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Reverse Engineering Used For Good And Bad

1075 words - 5 pages

Reverse engineering is a technique that breaks down an object and lets others recreate it. Today many people associate reverse engineering with espionage whether in the government or corporate. In the past people such as farmers would copy tools that seem to be giving other farmers an advantage. Nations or states also use this technique to arm their armies with the best weapons or defenses to defeat approaching forces . Today the technique has been used in many other fields of work that is available for us today, such as archeology, manufacturing, and computer analysis. Archeology can use reverse engineering when a machine is found but not complete or broken. Archeologist can break down modern equivalent machines and intrepid what is missing from the rest of the one that was found. Manufacturing fields have also employed the use of reveres engineering to help create computer design models of merchandise that are being made. This would create very accurate and extremely detailed plans that manufacturers would not get from pictures or drawings. Computer analysis fields are another field that could benefit from reveres engineering. These fields could use programs to break down computer viruses to better understand how to create firewalls to stop them.
Some of the first uses of reverse engineering started out on the battle field with competing armies trying to get the best weapons to each other. Many western nations largest ambition was to be able to create gunpowder without having to import it all the way from China. In this way, they would gain an advantage as the supply of gunpowder would come from inside the nation and the supply would not run out. (Chase) Reverse engineering however was not only applicable to war in the past, many other groups of people also employed this technique such as farmers. When many basic tools that are used today are only just being invented, these tools would not be available to purchase in stores. People such as farmers would have remembered what they saw and past knowledge to build and reinvent these tools to keep up with other farmers. (Zhou) Using the technique of reverse engineering in the past has led to the improvement of tools that we see today.
As weapons and information become more powerful and effect more people, governments such as the US government, have established acts such as the Economic Espionage Act (EEA) to regulate the trade and reverse engineering of trade secrets which are forms of intellectual properties. (Constable) Most current acts to protect trade secrets are a recent development, most dating after the Cold War. As The Cold War spawned an era of espionage, the end of the war left many nations with armies of spies without a focused. This led to the development corporate espionage. In developed nations such as the US, many companies and the government worried about this threat as it could destabilize the economy of the nation. Due to this threat, acts such as the EEA began to emerge. (Moore)...

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