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The answer, as in most things, is "it depends". Firstly, it depends on the country you are in, different countries have different rules with respect to reverse engineering.

Now in the United States reverse engineering is generally considered to be a legitimate form of discovery mainly due to the fact that it encourages innovation. There is legal precedence for reverse engineering being lawful:

Most major companies do buy and reverse engineer products of competitors once they are available, my source for that is myself as I worked for a cell phone company that engaged in that exact practice. Typically speaking, if you buy a device you're free to do whatever you want with it; trade secret law only protects the owner of the secret from others improper acquiring of that secret (you don't break into someone else' place of work and take a prototype)

The scope of a NDA is totally different. If the company tells you about un-patented trade secrets, you can't disclose that information. Once the company patents the secret, it's no longer a secret (you don't even have to reverse engineer at that point, the details are available from the patent office)

As there is legal precedence to allow reverse engineering, you can publish your results. It happens all the time. When a company doesn't want you doing this, they put layers and layers of security in the code to protect it. Again... the cell phone company I worked for did this with the bootloader.

....that said, bypassing anticircumvention devices, however, is a separate issue covered by section 1201 of the DMCA which forbids reverse engineering if it involves circumvention of a technological protection measure.

So if you want to learn how something works, if you want to make sure you have interoperability with a product, if you want to do encryption research or security testing... go for it. If you want to reverse engineer some software to make a key gen so people don't have to buy it... I would keep that to yourself.

Hope that helps.

The answer, as in most things, is "it depends". Firstly, it depends on the country you are in, different countries have different rules with respect to reverse engineering.

Now in the United States reverse engineering is generally considered to be a legitimate form of discovery mainly due to the fact that it encourages innovation. There is legal precedence for reverse engineering being lawful:

Most major companies do buy and reverse engineer products of competitors once they are available, my source for that is myself as I worked for a cell phone company that engaged in that exact practice. Typically speaking, if you buy a device you're free to do whatever you want with it; trade secret law only protects the owner of the secret from others improper acquiring of that secret (you don't break into someone else' place of work and take a prototype)

The scope of a NDA is totally different. If the company tells you about un-patented trade secrets, you can't disclose that information. Once the company patents the secret, it's no longer a secret (you don't even have to reverse engineer at that point, the details are available from the patent office)

As there is legal precedence to allow reverse engineering, you can publish your results. It happens all the time. When a company doesn't want you doing this, they put layers and layers of security in the code to protect it. Again... the cell phone company I worked for did this with the bootloader.

....that said, bypassing anticircumvention devices, however, is a separate issue covered by section 1201 of the DMCA forbids reverse engineering if it involves circumvention of a technological protection measure.

So if you want to learn how something works, if you want to make sure you have interoperability with a product, if you want to do encryption research or security testing... go for it. If you want to reverse engineer some software to make a key gen so people don't have to buy it... I would keep that to yourself.

Hope that helps.

The answer, as in most things, is "it depends". Firstly, it depends on the country you are in, different countries have different rules with respect to reverse engineering.

Now in the United States reverse engineering is generally considered to be a legitimate form of discovery mainly due to the fact that it encourages innovation. There is legal precedence for reverse engineering being lawful:

Most major companies do buy and reverse engineer products of competitors once they are available, my source for that is myself as I worked for a cell phone company that engaged in that exact practice. Typically speaking, if you buy a device you're free to do whatever you want with it; trade secret law only protects the owner of the secret from others improper acquiring of that secret (you don't break into someone else' place of work and take a prototype)

The scope of a NDA is totally different. If the company tells you about un-patented trade secrets, you can't disclose that information. Once the company patents the secret, it's no longer a secret (you don't even have to reverse engineer at that point, the details are available from the patent office)

As there is legal precedence to allow reverse engineering, you can publish your results. It happens all the time. When a company doesn't want you doing this, they put layers and layers of security in the code to protect it. Again... the cell phone company I worked for did this with the bootloader.

....that said, bypassing anticircumvention devices is a separate issue covered by section 1201 of the DMCA which forbids reverse engineering if it involves circumvention of a technological protection measure.

So if you want to learn how something works, if you want to make sure you have interoperability with a product, if you want to do encryption research or security testing... go for it. If you want to reverse engineer some software to make a key gen so people don't have to buy it... I would keep that to yourself.

Hope that helps.

2 added 258 characters in body
source | link

The answer, as in most things, is "it depends". Firstly, it depends on the country you are in, different countries have different rules with respect to reverse engineering.

Now in the United States reverse engineering is generally considered to be a legitimate form of discovery mainly due to the fact that it encourages innovation. There is legal precedence for reverse engineering being lawful:

Most major companies do buy and reverse engineer products of competitors once they are available, my source for that is myself as I worked for a cell phone company that engaged in that exact practice.  Typically speaking, if you buy a device you're free to do whatever you want with it; trade secret law only protects the owner of the secret from others improper acquiring of that secret (you don't break into someone else' place of work and take a prototype)

The scope of a NDA is totally different. If the company tells you about un-patented trade secrets, you can't disclose that information. Once the company patents the secret, it's no longer a secret (you don't even have to reverse engineer at that point, the details are available from the patent office)

As there is legal precedence to allow reverse engineering, you can publish your results. It happens all the time. When a company doesn't want you doing this, they put layers and layers of security in the code to protect it. Again... the cell phone company I worked for did this with the bootloader.

....that said, bypassing anticircumvention devices, however, is a separate issue covered by section 1201 of the DMCA forbids reverse engineering if it involves circumvention of a technological protection measure.

So if you want to learn how something works, if you want to make sure you have interoperability with a product, if you want to do encryption research or security testing... go for it. If you want to reverse engineer some software to make a key gen so people don't have to buy it... I would keep that to yourself.

Hope that helps.

The answer, as in most things, is "it depends". Firstly, it depends on the country you are in, different countries have different rules with respect to reverse engineering.

Now in the United States reverse engineering is generally considered to be a legitimate form of discovery mainly due to the fact that it encourages innovation. There is legal precedence for reverse engineering being lawful:

Most major companies do buy and reverse engineer products of competitors once they are available, my source for that is myself as I worked for a cell phone company that engaged in that exact practice.  

The scope of a NDA is totally different. If the company tells you about un-patented trade secrets, you can't disclose that information. Once the company patents the secret, it's no longer a secret (you don't even have to reverse engineer at that point, the details are available from the patent office)

As there is legal precedence to allow reverse engineering, you can publish your results. It happens all the time. When a company doesn't want you doing this, they put layers and layers of security in the code to protect it. Again... the cell phone company I worked for did this with the bootloader.

Hope that helps.

The answer, as in most things, is "it depends". Firstly, it depends on the country you are in, different countries have different rules with respect to reverse engineering.

Now in the United States reverse engineering is generally considered to be a legitimate form of discovery mainly due to the fact that it encourages innovation. There is legal precedence for reverse engineering being lawful:

Most major companies do buy and reverse engineer products of competitors once they are available, my source for that is myself as I worked for a cell phone company that engaged in that exact practice. Typically speaking, if you buy a device you're free to do whatever you want with it; trade secret law only protects the owner of the secret from others improper acquiring of that secret (you don't break into someone else' place of work and take a prototype)

The scope of a NDA is totally different. If the company tells you about un-patented trade secrets, you can't disclose that information. Once the company patents the secret, it's no longer a secret (you don't even have to reverse engineer at that point, the details are available from the patent office)

As there is legal precedence to allow reverse engineering, you can publish your results. It happens all the time. When a company doesn't want you doing this, they put layers and layers of security in the code to protect it. Again... the cell phone company I worked for did this with the bootloader.

....that said, bypassing anticircumvention devices, however, is a separate issue covered by section 1201 of the DMCA forbids reverse engineering if it involves circumvention of a technological protection measure.

So if you want to learn how something works, if you want to make sure you have interoperability with a product, if you want to do encryption research or security testing... go for it. If you want to reverse engineer some software to make a key gen so people don't have to buy it... I would keep that to yourself.

Hope that helps.

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The answer, as in most things, is "it depends". Firstly, it depends on the country you are in, different countries have different rules with respect to reverse engineering.

Now in the United States reverse engineering is generally considered to be a legitimate form of discovery mainly due to the fact that it encourages innovation. There is legal precedence for reverse engineering being lawful:

Most major companies do buy and reverse engineer products of competitors once they are available, my source for that is myself as I worked for a cell phone company that engaged in that exact practice.

The scope of a NDA is totally different. If the company tells you about un-patented trade secrets, you can't disclose that information. Once the company patents the secret, it's no longer a secret (you don't even have to reverse engineer at that point, the details are available from the patent office)

As there is legal precedence to allow reverse engineering, you can publish your results. It happens all the time. When a company doesn't want you doing this, they put layers and layers of security in the code to protect it. Again... the cell phone company I worked for did this with the bootloader.

Hope that helps.