"YouTube mystery ban on hacking videos has content creators puzzled"


That was the title of the always entertaining The Register's post about YouTube, under fire since inception for building a business on other people's copyrights and in recent years for its vacillating policies on irredeemable content, recently decided it no longer wants to host instructional hacking videos.

The written policy first appears in the Internet Wayback Machine. It forbids: "Instructional hacking and phishing: Showing users how to bypass secure computer systems or steal user credentials and personal data."

Lack of clarity about the permissibility of cybersecurity-related content has been an issue for years. In the past, hacking videos in years past could be removed if enough viewers submitted reports objecting to them or if moderators found the videos violated other articulated policies.

Now that there's a written rule, there's renewed concern about how the policy is being applied. Several people commented and we asked KnowBe4's Chief hacking Officer Kevin Mitnick what he thought:

"I believe Google's decision to block hacking / security testing videos reflects poor judgment and will have minimal effect to stop computer crime. Moreover, prohibiting this content that raises security awareness actually makes us less secure because the general public won't be made aware of the tactics and techniques used by our adversaries."

All of us at KnowBe4 agree. How about you?

Topics: Hacking

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