Ban the Automobile, Too?
Matthew Humphries writes this article on Geek.net applauding the FTC’s attempt to ban RemoteSpy. Most interestingly, Mr. Humphries says the following:
When you read about what RemoteSpy actually does then it is clear to see that it was made to act as spyware and must break a number of laws. What’s surprising to me is the fact it has been sold since August 2005.
I would challenge Mr. Humphries to find even a single law that our software breaks. He seems unaware of the important distinction between surveillance tools and the purposes for which people use them. I could go on at length about the numerous legitimate and beneficial uses of RemoteSpy — indeed, we have received hundreds of testimonials from parents and employers on the subject. It’s possible Mr. Humphries has neither children nor remote employees, both of whom are often more tech savvy and have better access to the computer than the parents or employers who have a legitimate need to monitor their computer usage.
It’s also possible that Mr. Humphries repeats the mistake of the FTC: focusing on the potential abuses of a new technology, rather than its intended legitimate uses. What would happen if we banned every technology that could be abused? No cars. No guns. No MP3 players. At the end of the day, the people abusing these technologies to break the law are the ones we should be focusing on. Otherwise, we unduly hamper innovation and technological progress because we are paralyzed by fear of how someone somewhere might abuse these new technologies.