Can writing software be a crime?
Can writing software be a crime? A recent indictment in San Diego, California indicates that the answer to that question may be yes. We all know that launching certain types of malicious code - viruses, worms, Trojans, even spyware or sending out spam - may violate the law. But on July 21, 2005 a federal grand jury in the Southern District of California indicted 25 year old Carlos Enrique Perez-Melara for writing, advertising and selling a computer program called "Loverspy," a key logging program designed to allow users to capture keystrokes of any computer onto which it is installed. The indictment raises a host of questions about the criminalization of code, and the rights of privacy for users of the Internet and computers in general.