By PATRICK WHITE
Friday's Globe and Mail
July 11, 2008
You won't be kicked off a car lot for asking about horsepower or ousted
from a bar for asking about booze. But apparently, you can be tossed
from a locksmith shop for asking about locks.
It happened to Steve Boisvert a few months ago. He dropped by a
locksmith store near his home in London, Ont., and began asking the
owner about Medeco locks, the supposedly unpickable industry standard
used in government and military installations. The locksmith asked him
where he planned to install it.
"Oh, nowhere," Mr. Boisvert said. "I'm just playing with it as a hobby."
That's when the locksmith told Mr. Boisvert to leave. "And he wasn't
exactly nice about it."
Mr. Boisvert is a member of a thousands-strong community of amateur
lock-pickers whose growth and influence is raising hackles among
locksmiths across North America.
Driven mainly by computer geeks who see parallels between hacking
networks and picking locks, the hobby has exploded online.
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