YouTube has officially banned the hacking and phishing tutorial videos as they have been added in the banned video content. The ban has been publicized after the crackdown on White Hat, an ethical hacking and other computer security channel.
Kody Kinzie is a co-founder of Hacking Interchange. Hacking Interchange is an organization that is committed to teaching beginners about the computer science and security. The Hacker Interchange said that they produce a “Cyber Weapons Lab” series on YouTube.
Kody Kinzie said that, but due to the content strike on YouTube regarding the hacking tutorials being banned, they are now unable to upload any new video on YouTube. The existing videos and content of Hacker Interchange have been pulled and flagged and got a strike too.
Under YouTube rules, they have added such videos as “harmful or dangerous content” on the page. This has banned all the “instructional hacking and phishing” tutorials. They have banned these tutorials which have shown the users how to bypass the most secure computer system. Instructional Hacking and phishing include the stealing of user credentials and personal data which are now banned under YouTube rules.
We made a video about launching fireworks over Wi-Fi for the 4th of July only to find out @YouTube gave us a strike because we teach about hacking, so we can't upload it.
YouTube now bans: "Instructional hacking and phishing: Showing users how to bypass secure computer systems"
— Kody (@KodyKinzie) July 2, 2019
Kinzie and many others pointed out on Twitter that maybe this ban can stop illegal behaviors, but it is a terrible thing for those who are at the beginning to learn computer security. Many of them are interested in countering hacking and phishing tricks.
Hacking techniques may be used illegally but it is not necessary that it will be used illegally every time. Legitimate researchers and computer system testers have practiced over them many times. Moreover, YouTube has also banned teaching theft techniques which are a less popular and expensive sort of method to learn about computers.
However, it is uncertain how long YouTube will be implementing this rule, but it has been there since April. This time YouTube spokesman has made it clear that the rule still exists and will be enforced and they are taking down hacking videos from YouTube.
YouTube rules allow these hacking tutorials if the purpose is educational, artistic, documentary, and scientific. This rule has cleared the position of educational groups like Hacking Interchange and Cyber Weapons Lab videos who focus on the academic style to test the security and not involved in any crimes.
The ambiguity is still there as YouTube has banned many educational organizations. A conflict exists as YouTube does not provide guidance to researchers and educators and they have never mentioned that teachers are allowed to teach the topic if it will turn harmful.