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With respect to Audio pickup for safe cracking, I suspect it would be professionally wrong to help an anonymous user develop technology to crack a safe. Is this type of question normally closed?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Awww come on, he said he's a safe engineer! =P \$\endgroup\$ – NickHalden Sep 25 '12 at 22:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ When he originally said he was a "safe engineer", I thought he was trying to say he was extra careful in a english-not-first-language way. It wasn't clear to me until much later he was talking about safe cracking. I have edited the title to make this more clear to everyone. I'm not going to help, and I don't want others accidentally helping only because they weren't aware of the real purpose. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 26 '12 at 14:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ I draw the line at building bombs! :-) \$\endgroup\$ – m.Alin Sep 26 '12 at 20:25
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Site policy does not judge the legality of a question. A question about potentially illegal activities is not grounds for closing or deleting a question. See these two MSO posts regarding similar situations. Closing the question should be reserved for when it is a bad question, not on its legal merits.

Note that there is no obligation for you (or any user) to answer the question if you feel that you cannot answer in good conscience.

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    \$\begingroup\$ But site policy also gives those with some minimum rep the ability to vote to close a question. While there are guidelines, each of us gets to make our own decision, which I have done by voting to close. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 26 '12 at 14:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ @OlinLathrop Which is one of the main reasons why it requires 5 votes to close, and why people can vote to open questions as well. All I'm saying is that as a moderator, I'm playing by the rules. \$\endgroup\$ – W5VO Sep 26 '12 at 15:18
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The question is a poor one, but not because it is about cracking a safe. If you personally don't feel like it is responsible to answer the question, then don't! No one is forcing you to answering the question. If you have reason to believe that there is an actual legal issue, then that can be brought up.

What is poor about the question is that there is little effort by the OP to research how to build this on his own and is looking for someone to do all of the work for them.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I don't want others helping this guy either. Maybe it's not against our official rules, but then we each get to make our own judgement about whether a question should be closed. I have now voted to close this question. Only 4 more votes to go. \$\endgroup\$ – Olin Lathrop Sep 26 '12 at 14:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Olin - only 2 more. \$\endgroup\$ – stevenvh Sep 28 '12 at 8:31
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It's worth reading some answers from StackOverflow Meta that deal with this topic of answering possibly "nefarious" questions.

Here's a good one: Dealing with questions of nefarious intent

Others:

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you could bring over a basic summary of what action to take and use those as supporting discussion/further reading it would make this answer more substantial. Right now I have to click those links and read to find an answer. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Oct 9 '12 at 23:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: My answer was not meant to take a side, nor did I post those links under the assumption that they contained an absolute answer to this question. I linked to those meta questions because they provide historical precedents. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Laplante Oct 10 '12 at 0:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ by linking answers you do post an answer, just one that has nothing that works here. This is right on the boundary of being a comment. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Oct 10 '12 at 13:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Kortuk: You'd be the first moderator I've seen on the SE network to enforce that boundary on a Meta site for a question tagged 'discussion'. That's what I'm here to do: discuss. Whether or not you found my contribution helpful can be solved with an upvote or downvote. Four people found this useful so far. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Laplante Oct 10 '12 at 16:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ enforcing a rule and asking someone to make a more useful answer are different, I was just asking if you would improve your answer. No need to take it so threateningly. \$\endgroup\$ – Kortuk Oct 10 '12 at 16:24

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