“Cyberweapons” crackdown could be used to criminalize basic software-bug testing

By Andrea Castillo – The Wassenaar Arrangement emerged in 1996 from a Cold War agreement to regulate the international arms trade. It is not a treaty, bound by force of law, but rather a voluntary pact between 41 major world nations, with the noticeable exceptions of China and Israel.

In 2013, the Wassenaar Arrangement created two new categories for official regulation: “IP network surveillance systems” (which includes the kind of technologies sold to state intelligence and law-enforcement agencies by cybersecurity mercenaries) and “intrusion software” (which includes both malware and “zero-day exploits” used to enter computer systems without detection).

If implemented, signatory nations would self-impose export controls limiting the selling or sharing of such information to licensed dealers and buyers within pre-approved countries.

Purely academic research, too, is under threat. The Electronic Frontier Foundation invokes the curious case of Grant Wilcox, a computer science student at the University of Northumbria whose dissertation on software exploits was censored due to Wassenaar rules. more> http://tinyurl.com/odxb23c

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