espionage.
“A new website, called Hacker’s List, seeks to match hackers with people looking to gain access to email accounts, take down unflattering photos from a website or gain access to a company’s database,” The New York Times reports. “In less than three months of operation, over 500 hacking job have been put out to bid on the site, with hackers vying for the right to do the dirty work.”
Hackers do their thing anonymously, while the website holds payments in escrow until the tasks are completed.”
as Business Insider writes.
This leads to a number of considerations. Is mankind indeed just a bunch of snoopy leeches? What happened to laws and legality? Why do we feel entitled to look into the data of all kinds of people, while we would probably not admit to reading our daughter’s diary – and even condemn anyone doing it?
With remuneration for these supposedly illegal activities going through the roof, one cannot but wonder what will happen when all these disgruntled or greedy services employees hit the street? There is no such thing as an ethical hacker. There’s just hackers. Ethics does not come into play, with very few exceptions to the rule, and the setting we are looking in today, are not making the choice easier for anyone gifted in that area.