Any ethical security professional would welcome controls
It is lame to resort to name calling "David".
The Reg's article describes the software being outlawed is software as dual-use, not general purpose.
I don't want to get to overly technical, but I do not believe the Germans are outlawing "IF" statements (which would be analogous to the multipurpose electrical drill).
What the Germans should be doing is outlawing such dual-use security invading software in the hands of anyone other than a licensed security professional. I agree that completely outlawing it is going overboard.
We all want our professions to be respected, and any actual ethical security professional would welcome the advent of ethics and controls for his/her profession (once he/she thinks about it).
Registration of IT security professionals would protect the public, as it does with locksmiths, physicians, dentists, pilots, motor vehicle drivers, architects, and (in most developed countries) engineers.
Registration would benefit the profession by initially helping stabilize billing rates, and as the profession hopefully gained respect, improving billing rates.
James, the internet is part of the infrastructure you say we elected our elected representatives to maintain.
If we agree on that, we largely agree. Internet security is but one of many concerns our elected officials should be actively addressing.
It is true that many hobbiest hackers prefer no controls on security software. They see the internet as being in test mode, and they should be able to experiment. Unfortunately that conflicts with those who want to use the internet in production mode for commerce and communications.