Laws like the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act put security researchers at risk of felony prosecution for telling you about bugs in the computers you put your trust in, turning the computers that know everything about us and watch everything we do into reservoirs of long-lived pathogens that governments, crooks, cops, voyeurs and creeps can attack us with.
Software now runs consumer products and critical systems that we trust with our safety and security. For example, cars, medical devices, voting machines, power grids, weapons systems, and stock markets all rely on code. While responsible companies cooperate with the technical community and the public to improve the safety of code, others do not. They instead try to prevent researchers and others from sharing safety research, threatening criminal and civil actions under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Chilling research puts us all at risk. Protect the public from unsafe code and help us to protect ourselves. Reform the DMCA and CFAA to unlock and encourage research about potentially dangerous safety and security weaknesses in software.
(Image: Amoeba limax encystment, Arallyn!, CC-BY)