The War On Hackers


Corey Thuen was a developer at the Idaho National Laboratory who helped to develop a network-visualization tool called Sophia. Then Battelle Energy, the company that manages the INL, rejected the notion of open-sourcing Sophia, and instead licensed it for commercial use to a company called NexDefense.

So Thuen created a separate-but-similar open-source tool called Visdom, written in entirely different languages. (He stresses: “Visdom is not a translation of Sophia from C to the languages in which Visdom is written. We did not have the Sophia code when we created Visdom.“) And what happened? That’s right: Battelle sued him.

No, wait, it gets even worse. Because Thuen identified himself as a “hacker” — he’s a security researcher who’s worked for the FBI, among others — the judge had his computer seized without notice on the grounds that:

there are national security implications associated with an open-source…

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