Is it legal to own and operate a website that would host database leaks, accounts lists, Anarchist's Cookbook (guides on making bombs etc, drugs and more), and guides on stealing credit card info and other things such as DOXing?

  • 2
    Does this answer your question? It is legal to save and index a copy of any leaked database? Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 14:13
  • Search law.stackexchange.com/search?q=hack Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 14:13
  • It really does depend on what you intend to do with it and how you intend to distribute it - for example, Have I Been Pwned has never been threatened by law enforcement because it handles leaks ethically, while the FBI just seized and took down the website WeLeakInfo because it sold leaked information in full (as in usernames and passwords).
    – user28517
    Commented Mar 6, 2020 at 3:12

2 Answers 2


It depends on the jurisdiction and information.

A guide to making bombs would be prima facie illegal in the UK per s58 Terrorism Act 2000 http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/11/section/58, for example.

  • What about hosting database leaks? Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 17:12
  • @CensoredExe What's in the database? Who is the host? In what jurisdiction?
    – Lag
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 19:08
  • Account lists etc, services that were hacked by others and the databases leaked online, a site that hosts those. Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 19:23
  • 1
    @CensoredExe I've tried to indicate the law depends on the jurisdiction (the country or state) and the data. Is it a database of child porn? Is it a database of instructions for making nuclear, biological, chemical or conventional weapons? Is it a database of material considered to be blasphemy in a jurisdiction? Is it a database of official secrets? Is it a database of personal data? Is it a database of defamatory material? Is the person disclosing it a government employee, contractor or member of the intelligence services? etc etc. Maybe make your question more specific.
    – Lag
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 19:33
  • Database full of account lists, unhashed passwords etc, people data that was stolen. Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 21:28

You ask about a number of different types of material:

  • The Anachist's Cookbook would be considered to be material helpful for terrorism, and hence illegal to possess, never mind distribute.

  • Other how-to guides for crimes would probably be considered to be encouraging or assisting a crime, which is an offence in English law.

  • Having a database of leaked information is not illegal in itself, but if it contains credit card data or passwords and there is an intent to use these fraudulently then it would be "an article for use in fraud" and hence illegal under the Fraud Act 2006. Providing information from the database in a form that could be used for fraud, especially in conjunction with guides on how to do so, would be "encouraging or assisting a crime". The operator might also be charged with conspiracy if there is evidence of a specific relationship between the operator and another criminal, such as selling access. There may also be copyright issues with distributing it.

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