I recently posted a question about methods for preventing alterations to a file or program. A short while after posting, it occurred to me that malware often tries to do that. Sure enough, when I came back, I found a response saying that it sounded like malware, and my question had been downvoted, presumably because it sounded like I was asking how to write malware. I'm not here to complain about the downvote or anything; I'd just like some clarification.
I've seen a fair few questions get downvoted heavily for asking about techniques used to write viruses, hack communications, etc. I can understand the reasoning - this site is meant to promote security and ways to keep the viruses and hackers at bay - but it seems a little... restrictive. It's also often inconsistent; refusing to explain a technique that might be used to write viruses is fair enough, but the site advertises Metasploit and similar tools in the sidebar, and users provide links to all sorts of tools when presented with the right question.
As an IT security professional, it's often helpful to know what techniques the bad guys are using. The only difference between some "hackers" and professional pen-testers is the motivation behind their actions, and what they do with the results - the techniques are often the same.
Can we get an official decision on what kind of discussions are allowed regarding techniques with black-hat applications?