Long ago, a sage said that, “nothing is right and nothing is wrong, but thinking makes it so”
Can we say that, stealing is just a matter of the mind, if we don’t mind, it doesn’t matter?
I would take any network tweak to siphon data interminably, without compunction, but would not dream of pulling a gun on someone to forcefully take his car from him.
Now, what’s the difference?
Our understanding of what is proper / decent / right is dependent on our perception, which is, in turn, largely shaped by a myriad of factors like the environment we grew up in, the parentage, tribe, culture, religion, etc.
In looking at what’s wrong or right, we could appraise this multi-dimensionally.
Irrespective of culture and religion, it is known that it is immoral / sinful / wrong to take what does not belong to you (without the owner’ s express. permission.)
Now property does not have to be physical like a plot of land or a car. It could be intellectual or intangible like software or electronic transmission, as well.
When you bypass restrictions and watch DSTV free, or browse for free (by using tweaks to take more megabytes of data than the owner authorized), I imagine what you are doing is, to say the least, wrong, or an outright stealing.
Most of us would think nothing of duplicating a movie for several friends or share softwares or ebooks without restrictions.
The question would be is this wrong, a sin, or we can pass it off as using leverage, a tool, (technical knowledge) to get what we want?
Well, a robber that ‘persuades’ you to part with your gold wristwatch is also using a tool and knowledge (fears is a tool that opens the pockets speedily) to accomplish his nefarious objective.
If a computer hacker uses advanced knowledge to transfer someone’s millions from his bank account, we would unanimously agree that this is stealing.
But, would we feel the same way when someone is able to clandestinely illegally siphon a terabyte of data from a network, without paying the requisite amount, costing that network potential millions?
Aren’t the two cases the same? Depriving of someone of his or her legitimate income?
When we talk about the need to rid the country of corruption and its corrupt leadership, are we not just as culpable in the little shenanigans we engage in? Shouldn’t we look in the mirror, and start the reformation from that guy in that mirror?
Each time we use any leverage (tool, knowledge, whatever) to get undue advantage over a system or somebody, we are surely as guilty as the bank robber that shot himself to affluence,
Or, are we not?
Food for thought.