When Does a Student Become a ‘Hacktivist?’

When Does a Student Become a ‘Hacktivist?’

The case of Montreal college student Hamed Al-Khabaz [pictured left], expelled by Dawson College last November for having used vulnerability testing software on its Web servers without authorization, brings to a head all the myriad questions about lines being crossed, how, and when.  When is the use of commercial security software by outside actors considered “hacking?”  When is the discovery of a clear and present threat to students’ security considered, unto itself, a clear and present threat to students’ security?  If a security hole is obvious to a computer science student, is that student obligated to refrain from calling attention to it?

And as if those weren’t enough questions:  When should a service provider step in front of its client’s own public relations, and make “amends” for the repercussions that client’s policies may have on its own brand?

 

Read More