Should ‘good’ hackers be protected by law?

Henk Krol does not fit the stereotype of a computer hacker. He’s not even that good with technology.

“I am quite the nitwit when it comes to computers,” says the recently elected Dutch parliamentarian of 50PLUS, a party that advocates the interest of the elderly.

But Mr. Krol is facing criminal charges of “digital trespassing” in the Netherlands, thanks to his efforts to bring to light a security hole in a medical research center website. That act has put him squarely amid a Dutch debate over whether to protect “ethical hackers”: hackers who act to find and report security holes to server owners.

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