Creator responsibility

I recently came across this rather interesting story ( about a guy who added secret compartments to vehicles. End of the story is, despite the fact what he did may not technically be illegal, he got 24 years in prison as some of his clients were (without his knowledge - although he may have suspected) major drug smugglers. At the same time, the two guys in charge of the drug smuggling operation got much shorter sentences - go figure!

The article ends with the comment:

 The (hacker) culture’s libertarian ethos holds that creators shouldn't be faulted if someone uses their gadget or hunk of code to cause harm; the people who build things are under no obligation to meddle in the affairs of the adults who consume their wares.
But Alfred Anaya’s case makes clear that the government rejects that permissive worldview. The technically savvy are on notice that they must be very careful about whom they deal with, since calculated ignorance of illegal activity is not an acceptable excuse. 
Interesting food for thought. To what extent is the creator responsible for the use of his/her creation?
Unlike the "guns don't kill people, people kill people" argument, the primary function of a secret compartments - or perhaps a technology like encryption - is not to cause harm, but to protect privacy. Should/could the makers of truecrypt be held responsible for criminals or terrorists using it to hide evidence of a crime?

I'm not an American, but sometimes these American precedents can have an influence overseas. It would seem to me a slippery slope if, as this article suggests, the person responsible for creating/implementing a technology that may be used for committing a crime more effectively can be sentenced far more harshly than the perpetrators of the crime.

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