YouTube Bans Content ‘Showing Users How To Bypass Secure Computer Systems’

Kody Kinzie from the Null Byte YouTube channel on Tuesday said YouTube banned a video he made about launching fireworks over Wi-Fi for the 4th of July. According to YouTube’s Community Guidelines, you are not allowed to post content “showing users how to bypass secure computer systems or steal user credentials and personal data.” Doing so will apparently result in a strike. The Register notes that this written policy “first appears in the Internet Wayback Machine’s archive of web history in an April 5, 2019 snapshot.”

“I’m worried for everyone that teaches about infosec and tries to fill in the gaps for people who are learning,” Kinzie said on Twitter. “It is hard, often boring, and expensive to learn cybersecurity.” Security professionals like Tim Erlin, VP of product management and strategy at cybersecurity biz Tripwire, also finds the policy questionable. “Google’s intention here might be laudable, but the result is likely to stifle valuable information sharing in the information security community,” he said. “In cybersecurity, we improve our defenses by understanding how attacks actually work. Theoretical explanations are often not the most effective tools, and forcing content creators onto platforms restricted in distribution, like a paid training course, simply creates roadblocks to the industry. Sharing real world examples brings more people to the industry, rather than creating more criminals.”

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