Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project


Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

"As the majority of hobbyists must be aware, most of you steal your software. Hardware must be paid for, but software is something to share. Who cares if the people who worked on it get paid?" Bill Gates Open Letter to Hacker HobbyistsLeaving CT, Feb. 3, 1976

The earliest computer hackers often were individuals with sophisticated computer skills who simply enjoyed exploring programming and stretching their computer’s capabilities. Hackers of this type still exist. Others, however, use their skills to write damaging code that propagates over the Internet or to break into private networks for malicious or criminal purposes. While many malicious hacker attacks rank as nuisances rather than being harmful, other hackers have moved into more damaging hostile or criminal activities, producing increasingly sophisticated malicious technologies and tools that proliferate across the Internet. Some of these hackers are taking advantage of their skills to earn money through information theft, identity theft, fraud, denial-ofservice (DoS) attacks, and extortion. The impact of hackers may expand even further if nation states and others, such as terrorist or organized criminal groups, hire the talent or exploit the hacker developed technologies. - Federal Plan for Cyber Security and Information Assurance: Research and Development, NSTC p. 7 (April 2006)

Federal Activity

Consumer Information