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20 Years For Gonzalez In TJX Hacker Case

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the see-you-when-we-have-flying-cars dept.

Crime 94

alphadogg writes "Hacker mastermind Albert Gonzalez was sentenced Thursday in US District Court to two concurrent 20-year stints in prison for his role in what prosecutors called the 'unparalleled' theft of millions of credit card numbers from major US retailers. US District Court Judge Patti B. Saris announced the concurrent sentences in two 2008 cases against Gonzalez, 28, a Cuban-American who was born in Miami, where he lived when the crimes were committed. Gonzalez and co-conspirators hacked into computer systems and stole credit card information from TJX, Office Max, DSW and Dave and Buster's, among other online retail outlets, in one of the largest — if not the largest — cybercrime operations targeting that sort of data thus far. They then sold the numbers to other criminals. Gonzalez pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in two cases related to those thefts last December and the following day entered a guilty plea in a third case involving hacking into computer networks of Heartland Payment Systems and the Hannaford Supermarkets and 7-Eleven chains."

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You got my hopes up (4, Funny)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624704)

I misread the first line as "Alberto Gonzalez".

One can still dream though.

This sparks an interesting idea (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31624784)

I don't know why this hasn't been done before, but, everyone with any technical know-how would agree that Linux is the best operating system in the world. Also, as we know, Microsoft is breathing its last, pathetic, dying breath, terrified as Linux usage continues to sky-rocket. But with this popularity comes a cost - Linux becomes a target for hackers like this. Now, we all know that Linux is the most secure operating system, but there is a negligable chance that there is a bug *somewhere* that can explioted, and when we talk about trojans, it's the user's that are the weak link in the chain. Well, I propose a fix: Honestylux.

Basically, you can only develop software for Honestylux if you promise not to write malicious software. Thats it. Anyone can use it, but thats fine because the software is guarunteed 100% safe - even if it contains bugs, they will never get exploited, because developers have promised not to exploit them. I vote it as a branch of Ubuntu, which is probably the easiest to use of the various Linux flavours.

I'm just perplexed that this hasn't been done before!

Re:This sparks an interesting idea (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31624924)

To make it super duper honest, you could set up a "Pinky Swear Authority" that will ensure all the developers are trusted. I nominate myself as the Root.

Re:This sparks an interesting idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625050)

To make it super duper honest, you could set up a "Pinky Swear Authority" that will ensure all the developers are trusted. I nominate myself as the Root.

I'm sorry, but honest to goodness genuine Linux users don't swear. You'll have to think of a different method of honor-based authentication.

Re:This sparks an interesting idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31626440)

I know you mean well, just as my assistant professor in philosophy did when he had faith in people in general....but after going out of the academic setting and seeing/ interacting with people from rich to poor, etc, etc....one thing I learned is that assholes come in all size and shape. It's not to say that I don't trust people or lost faith in humanity, but all it takes is one dishonest person to ruin the reputation of an entire project.

Re:This sparks an interesting idea (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626904)

This has already been done. It's selinux, and the NSA swears that it's really, really secure and that they don't know of any back doors in it.

Re:You got my hopes up (0, Offtopic)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626414)

OT but I'll try to paraphrase a really obscene exchange of Alberto's perjured Senate testimony. This is where they gave him a week to "correct himself":

Schumer: "So, you're saying this information was publicly available even though there is no evidence of what you're saying."
Fredo: "Yes, I told a reporter."
Schumer: "Oh! You did! Which reporter did you tell at which outlet?"
Fredo: "Um, it wasn't really me, it was someone who worked for me."
Schumer: "Oh! So who did you tell in your staff to alert the media?"
Fredo: "I don't recall."
Schumer: "Well, which media outlet did they alert."
Fredo: "I don't recall."

Re:You got my hopes up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627596)

Alberto should be in jail too!

In most countries..... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31624712)

You'll get less for murder.

Re:In most countries..... (1)

CSHARP123 (904951) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624780)

In today's world, if your identity is compromised like this, people will go bankrupt very easily. That in majority of cases bring peoples life to stand still. They have to go through hell to fix the problem. He deserves what he got. Let him rot in jail.

Re:In most countries..... (0, Troll)

TSchut (1314115) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624984)

In *america* world, if your identity is compromised like this, people will go bankrupt very easily. That in majority of cases bring peoples life to stand still. They have to go through hell to fix the problem. He deserves what he got. Let him rot in jail.

Fixed that for you.

Re:In most countries..... (1)

elnyka (803306) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625652)

In *america* world, if your identity is compromised like this, people will go bankrupt very easily. That in majority of cases bring peoples life to stand still. They have to go through hell to fix the problem. He deserves what he got. Let him rot in jail.

Fixed that for you.

How insightful.

Re:In most countries..... (2, Insightful)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626684)

Right, because the rest of the world isn't structuring their financial environment just like the US. No other country uses credit and credit ratings, computerized history files, complex financial vehicles like CDOs, etc. Iceland, Greece, Portugal and others aren't in a world of hurt right now because of the very same get rich schemes the bankers in the US perpetrated.

But hey, if wearing anti-US filters on your eyes makes you feel superior about the country you live in, then I say live and let live.

Re:In most countries..... (1)

yacc143 (975862) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627406)

Well Portugal and Greece are in troubles because they spend more than they take in.

Plus especially Greece lied a decade about their numbers.

Re:In most countries..... (1)

HansKloss (665474) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627724)

and somehow Goldman Sachs was their financial advisor

Re:In most countries..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31624998)

They have to go through hell to fix the problem.

Not for straight credit card theft, though. Having your credit card number stolen is generally just a minor inconvenience (and I say this having been on the receiving end). Call your card company (if they don't call you first because they detected the fraudulent activity), fill out the dispute form, and wait for the replacement card to show up within a few days.

On the other hand, full-blown identity theft -- where a thief gets your SSN and other information and uses it to take out credit in your name -- that's apparently hell to get fixed. Thankfully, I've never been a victim of it, but I've heard plenty of horror stories. Fixing it involves countless hours of dealing with the police, creditors, and paperwork. The effects can persist for years, and it really does sound like hell.

But in this case, it sounds like he was just stealing credit card numbers. It's still theft, and it's still bad, but it's not nearly as bad as you're implying.

Re:In most countries..... (2, Insightful)

tpstigers (1075021) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625112)

Exactly! And thanks for pointing it out. Credit card theft and identity theft are two VERY different things, a fact that seems to escape most people. Probably because the people who sell 'insurance' against identity theft want us to confuse them.

Re:In most countries..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625258)

Including this one.

Re:In most countries..... (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625532)

You'll get less for murder.

OT sort of. This last week there was a guy in VA who was sentenced in an online pedophile chat room incident. It was the usual police sting where the guy *thought* he was chatting to a teenage girl, but never actually did. His sentence .. 100 years. My first thought was that it just made abducting and murdering teenage girls less risky than thinking you were chatting with them online

Re:In most countries..... (1)

omarius (52253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626314)

Um, I'm fairly sure that in VA the penalty for what you describe is death. I suppose it's debatable whether that's preferable to 100 years in prison.

Re:In most countries..... (4, Insightful)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626720)

You'll get less for murder.

Most murders are committed in the heat of passion by mentally unbalanced people. This guy rationally and knowingly RUINED many people's lives. He can rot in prison for all I care.

Re:In most countries..... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627550)

The nature of his crime means he can easily repeat it if released. The solution is not to release him.

Re:In most countries..... (1)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 4 years ago | (#31633146)

So why are the floor traders at enron and most of wallstreet still walking around in public? They knowingly RUINED the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, not just "many".

Re:In most countries..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627854)

You'll get less for murder.

I doubt that's true if it's your second murder. When looking at this sentence, it's important to understand that like Mitnik, he'd been caught before and continued to commit the same crimes. There's really little choice with someone like that.

Re:In most countries..... (1)

ps2os2 (1216366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645000)

One of the big reasons is that this type of crime (not specifically taping into the airwaves) is that the punishment is so light. When will the government understand that in order to deter white collar crime is that you must PUNISH people for doing it essentially 20 years (and who know how much less for good behavior) is essentially a slap on the wrist. Now if it had been 40 years with no time off for anything (except maybe death) is the only way you send a message to people contemplating future crimes like this.

As a victim of CC theft I hope this prick rots... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31624782)

Filter error: You can type more than that for your comment.

Cuban-American (0, Troll)

michaelmalak (91262) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624806)

I wonder whether Albert Gonzalez ever self-identified as "Cuban-American" or whether the Fourteenth Amendment was repealed.

So (3, Interesting)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624818)

"Heartland claimed that no merchant data, cardholder's Social Security numbers, or unencrypted personal identification numbers (PIN), addresses or telephone numbers were compromised. "

So where is the crime if nothing was compromised?

Re:So (4, Informative)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624900)

So where is the crime if nothing was compromised?

I know reading the link is frowned upon in here, but the actual credit card numbers were lifted. Plus (FTA), "It also appears that those behind the breach "made off with the gold" by intercepting and stealing the so-called Track 2 data from the magnetic stripe on the back of cards, which is all that's needed to create counterfeit cards"

Re:So (1)

sonic_assault (1194739) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625156)

The crime is that he did something that is blatantly illegal. He illegally breeched that companies systems. The consequences of people's actions aren't so simple. There may be no 'visible' harm, but you don't hear the story of their IT staff having to work overtime to resolve that breech and the money that company spent to do it. You can justify it by saying the man was helping further their security by showing them a weakness, but that justification fails when he did it to take advantage of them.

Re:So (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627038)

Gonzalez is evidently charged with not only the Heartland case, but also the TJX break-in from 2007.

Explain Concurrent sentences Please (1)

hanabal (717731) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624904)

What's the logic behind concurrent sentences. 2 concurrent 20 year sentences is for all intents and purposes the same as one 20 year sentence. SO he basically got away with one of the crimes with no punishment. If its because 40 years for these 2 crimes is too harsh, then logically 20 years is too harsh for 1 and the law needs to be changed. Can someone explain the logic to me

Re:Explain Concurrent sentences Please (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625658)

What's the logic behind concurrent sentences.

Your question prompted me to google and I found concurrent vs consecutive sentences. [associatedcontent.com] It seems that it is up t the judge to decide how to sentence someone based on touchy feely concepts of their prior history. IE if they were previously good before committing 2 separate crimes then they might get concurrent sentences. If they are bad people then they might get consecutive sentences.

Re:Explain Concurrent sentences Please (3, Interesting)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627064)

What's the logic behind concurrent sentences. 2 concurrent 20 year sentences is for all intents and purposes the same as one 20 year sentence. SO he basically got away with one of the crimes with no punishment. If its because 40 years for these 2 crimes is too harsh, then logically 20 years is too harsh for 1 and the law needs to be changed. Can someone explain the logic to me

What happens if one of the two cases gets reversed on appeal? You want him to go free?

If only he had raped or killed someone... (-1, Troll)

Manip (656104) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624910)

If only he had raped or killed someone he might have got between 8-12 years... Damn evil hackers with their magic spells that I don't understand and thus am scared of!

Although this guy did have it coming (stealing CC numbers is clearly blackhat); it is still funny to watch how insanely disproportionality computer crimes in particular are handled. If it is just normal fraud then fine, two years, one in jail. But if it is Computer fraud then you're looking at AT LEAST double that.

I just hope these old people die off sooner or later.

Re:If only he had raped or killed someone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31626158)

I'm pretty sure sentences are based more on financial damage than morals or ethics. I.e. if you kill one person, there is less financial damage than defrauding hundreds of people.

Parallel Sentencing (1)

organgtool (966989) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624928)

Hacker mastermind Albert Gonzalez was sentenced Thursday in US District Court to two concurrent 20-year stints in prison for his role in what prosecutors called the 'unparalleled' theft of millions of credit card numbers from major US retailers.

If I was Albert Gonzalez, I would have asked for 480 concurrent 1-month sentences instead. Then when the judge finalized the sentence, I'd show him the definition of the word "concurrent".

Re:Parallel Sentencing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625268)

If I was Albert Gonzalez, I would have asked for 480 concurrent 1-month sentences instead. Then when the judge finalized the sentence, I'd show him the definition of the word "concurrent".

Then he'd school you on the meaning and consequences of "contempt of court."

Re:Parallel Sentencing (1)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627098)

Hacker mastermind Albert Gonzalez was sentenced Thursday in US District Court to two concurrent 20-year stints in prison for his role in what prosecutors called the 'unparalleled' theft of millions of credit card numbers from major US retailers.

If I was Albert Gonzalez, I would have asked for 480 concurrent 1-month sentences instead. Then when the judge finalized the sentence, I'd show him the definition of the word "concurrent".

Then the crime wouldn't be 'unparalleled', would it? Besides, the judge could just add a mutex to each sentence so they end up being sequential anyway.

TJX Case (4, Insightful)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624934)

What's missing here is the fact that TJX didn't take reasonable precautions to protect the data.

They already coughed up $41m to Visa and the FTC received a chunk of change from them as well.

The only way these kinds of thefts will be stopped is if these companies get serious about protecting Credit Card and Personal information. While PCI goes a long way in trying to address the Credit Card side of things, the Personal Information problem is still looming. We need tougher laws that make companies who gather sensitive information, SSNs etc. fully accountable when theft of the data in their possession occurs.

All in all, I still bet this guy has about $10m buried someplace but still 20 years of your life is a very stiff sentence considering a plea bargain as well.

Re:TJX Case (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31624976)

What's missing here is the fact that TJX didn't take reasonable precautions to protect the data.

Looks like you're the kinda guy that blames rape victims for dressing too sexy.

Re:TJX Case (1)

bangthegong (1190059) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626332)

What's missing here is the fact that TJX didn't take reasonable precautions to protect the data.

Looks like you're the kinda guy that blames rape victims for dressing too sexy.

Nonsense. Companies have an actual legal and contractual obligation to protect the data of their customers and the banks they do business with. Whether TJX took proper precautions is debatable but it's not even close to the same thing as blaming the victim. The real victims here are the credit card holders who trusted TJX when they bought some clothes or whatever not to leave their personal info open to hackers stealing 11 million credit card numbers. Those people (and the credit card banks) are suing TJX for damages under multiple class action cases.

Re:TJX Case (5, Informative)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625052)

I think the reason he got a stiff sentence (midway between the 15-25 sentencing guideline) was that he got caught TWICE for the same crime. After getting caught the first time, he turned informant, even collecting a $75k salary from the Feds. Meanwhile, he went back to his fraudulent activities and started working an even bigger crime than the one he was originally busted for, and under the Feds noses at that... Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice and I'll throw the book at you.

Re:TJX Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625170)

And how many years for the retards who transmitted my personal sensitive information in plaintext???!!

Re:TJX Case (2, Insightful)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625232)

I second this! TJX used default passwords and several other bad practices and kept on once they knew they had a problem. Had they taken the public's data security seriously, this guy would likely never had been able to do what he did here.

    When you can sit outside and type Username: (Name of manager inside) and Password: admin, wirelessly and then get credit card data from the registers which is not supposed to be stored, then yes it is YOUR fault that this happened as well. Especially when those same registers are linked directly to the main servers with surprise, default passwords!

  If I open the door and tell everyone come get this other persons shit, then I am liable as well. It is sad that TJX isn't in this case. I have even heard of someone in my area who were able to trace their trouble to TJX, as they rarely used the card. I asked if they shopped there and yup, that was the only place they had used the card in since the beginning of the year before that.

Re:TJX Case (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625500)

I second this! TJX used default passwords and several other bad practices and kept on once they knew they had a problem. Had they taken the public's data security seriously, this guy would likely never had been able to do what he did here.

Usually when this argument is raised it's when someone just used a default password, looked around the system, maybe even informed the operator, and got prosecuted for it. That isn't the case here... doesn't matter if the door's ajar, that's still not an excuse for going in and walking off with the jewelery and electronics.

If I open the door and tell everyone come get this other persons shit, then I am liable as well. It is sad that TJX isn't in this case. I have even heard of someone in my area who were able to trace their trouble to TJX, as they rarely used the card. I asked if they shopped there and yup, that was the only place they had used the card in since the beginning of the year before that.

If you have someone else's physical item in your possession, you might be civilly liable if it gets stolen if you didn't take ordinary precautions to prevent it, but you won't go to jail. In this case, due to the law it's the credit card companies who are on the hook (and they tend to push it back on the merchants who accepted the stolen cards and numbers). Maybe they could sue TJX, but it wouldn't be worth it, particularly as I'm sure TJX is a major customer. Maybe they'll insist TJX let them audit their systems in the future.

Re:TJX Case (1)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625248)

Disclosure: I was one of the victims of this breach. Happily, my bank caught it and called to ask if it was really me who'd bought those gift cards at Wal-Mart.

mod parent + insightful, for truer words were never spoken. Seriously, someone should have gone to jail for being so negligent with sensitive information like that, and no, it almost certainly was not anyone whose job it was to see to such things. It was, most likely, someone with budget control over that department who "...didn't see the value in being so paranoid about security..." Look, TJX is still in business, so $41 million probably didn't hurt enough to make that a lesson that would be learned by other businesses. If the negligence had ruined TJX, and landed some VP asses in jail, things would be different. But it didn't, and they're still not.
Maybe there should be a "terms and conditions" document that business, hospitals, anyone who collects and stores sensitive information, should have to sign each time the collect such information, acknowledging their responsibility to safeguard it. Maybe "putting it in writing" every time they add to the database would at least make the legal department take notice.

Re:TJX Case (2, Informative)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625976)

TJX was not in compliance with PCI-DSS, even though they said they were. Thus the fines from Visa. PCI-DSS has issues of course, but if they followed it correctly they would not have suffered this intrusion.

Re:TJX Case (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626840)

Part of demonstrating compliance is the Audit Process. If TJX had an audit, the auditor at this point would be part of the problem and possibly subject to litigation and damages. The problem though is that the PCI-DSS fines didn't start kicking in until a couple of years ago, so TJX could have been working on PCI-DSS and not have completed there work.

It's a tough problem, for example, When I was working for a large airline, we couldn't get around to upgrading their WLAN infrastructure to be PCI-DSS compliant. Why? The funding folks wouldn't approve the money (about $2M at the time) and constantly haggled the project team down. All that going back and forth cost almost two years. They finally are finishing their work last I heard, but the final driver wasn't about PCI-DSS directly, it was the indirect threat of fines and increased processing fees that finally got management's attention.

Silly? Yes, but that's the way business operates.
   

Re:TJX Case (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626582)

PCI does nothing at all compared to what COULD be done using the technology we already have available.

Consider if a credit card with a smart chip signed the transactions. Customer uses personal interface to authorize a charge. POS then presents a charge record complete with their merchant account number and if it is no more than authorized, the smart chip assigns it a serial number and signs it. Merchant presents the signed charge to CC company.

At that point, it doesn't matter in the least if someone grabs a copy of the transaction. Without the signature, the rest of the info is worthless but with it, it can only be processed once and it goes into the merchant's account.

Re:TJX Case (2, Interesting)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626806)

TJX may have not been in compliance with PCI, but if you left your house door unlocked to go to the corner store real quick, and someone ripped off your jewelty (or whatever you hold dear), you'd still want them punished. And even though you'd have laid some of the blame on yourself and learned a lesson, you'd still want the scumbag thief to face the music of committing the crime.

Re:TJX Case (1)

Virtucon (127420) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626948)

I think your analogy needs refinement.

1) Neighbor Asks you to watch their kid.
2) You agree, and watch them.
3) then you go to the store and leave the front door open.
4) You come back and the kid is gone.
5) Your neighbor is pissed but you just shrug your shoulders
6) Police give you a misdemeanor citation

Yes you still want the kidnapper prosecuted but you had direct culpability in the loss of the child. You were supposed to look after them but you didn't, in some places that will wind you up in jail. But since this is "property" and "money" changed hands with the Visa (via merchant agreements) and the FTC (by loose tenets of law) everybody's happy right? Except all of those who had to deal with the ID theft. I think there still should have been a class action suit against TJX by those affected instead of the "one day sale" they had to say they were sorry.

Re:TJX Case (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628630)

What's missing here is the fact that TJX didn't take reasonable precautions to protect the data.

Fully agreed. Until there's some serious liability for mis- and non-feasance when it comes to customer data, there's no incentive for these bozos to clean up their act.

All in all, I still bet this guy has about $10m buried someplace but still 20 years of your life is a very stiff sentence considering a plea bargain as well.

Here I'd disagree. This is being treated as a single offense, but it's actually an offense against millions of victims. If the sentence was proportionate to the offense, this guy would never see daylight again.

Re:TJX Case (1)

gcatullus (810326) | more than 4 years ago | (#31628958)

I agree that companies need to safeguard credit card data, but Visa/Mastercard doesn't even have something as simple as chip and pin for cards in the US.

PCI is a broken system, in that the cartel reaping all the benefits has no risk and foists off the responsibility for protecting card data to the merchant processors who get practically nothing, and then down to the merchants who are PAYING for the privelege of taking credit cards. Visa/Mastercard could and should develop a more secure system, but they won't because they don't have to. Interchange is defended as a cost for originating the credit cards, but why then is it as high in the US as when we still used knuckle busters to process and microfiche to track down stolen cards. I agree hold them accountable, but hold the right people accountable

what the hell? (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31624950)

"a Cuban-American who was born in Miami"

meaning: he's an american. he's born here, right?

so what's the fucking point of saying he's CUBAN-american? cuban-americans are more prone to cybercrime? what the hell is the significance of saying he's CUBAN-american. oh, a "real" american would never engage in cybercrime? what's that? an irish-american? an italian-american? when an irish-american robs a bank, do we say describe the crime, the sentencing and the criminal as "An Irish-American who was born in Philadelphia". why is that significant information? it's not, it's a racist smear

oh, it all makes sense now- he's a CUBAN-american: this is important information to relay in the story summary when describing the criminal and the crime

racist fucking bullshit

Re:what the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31624988)

"Cuban" is not a race.

Re:what the hell? (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625168)

Maybe so, but "american" even less...
I'm amazed by the amount of trouble americans go trough to sound PC (like 'african-american' and 'native-american') but in my opinion it only sounds more racist, especially when used in news items like this.

Re:what the hell? (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625702)

Especially when said African American isn't from Africa nor are a few generations of their parents before them. At some point you're simply just American. Saying a black person has black skin shouldn't be considered offensive as you're just stating the obvious. Thank god at my work we don't have this PC problem.

Re:what the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31626262)

Saying a black person has black skin shouldn't be considered offensive as you're just stating the obvious.

The obvious is that skin colour in that hue can range from light brown to nearly black - but never actually black...

Re:what the hell? (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627422)

Yeah, it's arbitrary. People think it's 'obvious' that they are Americans because their family has been living there for 6 generations, but a random black person is not really american why? Because their skin looks a little like an African? By this reasoning you could very well call Americans with the syndrome of down 'Mongolian-Americans' because their eyes look slightly similar (note: in the Netherlands 'mongool' is old slang for a person with down syndrome)...

The fact to remember is: All Americans are immigrants, the only difference is who came first. You can find some really nice info on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immigration_to_the_United_States [wikipedia.org] , for example:
- The peak year of European immigration was in 1907 (only one century ago). So the average white American family (basically all 'European-Americans') has been in America for roughly 4-5 generations.
- The peak of slavery was in the early 1800s (almost 2 centuries ago). The average descendants of actual African slaves ('African-American') have been in America 8-10 generations.

On average a random african-american is more likely a 'real' American than the European-American, very arbitrary indeed.
I hope everyone realizes this stupidity and just stops with these labels, especially the *-American, what it means to be an American is to be born and live in the land, it has no other significance and there sure as hell is no 'American race'.

Re:what the hell? (1)

Vancorps (746090) | more than 4 years ago | (#31639282)

There are those who wish to retain their ethnic heritage. Those people are then not just Americans but chinese-American or African-American. Of course worth noting that all African-Americans I have encountered were white and from South Africa.

Bottom line is I think we agree on, it is no politically correct to call a black person African American just because of the color of their skin. If they are from Africa directly then it's fair because its based on knowing something personal about them.

Re:what the hell? (2, Insightful)

nycguy (892403) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625094)

so what's the fucking point of saying he's CUBAN-american?

Maybe the author didn't want you to think that Gonzalez is a MEXICAN-american...

why? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625732)

who cares either way?

if he's born here, he's an american. end of fucking story. his parents were mexican? they were cuban? they were polish? they were indian? what's the fucking difference?

yes, i know, to SOME people the difference matters. and for those of you for whom identifying whether or not he's mexican or cuban is important, you're a racist asshole, EVEN IF you are the same ethnic background

Better than, "Your little Mexican friend." (1)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625118)

I'm not Mexican yo! I'm Cuban, B.

"Ah yes, Cuban B!"

Re:Better than, "Your little Mexican friend." (1)

LanMan04 (790429) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625480)

"Right near da beach. BOYEEEE!"

Man I haven't seen that movie in ages.

Self Defined as Cuban American - mayhaps (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625148)

Maybe he declared himself a Cuban American. In Miami, the Cuban population, whether born here or not, are relatively proud of their Cuban Heritage, and often refer to themselves as Cuban Americans. Being a Floridian, I'm accutely aware of the self imposed distinctions often made by those people who are of Cuban descent.

Re:what the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625200)

He's going to spend a lot of the next 20 years living in a cube.

Re:what the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625304)

Yeah, complete bullshit! It's 2010, can we not deliver good detailed information without being racist!

Re:what the hell? (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625318)

I wish you could express outrage without resorting to the F-bomb, but yeah.

--SirGarlon, a Polish-English-Dutch-American born in New York

dude (3, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625416)

you're born in new york fucking city and you're fucking complaining about dropping the fucking f-bomb?

fuck!

Re:what the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625412)

so what's the fucking point of saying he's CUBAN-american?

So we will bust him out so we can get some good cigars.

Re:what the hell? (2, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625510)

racist fucking bullshit

Nah, its politically correct bullshit. The media has been bitten too often by failing to mention the $NONAMERICAN identifier that many American's think of themselves as, that they now do it reflexively.
 
In the local paper's websites comment section - I've seen the $NONAMERICAN's bitch and moan and try to have it both ways. If the paper mentions a $NONAMERICAN was drunk and caused an accident, they bitch (as you do) that the paper is racist for implying $NONAMERICAN's are drunks. But let a $NONAMERICAN be positively mentioned (Say, winning a local business award) and they bitch about the paper being racist if they fail to mention the subject is a $NONAMERICAN.

i actually agree with you (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625650)

the issue is blind pride

people are prideful about things they shouldn't be proudful of

the only valid source of pride in this world is that you are an ethical HUMAN BEING

but if you are proud of being an {INSERT RACIAL/ NATIONALISTIC/ RELIGIOUS CHAUVINIST IDENTIFIER} you begin the process of talking about "us" versus "them", and, in your blind silly pride, actually wind up being the source of pretty much all the problems we have in this world

its getting better, very slowly but surely. someday, in the distant future, there will be less wars and less strife and all because people just think about each other as human beings, nothing more, nothing less. it will take a lot of effort to get there, but we are actually moving in that direction, oh ever so slowly

Re:what the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625892)

Most geeks on here would think it is an extreme penalty, but when they realize he's a spic quickly change their mind.
Racists!

Re:what the hell? (2, Insightful)

mapkinase (958129) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625916)

It's racist only if you say African-American or Jewish.

Re:what the hell? (1)

master_p (608214) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625922)

It's just like calling someone Afro-American, although he or she might have never been or linked to Africa in any way.

Re:what the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31626216)

I agree with GP sentiment, you don't read newspaper referring to "an Irish-American" when talking about the dozens of rapers, murderers in the USA who happen to have some ancestry linked to Ireland.

Re:what the hell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31626200)

I live in S. Florida. Ex-Cuban nationals and children of ex-Cuban nationals have what you'd call a lot of national pride. They are quite vocal in informing others about their love for Cuba and their hate for Castro. They are not Puerto Rican, not Colombian, not Venezuelan, but Cuban goddamnit. I'd say that they're even more adamant about being Cuban than Trinis and Guyanese.

That bit of rant out of the way, please note that *every* immigrant group (and I am an immigrant) is horribly worried about being confused with another immigrant group.

Dominicans don't want to be mistaken for Haitians. Trinidadians don't want to be mistaken for Guyanese. Barbadoans are not Jamaicans. Phillipinos are not Vietnamese.

If you don't make the distinction in S. Florida, various immigrant groups get all upset.

Re: What's the point? (1)

thomst (1640045) | more than 4 years ago | (#31627056)

so what's the fucking point of saying he's CUBAN-american?

It's not racism - it's an allusion to his cigar-rolling skills!

Miss you soup.... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625060)

Hey All,
        I actually knew him. I met him years ago and became aware of his subversive income at that point. He was a good kid then, just with little idea of what he was doing. It's sad he didn't evolve. Some frieds of mine got him a job at a company doing security work, and while he could break into anything, it turns outhe had a hard problem protecting it. I think this is what drove him to continue his bad behavior. The only thing I can say is 20 years is a long term for someone who could benefit society. It is just sad to see such a waste of a smart kid.

Peace Soup!

Anthony

I think the sentence is wrong :) (2, Interesting)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625142)

Don't give him 2 20-year concurrent sentences.

Give him a misdemeanor sentence of several hours per victim, stacked, then throw in a couple of felony charges with concurrent sentences so he'll have a felony record.

It amounts to the same amount of time, but when someone looks at his rap sheet he'll see millions of convictions on his record.

Re:I think the sentence is wrong :) (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31629244)

Don't give him 2 20-year concurrent sentences.

Give him a misdemeanor sentence of several hours per victim, stacked, then throw in a couple of felony charges with concurrent sentences so he'll have a felony record.

It amounts to the same amount of time, but when someone looks at his rap sheet he'll see millions of convictions on his record.

That means they'd have to try and convict him on millions of charges. The paperwork for that alone would kill the court system. Imagine having to read the ruling at the decision hearing. It'd take weeks.

TJ Maxx Slogan (1)

corruptblitz (1486729) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625146)

"You get the max (sentance) for the minimum at TJ Maxx!"

way to go FBI (1)

cats-paw (34890) | more than 4 years ago | (#31625162)

Now, how are those financial investigations of Wall St coming along ?

RACIST (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31625486)

"a Cuban American who was born in Miami ..."

If he was born in the US he's an American, plain and simple, you dumbass. Is Slashdot next going to start pointing out every "English American" and "Polish American" and so on for every AMERICAN? Racist asshole.

Not a mastermind (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31626220)

Hm, he got caught, tried and sentenced. Doesn't sound like a "hacker mastermind" to me. Sounds like a stupid cracker.

Free Kevin Mitnick! (1)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626362)

Oh, wait. . .Deja vu.

I loved his defense! (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#31626622)

Defense lawyers said he should get off because he was ill with Asperger's syndrome. That would be a "free get of jail card" for half of us here (at least me).

Re:I loved his defense! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31627138)

Of course at least you, because you're gifted with aspergers!!!! Thanks for letting us know about your awesomeness.

Fuck this guy, he deserves to rot in prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31626668)

And unlike most of you, I have BEEN to prison. And unlike
Gonzalez, I learned my lesson. Yeah, I fucked up, but I am now
a better person and a well-behaved member of society.

In contrast, this guy is an unrepentant sociopathic piece of shit, and he BELONGS in prison.

I would also consider giving him a prefrontal lobotomy and
a shopping cart, however. Or, allowing a few hundred of those
people whose credit card he victimized to have a few minutes
alone with him.

As for the "Cuban-American" reference, apparently some of you kiddies on
Slashdot aren't aware that Cuba sent some of its worst thugs to the US.
during the Carter administration. Some prejudice has a basis in fact, whether
you punks agree or not. Don't believe many Cubans are engaged in crime ?
Ask anyone who lives in Miami ...

Re:Fuck this guy, he deserves to rot in prison (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31628286)

Oh.... you did not know that the many cubans in the Miami are engaged in crime because they are the scums what Fidel throw out of the country because they were raping and using all other people in the Cuba. They are the ex leaders and rich people from Cuba what is now among same kind people in Miami.

U.S is just protecting those scumbags from being executed because Fidel throw them away and U.S government does not like it because it was the party what placed those scumbacks in the power in Cuba.

How can you have a fair trial? Illegal trial. (1)

NSN A392-99-964-5927 (1559367) | more than 4 years ago | (#31636854)

I have stated this for the past Twenty Years and I will reiterate this all over again. You cannot have a fair trial without a Jury of IT experts. Even the Judge cannot Judge properly if he is not an IT expert. How do you expect a fair trial? Well you just do not do you? it is fucking pathetic and a travesty when people on the Jury's expertise is Windows, Internet Explorer, MSN/Windows Live and cannot even secure their own systems that are full of frigging malware and spyware. Seriously I am furious, and I have earned the right to protest about this since using computers since 1978. If I were the laywer, I would purely appeal this conviction based on the fact "The jury were not able to make a rational decision as they could not comprehend the evidence in hand". It will be quite easy to pressurise the prosecution lawyer into a corner, the judge, jury and DA with some simple questions of what is an IP or what is the IP address of The District Attorney's website then DNS and Nameservers. You see these people cannot answer these questions, let alone know how to set up RDNS, MX records etc. I feel most of you are being unfair regarding this trial and pre-judging like a "kangaroo court" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kangaroo_court [wikipedia.org] It is a friggin mess. Just put yourself in this guys shoes for one moment, you will realise if it were you in the dock, you would feel aggrevied. I do not care if this post escalates my karma to bad, but what do you expect? /MOTD Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large numbers. Or as Alan Roberts always told me RSM from Queens Lancashire Regiment; Never under estimate stupid people in government, 80% of them are corrupt with invested interests, put them on the frontline as fighting soldiers and see who is truly brave! R.I.P AR RSM you will be missed but not forgotten =)

Re:How can you have a fair trial? Illegal trial. (1)

ps2os2 (1216366) | more than 4 years ago | (#31645044)

Then if you have a judge that is an "expert" in IT you could challenge his ruling because he knew "too much". A lawyer could essentially challenge a juror for being IT savvy.

I do not know if its going to far or not (in ether case judge or juror) its a doubled edged sword and could swing either way. I will not say its a conflict of interest but it adds to the complexity of the trial (That I would hate to second guess either side).

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