Monday, October 15The Voice of London

You can now legally hack your own computer

Last week the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was added with a new exemption that allows users to be able to hack their own devices.

Reporter: Emre Gunes/Subeditor: Joe Carey


Section 1201 of the DMCA has forbidden users for years to reverse-engineer their own computer systems in order to contain the intellectual property of manufacturers. One of the most famous and recent court cases was Sony vs. Hotz which was settled in 2011. George Hotz, an avid gamer and DIY hacker reverse-engineered the Sony PlayStation 3 and allowed it to run unauthorised software and shared his findings with millions on the web. Now with this new exemption users are able to take apart their own computers and hack them. Don’t think this is just limited to computers however, almost everything has its own computer built in, so yes, you are able to hack your own car or house as well.

Many have celebrated this push for freedom of users but many have also been critical of the DMCA’s move to allow personal hacking. Josh Corman, co-founder of “I Am The Cavalry”, a consumer security group argues that insulin pumps can be hacked to cause overdoses, or that cars can be hacked to meddle with the brakes or transmissions.