Hackers lose constitutional rights

If you call yourself a hacker online you automatically lose rights under the US constitution, a court has ruled.

The US District Court for the State of Idaho ruled that an ICS product developer’s computer could be seized without him being notified or even heard from in court.

The reason the court gave was because the hacker in question, Corey Thuen, said on his web site that he liked hacking things and don’t want to stop.

According to Digital Bond, what makes the case particularly unpleasant is that the case was being bought by an employer.  Battelle Energy Alliance is the management and operating contractor for Idaho National Laboratory. It has sued Thuen and his company Southfork Security.

The INL was developing a computer program aimed at protecting the United States’ critical energy infrastructure from cyber attacks. Thuen helped develop the software which was later dubbed Sophia which identifies new communication patterns on ICS networks.

Battelle wants to license this technology, Corey wanted it to be open source. Eventually Corey left INL, created Southfork Security, and wrote a similar “situational awareness” program called Visdom.

The case claims that Corey stole the code and violated agreements with INL. But again that is not the real story here.

Battelle asked for a restraining order without first notifying Corey because the Southfork web site said “We like hacking things and we don’t want to stop”.

They also got a warrant to seize his computer because he claims to like hacking things on the Southfork web site.

Even in the US, courts are reluctant to allow the copying of a hard drive. But it was swayed by the fact that Corey claimed publically he was a hacker and could probably wipe his hard drive.