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Using Net Proxies Will Lead To Harsher Sentences

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the no-word-on-mask-and-cape-penalties dept.

Privacy 366

Afforess writes "'Proxy servers are an everyday part of Internet surfing. But using one in a crime could soon lead to more time in the clink,' reports the Associated Press. The new federal rules would make the use of proxy servers count as 'sophistication' in a crime, leading to 25% longer jail sentences. Privacy advocates complain this will disincentivize privacy and anonymity online. '[The government is telling people] ... if you take normal steps to protect your privacy, we're going to view you as a more sophisticated criminal,' writes the Center for Democracy and Technology. Others fear this may lead to 'cruel and unusual punishments' as Internet and cell phone providers often use proxies without users' knowledge to reroute Internet traffic. This may also ultimately harm corporations when employees abuse VPN's, as they too are counted as a 'proxy' in the new legislation. TOR, a common Internet anonymizer, is also targeted in the new legislation. Some analysts believe this legislation is an effort to stop leaked US Government information from reaching outside sources, such as Wikileaks. The legislation (PDF, the proposed amendment is on pages 5-15) will be voted on by the United States Sentencing Commission on April 15, and is set to take effect on November 1st. The EFF has already urged the Commission to reject the amendment."

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366 comments

Frorst (4, Funny)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579749)

They'll have to catch me firs&^&*(no carrier

Away! Into our submarine! (2, Informative)

nebopolis (953349) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580171)

We must flee this tyrannical legal system in our army of privately owned submarines! oh wait, they though of that: page 30, PROPOSED AMENDMENT: SUBMERSIBLE VESSELS The Act creates a new offense at 18 U.S.C. Â 2285 (Operation of Submersible Vessel or Semi-Submersible Vessel Without Nationality), which provides: âoeWhoever knowingly operates, or attempts or conspires to operate, by any means, or embarks in any submersible vessel or semi-submersible vessel that is without nationality and that is navigating or has navigated into, through, or from waters beyond the outer limit of the territorial sea of a single country or a lateral limit of that country's territorial sea with an adjacent country, with the intent to evade detection, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both.â

Re:Away! Into our submarine! (1)

Chyeld (713439) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580233)

Drug running. That part I can actually understand.

Re:Away! Into our submarine! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580595)

Submarines crossing the Arizona border would be pretty damn impressive, wouldn't it?

Re:Away! Into our submarine! (4, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580741)

well, unless you actually think about the how much sense the "war on drugs" makes in the first place.

Re:Away! Into our submarine! (1)

aynoknman (1071612) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580743)

We must flee this tyrannical legal system in our army of privately owned submarines! oh wait, they though of that:

I thought that an army of privately owned submarines would be a navy

Re:Frorst (1)

cellurl (906920) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580359)

I think the AP is fishing for our next move.

E.g. what technology we will use next.

Why TF don't they just encrypt CD's, DVD's.

IMHO, this is just an excuse to fuck with every aspect of the internet!

Re:Frorst (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580475)

Tor, blimey, mate!

They're a right bunch of wankers!

Don't break da lew and you don't worry then (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579785)

Peace, bro!

Re:Don't break da lew and you don't worry then (1)

its_schwim (1247278) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579877)

So we should allow the continued manipulation of the laws to suit big brother as long as we don't personally use the technology in question to commit a crime?

Someone should come up with a witty saying that we can put on shirts concerning the loss of privacy being ok if we don't do anything wrong. The previous sentence needs some streamlining and sexing up.

Re:Don't break da lew and you don't worry then (2, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580053)

"Those who have nothing to say have nothing to fear."

(Unfortunately, they tend to spend a lot of time saying so.)

Re:Don't break da lew and you don't worry then (2, Funny)

svnt (697929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580107)

I really think the AC was confused and just understandably concerned about toilets continuing to function.

Re:Don't break da lew and you don't worry then (1)

Cynonamous Anoward (994767) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580383)

Don't Tase me Bro!

Re:Don't break da lew and you don't worry then (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580677)

This looks like a BS way to tack on sentencing, much like paraphernalia charges in drug cases.

All the sudden your little plastic bag is illegal to poses, and god forbid they catch you with a pipe that can hold stuff hotter than burning tobacco.

Harsh? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579799)

09f911029d74e35bd84156c5635688c0

oh noes! I'm going to Prison + 25% !!!

But (5, Interesting)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579803)

What about forced proxy usage? Like using opera mini. Even in sockets mode, it seems to pipe through the Swedish proxy.

Re:But (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580037)

OT, but I twigged on the Opera Mini comment.

Warning: Opera Mini fakes out the SSL connections - resulting in the Swedish proxy seeing all of the supposedly encrypted traffic.

Re:But (4, Informative)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580263)

Wow, good to know. I'll rethink what I do on my phone now. After reading [wikipedia.org] about that, seems like it's Norway, not Sweden. Whatever.

Re:But (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580723)

To be fair, they are very open about it.

It should come as no surprise.

Re:But (5, Insightful)

Warhawke (1312723) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580197)

I think /. is missing the point. They are claiming that using a proxy implies sophistication. There's truth to that, as sophistication is a neutral term in a neutral environment. But 25% more of 0 time spent in jail is still 0. Don't do illegal sh** on your proxy and you'll be fine. If you do illegal sh** on your proxy, don't get caught, and you'll also be fine. But if you're using a proxy to prevent detection of your illegal activity, that is rationally a sign of sophistication and justifiably warrants increased jail-time.

Re:But (1, Insightful)

Architect_sasyr (938685) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580355)

How is following what every single goddamned script kiddie hax0r guide tells you to do considered sophistication?? And is there a decent reference for each state and country on what is illegal and what is not? Is Port Scanning a crime?

If anything we should be prosecuting the proxy owners for not keeping decent logs. And considering how the Sarah Palin email thing went most of the sane ones do, so we shouldn't even be doing that.

Re:But (3, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580637)

Well, port scanning is a crime, when you do it on my servers. ^^
Because then I will activate out my little packet and exploit artillery, and it's goodbye to you. ^^

Re:But (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580459)

That's the issue: More and more stuff is being criminalized. Seen the ACTA treaty, the parts that were leaked? It allows private parties to initiate criminal (as in don't drop the soap) action against individuals in the US. In the UK, this is already done, but here in the US, private goons can't have someone arrested, then figure out how to prosecute a case later... yet.

Add the fact that ISPs are ordered to keep logs indefinitely (and a number will happily hand them over to anyone), it creates an aura of surveillance. Thoughtcrime anyone? Right now, the solution is proxies. For example, the proxy I use does keep logs, but ditches them after a couple days if there isn't an obvious intrusion or case of abuse, which is reasonable. There have been claims that proxies that "don't keep logs" actually do, so I'd rather know the disposing time of an honest service.

This attack on anonymity isn't going to catch the criminals (they are in countries with less Draconian laws, or are hijacking a legit connection), it is mainly a tool to go after dissidents and help keep more in depth profiles of Internet users.

Re:But (5, Insightful)

Jumperalex (185007) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580469)

Why is that? What does "sophistication" have to do with the underlying crime? You either did something illegal, with an actual victim or you did not. How good you are at doing it should have nothing to do with your punishment. Consider it from the other perspective: just because someone is too stupid to use a proxy to cover their illegal activity means they should get a LOWER sentence? WTF? And what exactly is the purpose? It won't be a deterrent to the real crime. The future criminal is just as likely to attempt ID theft, hack a system, attempt to launder money, extort, etc etc regardless if they know using a proxy to do it is also illegal?

So what is the real intent ... to inflate sentences with false logic because they know increasing the penalty on the actual crime committed (you know the one that actually had the victim) would stretch the limits of legitimacy and seem in and of itself excessive. Well too bad. Either make the case that the current penalty isn't enough or move on; but stop inventing crimes.

and of course none of this addressing the chilling effect such a law would have on 100% legal and legitimate uses ... but uses for which the government might not like and so now they can charge you with 1) the dubious charge for the act they didn't like but isn't REALLY illegal, and 2) the sophistication charge (or modifier, whatever the more legal term would be). So now you are in a deeper pickle and are more likely to plead out since the "lesser charge" of using a proxy just might stick vice the bogus charge of [insert tin foil hat worthy activity here].

Re:But (2, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580771)

And what exactly is the purpose?
So what is the real intent ... ...the chilling effect such a law would have on 100% legal and legitimate uses ... but uses for which the government might not like

you answered you own question.

pet peave (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579817)

s/disincentivize/disincent/g

my "pet peave" (2, Funny)

PotatoSan (1350933) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580235)

pet peeve

Re:my "pet peave" (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580245)

pet peeve

D'oh.

Re:my "pet peave" (2, Funny)

JustOK (667959) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580287)

It should be D'oh!

Re:my "pet peave" (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580363)

My pet pees while I pet peas.

I use a proxy to browse Slashdot.org (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579821)

I have to use a proxy since sometimes I can't get through directly connecting to Slashdot.org.

I don't see how it is sophistication as it is just a bookmark to get to Slashdot.org.

Silly law. I think most laws on the Internet are silly though.

Like if someone is breaking into military computers, they're typically doing it via another government so our laws don't apply to them.

"Privacy advocates" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579851)

"privacy advocates" = smelly hippies who use Emacs for everything and dumb college kids with Chomsky posters taped on their dorm room walls while they swoon over Stephen Colbert's tired schtick.

Nobody gives a shit about you privacy advocates.

Re:"Privacy advocates" (1)

pentalive (449155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580065)

I suppose your posting this anonymously is part of the joke?

Privacy is used for tax avoidance and piracy (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579867)

It is too important to collect taxes and IP profits to have privacy.

It is already accepted to have all our financial records under surveillance and file that we are innocent each year.

What makes you think the internet will be more private?

Time for a new name... (5, Interesting)

certain death (947081) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579871)

We will rename Proxies to Application Firewalls once they get all the wording in their laws right and passed! :o)

Re:Time for a new name... (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580007)

Or "tunnel"

Re:Time for a new name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580097)

or tube..

Re:Time for a new name... (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580307)

Silly AC, teh internets ARE tubes!

Re:Time for a new name... (2, Insightful)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580087)

Pretty sure they'll define proxy somewhere in the law by its features, rather than relying on the commonly accepted (and fluid) meaning. In other words, it won't matter what YOU call it, if it fits their definition.

Either use a properly secure (i.e., end-to-end encrypted, proxied, indirect, padded, anonymous, etc.) p2p network, or better, do it in the open, and stand up for yourself in court, so others can do the same and add their voices to yours.

Re:Time for a new name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580501)

Every time I see someone say to stand up in court, it reminds me of the Aesop's fable of the mice wanting to attach a bell to the cat. However, finding a mouse to run out and get eaten in the attempt became impossible.

Nobody wants to bell the cat, and have their life ruined either in financially with civil action, or wind up in a PMITA prison due to criminal action. It takes money, and lots of money to fight court cases. Most people don't have 100 grand a month to get a competent legal team to deal with well-heeled teams of lawyers on the opposing side.

Re:Time for a new name... (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580755)

or better, do it in the open, and stand up for yourself in court, so others can do the same and add their voices to yours.

Standing up for yourself in court leads to nothing but an anonymous jail cell.

Re:Time for a new name... (5, Informative)

trentblase (717954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580311)

First, it's not a law, merely a guideline (they are amending a comment). Second, the comment does not say "proxy". It says: "In a scheme involving computers, using any technology or software to conceal the identity or geographic location of the perpetrator ordinarily indicates sophisticated means". Note the word "ordinarily." I am a privacy advocate, but this is not a particularly scary turn of events. It's basically saying that if you commit a crime and use technology to hide who you are, judges are encouraged to increase sentencing because you are likely to be a more sophisticated criminal than one who did not have the forethought to hide his identity. It sounds downright plausible to me.

Re:Equal time for equal crime? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580651)

What about the principle of "equal time for equal crime". I know it is a far from perfect, but this seems to contradict the concept of "precedence" whereby other criminals can get fairer treatment by citing the punishments other people got. The system seems to be no longer punishing the crime but seems to be punishing people for legal actions which are irrelevant to the crime.

Re:Time for a new name... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580737)

Ah yes, it's a good thing this isn't tied to the U.S. Judicial system. Or as I like to think of it, the land where plausibly good ideas go to die.

My Solution (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579881)

I'm working on a single drop-in ASPX/C# page that contains a web proxy, so that any newbie web hacker can have an anonymising web proxy in their own web site. I'll leave the PHP version to somebody else :-) The idea being that if thousands of (overwise legitimate) web sites in dozens of countries have proxy pages in then the national firewalls will have a lot of trouble blocking them out. The basic rule i'm going with is that it remains text only - so that it's below the MAFIAA and think-o-the-children lobbiests' radars. Watch this space.

Re:My Solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580631)

Why would any website owner purposefully implement this idea? They'd be fingered for whatever nefarious actions originate on the box.

Great idea (4, Insightful)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579887)

Just what the country with the world's highest incarceration rates needs, longer sentences!

Let's get tough on crime!

Re:Great idea (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579943)

Just what the country with the world's highest incarceration rates needs, longer sentences!

Let's get tough on crime!

Convicting a large non-random sample of the population disenfranchises those who disagree with the establishment. I think that's pretty smart planning. No good for the country, of course, but that hardly matters.

You can't surf without using a proxy. (4, Interesting)

Jason Pollock (45537) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579909)

Every telco that I know of uses a transparent proxy to improve performance.

There are proxies on the receiving end too.

Heck, proxies usually make things _easier_ for law enforcement, they tend to keep logs that they can get at without letting the target know.

Oh, I get it, they're against private ownership of proxies.

That's fine, ban the proxy!

Re:You can't surf without using a proxy. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580019)

You know, for a pollock, you certainly make a lot of sense.

Re:You can't surf without using a proxy. (1)

Firethorn (177587) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580057)

Oh, I get it, they're against private ownership of proxies.

I think that it's legislation written by/for legislatures who don't really know how the internet works.

The law would be fine if it targeted specifically 'anonymizing' proxies, that the user deliberately sets up, as opposed to a transparent proxy you don't even know about, or the corporate proxy that you have to use because the firewall blocks 80 and 443 from anywhere else.

Re:You can't surf without using a proxy. (1)

trentblase (717954) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580141)

To be clear, this is not legislation.

Re:You can't surf without using a proxy. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580473)

The law would be fine if it targeted specifically 'anonymizing' proxies, that the user deliberately sets up,

Um ... why would that be fine? That's even worse, from a privacy perspective, than banning ISP or corporate proxies. The government has a habit of assuming that a. they have an intrinsic right to know everything about a citizen (they don't) and b. that any citizen trying to hide anything is, by definition, a criminal (he isn't.)

I understand that this is not being written into law just yet, but eventually it will be (out of ignorance if nothing else) and is just wrong on so many levels. Law enforcement in this country is once again in need of being reined in. It's happened before (anyone old enough to remember the FBI under Hoover?) but this President is obviously not going to do it. Things will have to get worse, much worse, for there to be any hope of Congress stepping in, as they did before. Of course, America and its leadership have change dramatically in the past half century, so I don't hold out much hope for that either.

Re:You can't surf without using a proxy. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580667)

You should read the actual legislation yourself:

Sophisticated Means Enhancement.â"For purposes of subsection (b)(9)(C), "sophisticated
means" means especially complex or especially intricate offense conduct pertaining to the
execution or concealment of an offense. For example, in a telemarketing scheme, locating
the main office of the scheme in one jurisdiction but locating soliciting operations in
another jurisdiction ordinarily indicates sophisticated means. Conduct such as hiding
assets or transactions, or both, through the use of fictitious entities, corporate shells, or
offshore financial accounts also ordinarily indicates sophisticated means. In a scheme
involving computers, using any technology or software to conceal the identity or
geographic location of the perpetrator ordinarily indicates sophisticated means.

Why not (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579911)

just rename the US government to "Entertainment Industry Protection, Inc?". I mean, that's basically your government's only function now...

Let's not dilute "cruel and unusual" (4, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579915)

Others fear this may lead to 'cruel and unusual punishments'

No, it leads to excessive sentences. Those may be unreasonable and, unfortunately, quite usual, but there's nothing cruel and unusual about them, as that term is defined.

Re:Let's not dilute "cruel and unusual" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580795)

So you're saying the quoted phase is defective by design?

Re:Let's not dilute "cruel and unusual" (4, Insightful)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580805)

Let's not dilute "cruel and unusual"

We've decided torture is ok, how much more dilute can it get?

Law without common sense (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27579971)

Why does the hell adding internet makes thing so different in law?

If two guys both killed someone and robbed a bank where the only difference is one wore a ski mask and the other didn't, should the stupid one get less of a sentence because he was "easier to catch." I fail to see how being easier to harder to catch weight that much on the weight of the crime itself.

Sure, they may mean it as a deterrent but shouldn't that be on the crime itself instead of any tools that has both legal and illegal uses. Of course, there are other issues related to more technical aspects especially when proxies are relatively common.

Re:Law without common sense (1)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580819)

Look on the bright side - since it's a new application of law "on the internet," that means someone will probably patent it and then nobody can use it anyway.

Dear Legislators: (5, Funny)

svnt (697929) | more than 5 years ago | (#27579985)

We spent millions on our warrantless wiretapping systems installed in telecoms across the nation. Unfortunately, it turns out you can avoid having your data collected by use of a fancy system called a 'proxy' that's been around since the dawn of the Internet. Who knew?

Please fix this for us.

Sincerely,
The NSA

P.S. We have sexting photos of your wives and daughters. They're not 'sophisticated' but they sure look like fun!

Good luck! (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580015)

Good luck! I'm not behind any proxies!

Re:Good luck! (1)

Ortega-Starfire (930563) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580119)

Don't worry. I make up for your lack of proxy usage by using 7 proxies.

Different from wearing a mask? (4, Insightful)

staeiou (839695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580041)

If you wear a mask to rob a bank, you will get a harsher sentence than if you rob a bank without a mask. Now, masks aren't banned - you are totally free to wear one in public. Wearing a mask is neither a crime nor suspicious behavior that can be used as evidence of a crime by itself. The increased punishment only applies if you commit a crime wearing a mask.

Now replace mask with proxy.

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (4, Insightful)

Wingnut64 (446382) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580145)

Most people don't unknowingly wear a mask during their day to day activities. The same can't be said of network proxies.

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (3, Insightful)

frosty_tsm (933163) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580261)

Most people don't unknowingly wear a mask during their day to day activities. The same can't be said of network proxies.

While not unknowingly, some wear masks for safety reasons (paint sprayers, hazardous materials, motorcycling).

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580633)

While not unknowingly, some wear masks for safety reasons (paint sprayers, hazardous materials, motorcycling).

Cosplaying, attending conventions, hiding deformities...

Protip: remember your audience :)

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580483)

Most people don't unknowingly wear a mask during their day to day activities. The same can't be said of network proxies.

...though I know a few people who probably should.

*ducks*

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580511)

Most people don't unknowingly wear a mask during their day to day activities. The same can't be said of network proxies.

Most people don't unknowingly rob banks during their day to day activities either. So it all works out rather nicely.

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580529)

You never know though... I've seen other sysadmins wearing some odd items when woken up by a page or an emergency cellphone call.

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580183)

I live in the land of the free. I've see cops harass people for wearing a mask in public on any other day than Halloween. Maybe it isn't illegal as I've not see anyone get arrested, but if you are wearing a mask the cops come down on you like a ton of bricks until you comply and remove the mask. They immediately seem to suspect you are up to no good and are trying to hide your face to conceal your identify for some crime that you must be about to, or just did commit.

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580203)

What about the proxy you don't know you're using? Like say the caching proxy your ISP uses to minimize the amount of traffic they pass out of their network. You don't configure your browser to use it, you can't avoid it (the redirection's handled on your ISP's routers that you've no control over), you may be completely unaware that it's even being done, yet you'll be considered more sophisticated simply because you aren't the kind of techie who could spot this happening.

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (2, Insightful)

Xiozhiq (724986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580205)

However, if one of the fundamental conditions of accessing said 'public space' is that you have to wear that mask, or you can't go outside, should you still be penalized more for wearing the mask?

Proxies are everywhere, and are even encouraged in many places. For example, my school encourages us to install a VPN client for use while connected to the unsecured school wireless network in order to protect sensitive data that may be transmitted (bank logins, e-mail logins, et cetera).

Oh; and I believe the section in question is at the bottom of PDF page 8, numbered page 6. Section 2B1.1.

All around, this seems pretty silly to me. If they want to increase the punishment for committing crimes on the internet, fine and dandy, but masquerading what SHOULD in all honesty be some basic internet safety practices as "sophistication in a crime"? That's just stupid.

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (1)

VargrX (104404) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580585)

so sayeth Xiozhiq:

That's just stupid.

brother, you just summed the entirety of the technical knowledge of the our lovely socio-facist government

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580221)

If you wear a mask to rob a bank, you will get a harsher sentence than if you rob a bank without a mask. Now, masks aren't banned - you are totally free to wear one in public. Wearing a mask is neither a crime nor suspicious behavior that can be used as evidence of a crime by itself. The increased punishment only applies if you commit a crime wearing a mask.

Now replace mask with proxy.

$_ = "If you wear a mask to rob a bank, you will get a harsher sentence than if you rob a bank without a mask. Now, masks aren't banned - you are totally free to wear one in public. Wearing a mask is neither a crime nor suspicious behavior that can be used as evidence of a crime by itself. The increased punishment only applies if you commit a crime wearing a mask.";

$_ =~ s/masks/proxies/g;
$_ =~ s/mask/proxy/g;
eval $_;

"If you wear a proxy to rob a bank, you will get a harsher sentence than if you rob a bank without a proxy. Now, proxies aren't banned - you are totally free to wear one in public. Wearing a proxy is neither a crime nor suspicious behavior that can be used as evidence of a crime by itself. The increased punishment only applies if you commit a crime wearing a proxy."

Re:Different from wearing a mask? (1)

drawlight (1494543) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580251)

The mask thing isn't exactly so.
It is illegal for an adult to wear a mask in public in at least some states.

The point of proxies in crime... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580099)

....would be to not be traced and hence get away with it. If that fails then it would be due to incompetance with the technology hence the opposite of sophistication, so by definition they would have to be innocent of the additional offence n'es pa?

ianal of course, and since when has the law followed common sense so this is almost certainly wrong.

Re:The point of proxies in crime... (1)

tjonnyc999 (1423763) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580389)

*n'est ce pas

*IANAL. Acronym. "ianal" sounds like an Apple Corp. sex toy. :D

This just in.... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580105)

Let's imagine you buy a gun, and take steps to do it anonymously. You go out of state to a place that lets you evade checks. What do you think the police are going to think?

This is nothing new, and nothing exceptional.

Re:This just in.... (5, Insightful)

Calydor (739835) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580433)

WTF does it matter what the police thinks if I'm not doing anything illegal?

Is This So Horrible? (3, Insightful)

immcintosh (1089551) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580157)

Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't really care about this, but as far as I'm concerned using a proxy (at least intentionally) IS sophistication. This is just the legal system realizing that pre-existing rules can be sensibly applied to internet crime as far as I'm concerned.

This will end up applying to any "cyber" crime (1)

socalmtb (235850) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580159)

Anyone who is going to commit a crime online is going to use a proxy. Maybe many proxies. Unless they're stupid and want to get caught really quickly. Why don't they just increase the penalty for the base crime 25% and leave the proxies out of it.

so how about just not violating the law (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580209)

Then there wouldn't be a problem, no?

Conversely (2, Funny)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580267)

Anybody who goes about screaming, "HEY! Look at me! I'm doing something you don't like!" on the net, with a camera broadcasting your face, name ,and address, will receive a letter of commendation and a gold star from the president.

blech (5, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580347)

Just to restate this in blindingly simple terms -- if someone tries not to get caught when committing a crime, they should be subject to harsher punishment?

Seriously?

So if someone hides a body, he should have an increased jail time (not a decreased jail time for eventually disclosing the location of the body)?

If I fudge my books to embezzle money, I should have an increased jail sentence over someone who just takes the cash and makes no effort to not get caught?

Why are we rewarding stupidity?

I think I know why...

If [PUNISHMENT] times [RISK OF GETTING CAUGHT] is less than [BENEFIT OF CRIME] then [COMMIT CRIME].

Since these criminals using proxies reduce their risk of getting caught, they need to have harsher punishments in order for the punishment to act as a deterrent.

It's hardly fair, though, since the down side of all this is that the legit use of proxies is made to seem like a crime itself. Maybe they need to realize that this formula, while logical, doesn't actually work, since criminals tend to underestimate their risk of getting caught.

Re:blech (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580613)

Why are we rewarding stupidity?

I think you only have to look at Congress for an answer to your question.

Re:blech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580627)

The reason for the harsher sentence is, that sophistication implies some amount of rational plannning, which in turn means that you made a rather concious decision to commit a crime.

Therefore, somebody who commited a crime on the spur of the moment or out of emotional distress does get a lesser sentence than somebody who thought long and hard about what he wants to do and how to avoid the consequences.

To me, this seems like a good thing.

International Use of Proxies (1)

popo (107611) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580361)

Proxy use has become standard among international web surfers for a variety of reasons.

Users in China who are commonly blocked by the so-called "Great Firewall of China" use proxies to circumvent it.

US expats use proxies to watch their favorite shows on Hulu. (Because outside the US you can't access the streams).

Etc.

Making the argument that proxy use is somehow an effort to conceal identity for the purposes of committing a crime overlooks the many obvious (non criminal) uses of proxies.

The argument would never stick in a court of law.

Re:International Use of Proxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580519)

Proxy use has become standard among international web surfers for a variety of reasons.

Users in China who are commonly blocked by the so-called "Great Firewall of China" use proxies to circumvent it.

US expats use proxies to watch their favorite shows on Hulu. (Because outside the US you can't access the streams).

Etc.

Making the argument that proxy use is somehow an effort to conceal identity for the purposes of committing a crime overlooks the many obvious (non criminal) uses of proxies.

The argument would never stick in a court of law.

Both of the examples that you have cited are illegal uses of proxies.

I am certain that it is illegal to circumvent the "Great Firewall of China" while within China.

I am also certain that it will violate a ToS to use a proxy to watch shows on Hulu. (Computer trespass, illegal access to data, accessing a computer or network without permission, fraud, etc.)

What does this have to do with the President? (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580453)

can anyone explain why this is tagged "Obama" and "Obamerica"?

Seriously, what's with all the anti-Obama-trolling on Slashdot lately?

my town recently increased the fines for speeding! Is that what Obama meant by change?

I thought electing a black man would mean I could commit whatever crimes I wanted without fear of repercussion! This isn't change I can believe in!

Re:What does this have to do with the President? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580573)

Conservatives are scared yet entertaining children

Re:What does this have to do with the President? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580657)

Well maybe you should keep in mind that anything that happened in the past 8 years was considered to be the fault of Chimpy McBushitler. No matter what it was the left had to whine about on any given day the blame was laid at directly at his feet.

Now someone else has Chimpy McBushitler's job. Seems only fair that the new guy gets all the blame now.

Turing word: tyranny

oblig serenity reference (1)

GregNorc (801858) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580467)

You can't stop the signal.

Re:oblig serenity reference (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580577)

I still wouldn't have wanted to end up like Mr. Universe even if the signal eventually did get out.

So let's escallate this... (5, Insightful)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580481)

Strange we don't see "stiffer sentences" being handed down for more "sophisticated" legal techniques to violate the immigration law or financial fraud.

Perhaps it has something to do with this attitude [vg247.com] :

'TV Judge Greg Mathis and filmmaker Matty Rich are teaming up to create game for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 called Mathis âoeDetroitâ Street Judge.'

'The game is expected to be reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto - but with prison rape.'

'Huh?'

'Mathis says his goal as a judge, and as a gamer, is to introduce consequences todayâ(TM)s youth and the best way to do that is through videogames.'

'âoeThe main difference between our game and Grand Theft Auto is that players will have to deal with the justice system and consequences for their actions,â said Mathis.'

'âoeWhen you go to prison, you gain credibility when you come back on the streets. On the other hand, when you go to prison you can also be raped. So take your chances. We may see young people who make the wrong choice and go to prison and are assaulted repeatedly (in this game).â'

I wonder how long before some "geek" responds with a video game where the judges, bureaucrats, politicians and fortune 1000 executives are being killed en masse by the "sophisticated technologists" who got prison raped?

sounds like double standards to me... (1)

3seas (184403) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580541)

that the government can spy on us but we can't spy on them....

Wait a minute, government for the people by the people....

Seems the government has gone arrogant...

Government is as Government does. (2, Interesting)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 5 years ago | (#27580719)

that the government can spy on us but we can't spy on them....

Wait a minute, government for the people by the people....

Seems the government has gone arrogant...

Welcome to America, circa post-9/11.

This isn't really anything new, just a continuation of the erosion of our privacy that's been increasing at a faster rate since 9/11, that's all. I'm not even going to waste my time in attempting to put blame on any particular party either. We would likely be reading about this regardless of who is sitting in the White House.

Oh, and you can forget about that "for the people, by the people" stuff. Seems like the last time that held any standing in Congress was when the author was still alive.

But who are we kidding (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27580671)

What is TOR for? Really. In a free country, what draconian gov't rules do I need to work around? I can't say bad things about the gov't? Wait, no.

Oh yeah. Kiddie porn.

I know, it CAN be used for evading China's firewall, but running a tor node in a free country is a red flag indicating you might just be doing something like kiddie porn. And with 100% certainly you will be facilitating:

http://p10.hostingprod.com/@spyblog.org.uk/blog/2009/03/passion-and-dalliance-blog-why-you-need-balls-of-steel-to-operate-a-tor-exit-nod.html

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