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Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

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Nickolas
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Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by Nickolas »

I installed a keylogger on my computer (my property) and I was told that this is illegal. I don't see why, since I only want to check on who uses my computer. Is this illegal?
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man_of_power05
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Re: Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by man_of_power05 »

i don't see why it would be illegal. it IS your own computer after all.
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Nickolas
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Re: Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by Nickolas »

man_of_power05 wrote:i don't see why it would be illegal. it IS your own computer after all.
Yep, but it's used by other people as well and they claim I am invading their privacy by logging their text...
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Xian Nox
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Re: Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by Xian Nox »

Since you own the computer, you're free to do whatever you want with it. As hardware, you can use it in any way you see fit as long as you don't endanger others. The only illegal thing is to modify copyrighted software. This said, it is perfectly legal to use a key logger on a computer you own.
It is illegal however to use a key logger on a computer you don't own since it's considered an invasion of privacy.
Nickolas
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Re: Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by Nickolas »

Xian Nox wrote:Since you own the computer, you're free to do whatever you want with it. As hardware, you can use it in any way you see fit as long as you don't endanger others. The only illegal thing is to modify copyrighted software. This said, it is perfectly legal to use a key logger on a computer you own.
It is illegal however to use a key logger on a computer you don't own since it's considered an invasion of privacy.

Thanks a lot. :D
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m0skit0
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Re: Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by m0skit0 »

As usual, this can greatly differ from one country to another. The legal point here is what you do with such information. It's your computer, you're free to install any software you want, but if it's a public service, you most likely have to warn people about that. Also you cannot use usernames and passwords to log into private accounts without the owner permission (this can be universally applied), unless you work for a spying government agency, in which cases a lot of countries allow this for "national security" (actually they mean dictatorship).
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Halvhjearne
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Re: Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by Halvhjearne »

Xian Nox wrote:... This said, it is perfectly legal to use a key logger on a computer you own.
It is illegal however to use a key logger on a computer you don't own since it's considered an invasion of privacy.
thats not entierly correct ... of course as m0skit0 mentioned above, it differs from country to country, but "normally" theres actually nothing illegal in installing it on any pc (as long as you inform ppl that it is there) ... the way you use the data from it however is mostly in a gray zone, and the invasion of privacy part comes up when or if you decide to steal someones login and password (and use it).

as with many things, the actual software is normally not illegal ... but the way you use it can be
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Xian Nox
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Re: Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by Xian Nox »

Halvhjearne wrote:
Xian Nox wrote:... This said, it is perfectly legal to use a key logger on a computer you own.
It is illegal however to use a key logger on a computer you don't own since it's considered an invasion of privacy.
thats not entierly correct ... of course as m0skit0 mentioned above, it differs from country to country, but "normally" theres actually nothing illegal in installing it on any pc (as long as you inform ppl that it is there) ... the way you use the data from it however is mostly in a gray zone, and the invasion of privacy part comes up when or if you decide to steal someones login and password (and use it).

as with many things, the actual software is normally not illegal ... but the way you use it can be
What I meant is the following:
You buy a computer. From the point you bought it, it becomes yours and nobody has the right to claim any portion of it for himself. And since you can do whatever you like with everything you own as long as you don't endanger other people, you are free to install any software on your computer.
When another person comes and asks to use your computer, he actually asks for the right to use it "as-is", that means together with all the software, including any key logger you may have installed. A key logger is considered a program, so unless the person asks whether or not there is a key logger, you don't have to tell, as you don't have to list all the programs installed on the computer. (dang, if it's running Linux, listing all the installed packages with their vendors and versions will take quite some time.)
At least that's my point of view. Please correct me if I'm wrong somewhere.
m0skit0
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Re: Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by m0skit0 »

Xian Nox wrote:From the point you bought it, it becomes yours and nobody has the right to claim any portion of it for himself
Wrong. The closed-source software it includes does not belong to you (of course this depends on the software license).
Xian Nox wrote:When another person comes and asks to use your computer, he actually asks for the right to use it "as-is", that means together with all the software, including any key logger you may have installed
True.
Xian Nox wrote:A key logger is considered a program, so unless the person asks whether or not there is a key logger, you don't have to tell, as you don't have to list all the programs installed on the computer.
Wrong. This depends on legal consideration for each country, but as a general rule for occidental countries, if you're offering that computer as a public service (either paying or for free, doesn't matter), you should inform for any private data gathering. Same goes for supermarkets or underground, where camera watching is informed ("you're being filmed" ...). Also you'll have to delete those users data passed a certain amount of time (which varies for each country). Also you have to set up a service for users being able to see what data you've gathered from them and they can also request you to erase it (this also could change from country to country). As I said, this only applies for a public service, not for private use.

Besides the private/public usage, you cannot, under any circumstances, read or consult any private data from any user because that's considered privacy invasion. Using credentials to log into email, Facebook or forum accounts without the owner consent is privacy invasion, and thus illegal. Imagine a neighbour asks you to use your mail box (the physical one) to receive letters. Does this allow you to read his letters? Of course not. The letters' content is still private data.

Of course this can vary for "national security" reasons, as lately occidental states are on a run to restrict as many civil rights as possible, now that left-wing is "out of fashion" since USSR fall.
Xian Nox wrote:At least that's my point of view
PoVs don't matter here. Laws do ;)
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Halvhjearne
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Re: Is keylogging your own computer illegal?

Post by Halvhjearne »

unless you are a police, government official, diplomat or whatever, then you are obliged to tell other people about your surveillance ... ;)
Dr. Evil wrote:I used to use Windows, but it was designed by freakin' idiots.
Now i use linux allowing me to conrol the "lasers" on my "death star" with ease.
I'm Dr. Evil, and I'm aspiring to take over the world.
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