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Obama Admin Wants Hackers Charged As Mobsters

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the let-the-punishment-fit-the-crime dept.

Crime 568

GovTechGuy writes "The Obama administration wants hackers to be prosecuted under the same laws used to target organized crime syndicates, according to two officials appearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning. From the article: 'Associate Deputy Attorney General James Baker and Secret Service Deputy Special Agent in Charge Pablo Martinez said the maximum sentences for cyber crimes have failed to keep pace with the severity of the threats. Martinez said hackers are often members of sophisticated criminal networks. "Secret Service investigations have shown that complex and sophisticated electronic crimes are rarely perpetrated by a lone individual," Martinez said.'"

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568 comments

Too bad (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335300)

Obama doesn't apply the same standard to the Teamsters and Jimmy Hoffa Jr.

Re:Too bad (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335558)

Obama doesn't apply the same standard to the Teamsters and Jimmy Hoffa Jr.

Because Unions are more like terrorists than mobsters.

Re:Too bad (-1, Troll)

adewolf (524919) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335602)

Sorry Tea Partiers are more like terrorists.

Re:Too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335622)

Sure, because a key characteristic of terrorism is lower taxes.

Re:Too bad (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335704)

Teabaggers don't care about lower taxes any more than anyone else does. While Bush/Cheney and their Republican Congress were busy running up $TRILLIONS in debt and destroying the economy that could pay it off, Teabaggers were busy voting for them.

Teabaggers care about threats to create fear to force political change. That is the definition of terrorist. It's also the definition of teabaggers.

Re:Too bad (1, Flamebait)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335794)

Are you one of those insane DU posters who thinks using juvenile terminology like "teabaggers" repeatedly is a valid argument? Have you looked at a debt chart any time and seen its meteoric rise during the Obama era?

Teabaggers care about threats to create fear to force political change.

Lower taxes, what a "threat." You're not even making sense.

Re:Too bad (-1, Troll)

JordanL (886154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335854)

Don't pay attention to Doc Ruby. He's been on my "ignore" list for over five years here. This is how he's always been. If he's a juvenile he's been one for at least half a decade.

Re:Too bad (5, Informative)

alexborges (313924) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335924)

Its amazing to me how this short-term arguments can be made and people will still believe them. I would like to invite you to not look at just the debt chart, but to try and see why was that money needed.

You will find that it was necessary to get some loans to pay for wars, broken banks and other failing financial industries like inssurance companies because Mr. Bush deemed necessary to not investigate nor have them report anything: you name it. War contracts, shady trading and stupid ass lending for houses, that all happened in Bush's era and it is WHY YOU CAN SEE THAT SPIKE IN THE DEBT CHART.

Just because Mr. Bush and the republican party (today led by the most stupid people ever in american politics since the prohibitionist party) didnt pay for what they spent in their time, it doesnt mean that the huge debt spike should be attributed to the current administration. It shouldnt.

Re:Too bad (4, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335714)

Sorry Tea Partiers are more like terrorists.

For what? For peacefully working within the political process to support leaders whom they believe represent their interests? That makes them terrorists? Oh right, they don't agree with you.

It's already becoming a trend in the media to label as "terrorist" anyone who disagrees with you. It's the new "racist" just as "racist" was the new "communist", "communist" was the new "uppity dark-skinned person" and that was the new "witch".

Congratulations. You are a useful idiot who is taking his place as a part of a system of oppression. I know you didn't arrive at the conclusion that "Tea Partiers are terrorists" by your own independent examination of the actions of Tea Party supporters. I know that because it isn't possible. Their peaceful participation in the political process is the exact opposite of blowing things up and murdering civilians in order to advance a political agenda. That means you are the recipient of some carefully crafted brainwashing, propaganda, whatever you want to call it. Like all such recipients, you will excuse and defend what you now consider your own original idea. Again, congratulations.

You really have no idea the forces that are behind your passionate beliefs or just how dangerous this really is. Once the label of "terrorist" is applied so carelessly, you are now in a world where anyone can be considered a terrorist. Once that happens, you're only a baby step away from suspending their civil liberties at will. As long as you get the childish satisfaction of making someone look bad because you disagree with them it'll all be worth it, right? At least until you become the next terrorist. But don't worry, whoever calls you that will enjoy it as much as you did when you imagined the tables could never be turned on yourself.

That saying "first they came for the Jews, but since I was not a Jew I did not stand up .. .. .. then when they came for me, there was no one left to stand up for me" was written for people like you. It was intended for the early stages of this kind of monstrosity, when it looks innocent enough, when you can still comfortably call "tin-foil hatter" instead of "prophet" anyone who can see what's coming, when it's embryonic and could still be easily stopped. After that time, it's too late and must run its course. Not that this means anything to you, I'm sure.

Re:Too bad (1)

Gripp (1969738) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335838)

i have to say you have made one of the best posts i have seen on /. . and i'm not even a fan of the tea party! (quite the opposite really)... someone mod this guy up.

Re:Too bad (2)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335818)

Obama doesn't apply the same standard to the Teamsters and Jimmy Hoffa Jr.

Also, from TFS:

"Secret Service investigations have shown that complex and sophisticated electronic crimes are rarely perpetrated by a lone individual,"

Now, the common point of the two above is: how do you (Joe Citizen) know? "Secret Service investigations" doesn't sound too reassuring.

Allow it to happen and I bet the next thing will be: "Sentencing for associating in secret have failed to keep pace with the severity of the threats" (with the next steps "Sentencing for associations not formally approved by the Secret Services..." and/or "Sentencing for associating under other form than a for-profit corporation..."???)

While they're at it (5, Insightful)

Cornwallis (1188489) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335304)

How about charging their fellow sociopaths - in the Administration & Congress - as mobsters?

Re:While they're at it (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335312)

For what exactly?

I hope you're modded out.

Re:While they're at it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335448)

For what exactly?

I hope you're modded out.

For destroying our beloved country or have you not read the news lately? The US was again downgraded to 5th in global competitiveness just few days ago. BTW, in 2008 the US was #1. Our credit is downgraded and all politicians want to do is play politics more or less like my little 3 year old plays house all day. So before you go after hackers Mr. president, why don't you clean house and go after politicians who lied to get elected and then did nothing but run the country just like mobsters would run their day-to-day operations?

Re:While they're at it (5, Insightful)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335548)

I only wish they would run the country like mobsters running their day to day operations. Mobsters usually deliver the paid-for product. Mobsters don't pretend they're doing God's work. Mobsters don't go out of their way to start gunfights with uninvolved parties, and they don't irradiate their own customers in the name of "security." Mobsters keep two sets of books like the government does, but unlike the government's, one of them reflects reality. Someone who loses 22 C-130 cargo planes full of Mob cash can expect to be held to account for it.

We aren't run by mobsters, we're run by idiots. This is why I have no patience for people like Warren Buffett who prattle on about how taxes need to be raised on "the rich." Why? So the government can lose 23 C-130s full of $100 bills next time?

Re:While they're at it (3, Insightful)

adewolf (524919) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335624)

I have not patience for tea partiers who want to destroy this country by dismantling the federal government and putting into law Christian theocratic policies. NO THANK YOU.

Re:While they're at it (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335642)

We do need to raise taxes on the rich, among other things. The fact that the government isn't efficient doesn't mean we should reduce our revenues. That would just make us inefficient and broke. This isn't a company where it can go out of business and be replaced by a new one, at least not without massive suffering and bloodshed.

We should try to get the government to run more efficiently, but we should also pay our bills in the meantime.

Re:While they're at it (2)

Drummergeek0 (1513771) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335938)

We need to raise taxes period, and cut government spending. You can't keep cutting taxes and maintain our infrastructure, it just doesn't work. Police, Fire, Roads, Military, Public schools, etc are all funded by tax dollars, and a lot of them are seriously hurting financially these days (schools especially), but we also need to cut welfare programs (or at the very least regulate them better) and pet projects. I don't want to use a broad statement to say welfare or lobbying is bad, it most definitely has its positives for people and this country, but it is being abused and we have no real way to show this due to lack of regulation.

How businesses are handled needs to be changed as well. I'll admit I have more of a Randian approach to how I feel government should treat business. I feel meddling in company affairs should be limited, not eliminated per se. I support antitrust laws as long as they used correctly, but I feel that a large amount of business regulation is unnecessary. Keep any law that protects the worker, because are those are definitely needed. Eliminate most laws that prevent companies from being successful. A monopoly is prevention of choice (cable companies/internet/telcos that are locked into an area) but hurting a company because they are doing things right while their competitors aren't just to help their competitors needs to stop. Prime example of this would be the Microsoft antitrust lawsuit regarding Internet Explorer and Netscape. IE was good, Netscape sucked, plain and simple. I used both browsers and knew many people who did as well, and almost all of them preferred IE and it reflected in the market. But, since Netscape was failing, they attacked their competitor and tried to say it was because they offered it free, or that it was bundled with the OS.

That meddling goes both ways, our government should not be bailing out large companies. Bailing out large companies because they are "too big to fail" breaks the whole model removing the incentive to do things correctly as well as the punishment for not. It only helped out the big execs who used it as a chance to cut and run. It didn't help keep the doors open or save jobs, it just put more hurt on the people who will have to pay for it in the future. I think that was one of the biggest mistakes any administration could make.

Dishing out billions of tax dollars wasn't exactly a bad idea, though. Had that money been evenly split among taxpayers, it would have been a major jump start to the economy, because while some people would save their money, most would go out and spend it (either on bills or material items). That money would eventually trickle up to the top, through every level. This would require companies to hire more people to meet demand, in turn putting more money in people's pockets, starting the whole process over again and creating more tax dollars from more people working and spending. It gives big business a chance to right the problems they created, but requires them to do so if they want to survive. Everybody wins. Some will learn from their earlier mistakes, some won't, but that is human nature and there is nothing you can do about it.

I look at it like building a campfire. If you light the top of the pile, it will die out quickly and leave the tinder at the bottom unaffected. However, if you light it at the bottom, it will grow to engulf the whole pile. That being said, if they were to attempt this, it would have to be a very large payout per person to make it effective. The good thing is that a large portion would be recouped through sales tax and eventually income tax of the newly employed/promoted. I am not saying I support a move like this either, I am saying that it would have been more effective than bailing out big businesses.

That's my two cents anyway.

Re:While they're at it (5, Insightful)

Oxford_Comma_Lover (1679530) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335712)

I only wish they would run the country like mobsters running their day to day operations. Mobsters usually deliver the paid-for product.

So does Congress. We just happen not to be their customer, except once every two to six years.

Re:While they're at it (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335754)

Mobsters don't usually deliver the paid-for product, except when the customer is another mobster, backing up their orders with a gun. Mobsters do go out of their way to start gunfights with uninvolved parties. Because mobsters are assholes.

You've got to stop thinking mobsters are Al Pacino and Marlon Brando. They're the thugs downtown and behind the gate in the suburb who rob and kill for business, and who also rob and kill on their way up for fun. Living in and around NYC and New Orleans, I've seen the real thing. You evidently haven't.

As for raising taxes on the rich, the government's failure to tax the rich isn't cutting into the C-130s the Bush/Cheney government "lost" (to some mobster). Those flights will continue forever, so long as Republicans like you keep voting for Republicans like them. But without raising taxes on the rich what gets cut off is education of everyone but the rich, investments in science that keep the US ahead of our competitors and worth believing in, and enforcing laws that put some limits on how the rich abuse you. How surprising that Warren Buffet knows this, but you - some random Slashdotter - don't.

We are run by the people you Republicans keep electing. Yes, idiots. But not the kind you see on Fox. The kind you see in the mirror.

Re:While they're at it (2, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335710)

You voted for Bush and Cheney twice, Teabagger. And your local Republican who voted for all their lies and crimes.

We're just living with the consequences of your insanity.

Re:While they're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335534)

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic;"

That oath doesn't say "except the parts of the constitution that I don't like or find inconvenient." They've been legislating against amendments 4,6 and 8 pretty heavily, not to mention the 1st, and they've completely ignored the 10th.

If congress doesn't qualify as a corrupt organization, I don't think anything does.

"I hope you're modded out." (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335550)

hahahahahahaha.

thank you for expressing your desire so honestly and directly. its refreshing.

Re:While they're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335360)

It's because politicians are controllable and profitable, and internet freedom isn't.

Re:While they're at it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335458)

Including the banksters. Why aren't they being charged? Why not the torturers?

Re:While they're at it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335600)

I was thinking the same thing when I saw this. Don't forget the IRS and other law enforcement thugs. Kind of wonder if all this hacking publicity is just some agenda "they're" pushing to further restrict our online privacy.

Re:While they're at it (3, Informative)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335902)

further restrict our online privacy.

They want to make more criminals. Yadda yadda yadda law enforcement make-work program for otherwise unemployable combat vets coming home. Those of you in certain states like California are used to being bombarded with news of squabbles over union pensions and union this and union that. The teachers' union is obviously the most evil, according to the local Fox syndicate, and so they deserve to be cut first and hardest because its their fault you're too busy reliving your own failed childhood dreams to properly raise your own damn kids. But, it's funny how the prison guards' union was never mentioned through it all.

Look at the bigger picture. Your corporate leadership wants to kick out all the expensive, skilled personnel and replace them with cheap [wikipedia.org] foreigners [visapro.com] who will Autocad for peanuts because it beats the hell out of working in a shit-ridden shoe factory. The angry displaced born citizen workers, desperate when their unemployment and savings run dry, will then be jailed for terrorist threats because some plainclothed cops overhead them [wlcentral.org] badmouth the government in a coffee shop, and their jailers will be all those predominantly minority combat vets and/or desperate immigrants who still believe in a god and find a roof over their head and drinking the government Kool-Aid preferable to shitting in a stool pit in some Nicaraguan villiage square. It's a make-work problem that solves itself!

Re:While they're at it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335636)

Well, what do you want?

Do you want to be a leader yourself?
In that case, when you're up there, you will notice, that you will want to follow *your* interests.

Or do you only want to complain that in a system where the person who displays the most leadership and works hardest to achieve his goals gets on top and in control, the ones on top won't act as a servants but follow their own interests no matter what?
Because in the latter case, you won't change a thing, and you know you don't want to be the one changing something.

And in the former case, you would not be better than them.

I don't know how we all got trapped in the delusion that we could elect a master, and he would then be our servant. But we either have to accept that we don't want to lead and can't have such delusional expectations... or that if we want to change something, we actually have to step up and lead!

I found by place. As a social engineer working on manipulating the manipulators. Gaming the lobbies with their own game. Becoming the invisible will of everyone, and everyone becoming me... if I can...

What's it going to be for you?
Are you up for the game? Or will you fold like everyone else?

Re:While they're at it (1)

irwiss (1122399) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335936)

Why not charge the guys responsible for compromised organization's security as associates too? They leave security holes "available". Or wait, why is "severely" sensitive data even connected to the inter tubes?

Huh? (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335334)

I didn't realise being a mobster was a crime. I thought you actually had to commit a crime while in the mob to be charged; hence nailing Capone on tax evasion.

Re:Huh? (4, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335364)

I didn't realise being a mobster was a crime. I thought you actually had to commit a crime while in the mob to be charged; hence nailing Capone on tax evasion.

That was back in the bad old days when the government actually had to get a constitutional amendment to ban things, before they discovered that the interstate commerce clause allowed them to make any law they wanted.

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335416)

There are laws against belonging to a criminal organization, under the RICO Act. Those laws were introduced in the 1970s, long after Capone's time, precisely because going after mob leaders for tax evasion isn't a good strategy (after Capone, they started paying their taxes), and neither is letting the leader get away simply because he didn't get his hands dirty.

The RICO Act requires an organization to commit a pattern of certain crimes before it can be charged with racketeering. Among those crimes are theft, fraud, and money laundering, all of which can be applied to organized groups of hackers. It seems completely reasonable to apply the law in this way. Of course the Slashdot anarchists will decry any law enforcement whatsoever.

Re:Huh? (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335472)

The RICO Act requires an organization to commit a pattern of certain crimes before it can be charged with racketeering. Among those crimes are theft, fraud, and money laundering, all of which can be applied to organized groups of hackers. It seems completely reasonable to apply the law in this way. Of course the Slashdot anarchists will decry any law enforcement whatsoever.

I don't get it. If some of these hackers are indeed part of criminal organizations, then doesn't the RICO law already apply to them? Why do we need a new law, or even just the President telling the DOJ to apply that law to them? If the law exists, and fits, then the prosecuting attorney should be able to have the suspect charged with it, without having to ask the freaking President for permission. Of course, it's up to the Federal Judge whether the charge will stick or not.

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335522)

There are some computer crimes that don't fall on the RICO Act's list, such as theft of confidential information, or spreading a virus with the intent of causing at least $5000 of damage, or bringing down a computer system on which public safety relies.

Obama wants to add those to the RICO list.

Re:Huh? (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335782)

No, you have to be caught doing a crime. Being a mobster means your mob stops people from talking to the law about your crimes, and stops judges from saying something bad about your crimes. Capone kept people shut up, but his books were captured in a raid that implicated him. Tax evasion was a good way to bust a serious criminal who was such a bad guy that people were afraid to bust him.

Re:Huh? (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335872)

As somebody else pointed out, look up RICO. What I'd like to do take issue with your implicit assumption that *being* a mobster does not do the kind of harm that is obviously criminal.

Suppose you join the mob as their computer geek. You help them encrypt their records and all kinds of other things people in general have a right to do, but you do it with the full and explicit understanding that you're helping the mob kill and rob people. None of the things you do all day long like check the mail server logs for hackers or generating crypto keys for the hitmen is illegal in itself. And because you're a consummate professional, you fix things that the really sensitive information is safe even from you. If one of those hitmen murders somebody, you had no specific knowledge that specific murder was going to take place, so you can't be prosecuted for the murder. You *did* intentionally participate in the murder by helping the hitman do his job. It's possible the murder might not have taken place without your help (e.g., that the cops would have found the unencrypted contract on a laptop). But your criminal intent is effectively "laundered" so it can't be attached to any single crime.

I think that kind intentional contribution to many crimes without specific knowledge of any would be the point of applying something like RICO to black hat hackers. Let's say you're part of a hacker gang that steals identities. You don't necessarily participate directly, but play a supporting role knowing that this is what's going on. Although you knowingly play a critical role in stealing thousands of identities, you don't can't be implicated in any single instance of theft because you didn't know that individual theft was going to happen. So you acted with criminal intent, participating in thousands of thefts, but because that theft can't be tied to any one of those thefts you can't be charged with identity theft. That's because you're not an identity thief, you're an identity theft *racketeer*.

That's what's going on here. They're going to go after criminal hackers using racketeering laws that were designed for just that purpose. How many years have we been saying that putting "cyber-" in front of something doesn't make it a new kind of crime? Same goes here. Bringing up Capone here is quite apropos. Saying anyone charged with tax evasion is being charged as a "Mobster" would be logically equivalent to saying that anyone charged for racketeering is being charged as a "Mobster".

Mobsters ... but only if there are more than one (4, Insightful)

jgreco (1542031) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335340)

Seems like when they find that the electronic crimes are not perpetrated by a lone individual, then they ought to be able to target them appropriately.

I worry, however, that this sort of thing would be used to justify ruining the life of some poor dumb kid whose knowledge was larger than his wisdom.

Re:Mobsters ... but only if there are more than on (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335528)

The problem here is that hackers aren't the ones breaking peoples kneecaps and murdering. There should be no law targeting group crime. It's unnecessary.

Re:Mobsters ... but only if there are more than on (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335796)

No, it's been proven over and again that group crimes are different, and usually worse, than crimes by an individual. It's been proven for a long time that when groups attack people and our rights, the law must attack the group - not just members of the group. It's necessary.

RICO only covers certain crimes (1)

drnb (2434720) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335540)

Seems like when they find that the electronic crimes are not perpetrated by a lone individual, then they ought to be able to target them appropriately.

Note that the RICO act also requires the crime to be of a certain nature. For example extortion, theft, fraud, counterfeiting, money laundering, and obstruction of justice seem to be the relevant ones.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act [wikipedia.org]

I worry, however, that this sort of thing would be used to justify ruining the life of some poor dumb kid whose knowledge was larger than his wisdom.

Given the preference for using underage kids in the drug trade since they can't be prosecuted as an adult, I'd say that underage hackers will not be under the sort of risk you suggest.

Re:Mobsters ... but only if there are more than on (5, Insightful)

hrvatska (790627) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335560)

Whenever someone is promoting a law that is overly broad they always assure the public that it will only be used to go after the meanest, most terrible, and reprehensible people. Next thing you know the law is being used to prosecute small fry. My favorite example is teenage girls being charged with distributing child porn for sending pictures of themselves to friends.

government incompetence (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335346)

While people breaking into those systems should be prosecuted, so should the government security people who failed to protect that infrastructure. In different words, the threats are so "severe" only because the people responsible for protecting the infrastructure aren't doing their job.

Fear (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335348)

That's strange, every time the FBI make a statement about an arrest, the cracker is likely a late teenager, not a tough outlaw biker... Oh, wait, I forgot, terrorism, child pornography, 9/11, fanatics...

Ok, I'm convinced, it will a good law to protect our safety.

Coming soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335352)

Also starring Johnny Depp and Joe Pesci - Robert De Niro is KEVIN MITNICK

Re:Coming soon... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335358)

Justin Bieber makes a perfect Topiary.

Compare this to the debt resolution (3, Insightful)

timlyg (266415) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335374)

How is printing money from thin air not the same as mobster?

Re:Compare this to the debt resolution (3, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335816)

Because printing money doesn't kill people.

Money is voodoo. It's a completely abstract promise that someone will do something for you in the future, because someone else did something for you in the past. Whether it's printed according to some government formula, or passed around from rare materials gradually mined from the ground, or carved into huge stone discs, creating money is always based on some willingness to believe something that can be proven only by waiting and seeing.

That is not what mobsters do. Mobsters don't deal in abstractions. They rob, wound and kill in a very immediate demonstration of value given and taken.

Mobsters... (2)

Tavor (845700) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335378)

is a loaded word. If this law is used only against criminal enterprises or other "gangs" of criminals, it'll be fine.

Re:Mobsters... (2)

EnempE (709151) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335514)

Whats more the 'b' and 'n' keys are right next to each other making the inadvertent labeling of hackers as monsters that much easier ;-)

Obama.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335380)

what a fucking trash president! He's exactly the same as Bush. No change at all. We all fell for your shit the first time, but what's the difference between some christian theocrat republican and this clown? I wasted my vote....never again.

Re:Obama.... (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335826)

As B- as Obama is, some Christian theocrat Republican would be an F-. Bush/Cheney was an F, and you voted for them twice. You never voted for Obama. You're just a Republican troll trying to get some Christian theocrat Republican elected.

Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (4, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335386)

That is what this is about, make no mistake. Here most people now that 'anonymous' are mostly kids from 4chan, doing what kids and teens in general do... get pissed about injustice and morally wrong things. Hell I have one trick I have been using for years now and it is working great. If you want to know if something is fair or doing justice? Ask a child! They know! In the news, the public that doesn't know 4chan and the truth behind this non-organization, is being told that this is a group of people that know each other, that make plans, that gather together... For evil and to monetize on it... We all know that is bull. But the general public doesn't. This is just another step in that direction. Let's call them mobsters.... In the meantime however, on the background there are still the wikileaks cables burning. If these guys are so upset about crimes, they would have resigned a long time ago since well... their own jobs consists mostly out of committing crimes on a global scale. They know it, I know it and I'm pretty sure that deep in your heart, you know it too.

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335398)

now = know disclaimer: sorry for the bad English. I suck at it :P

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (4, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335536)

Don't be so hard on yourself. I only saw one now/know error in your whole post, despite lots of nows and knows. Your English seems perfectly fine. One error is easily attributable to a simple typo; maybe you didn't hit the 'k' key hard enough. It's only when you make the same dumb mistake over and over and over that you look like you're illiterate. This isn't a college English essay here, so perfection isn't necessary (though this shouldn't be construed to say that totally sloppy writing is OK either).

You remind me of non-native English writers who ask forgiveness for their English writing, when their writing is frequently 10x better than the crap that our (America's) younger generation is putting out.

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335584)

Thank you :) That must be the kindest reply I have ever seen here! (Well, at least as reply to my own thoughts.)

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335658)

I'm going to second what he said, I didn't notice the mistake reading it and couldn't really be bothered to find it. It's not a huge deal--until I saw your thank you I thought you might be kidding about sucking at english, you sound like a native speaker to me.

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335422)

"In the meantime however, on the background there are still the wikileaks cables burning. If these guys are so upset about crimes, they would have resigned a long time ago since well... their own jobs consists mostly out of committing crimes on a global scale. They know it, I know it and I'm pretty sure that deep in your heart, you know it too."

Oh God, you're gonna make me bust out cryin '

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (0)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335460)

What else to expect from an AC than bursting out in tears and non-constructive uninteresting trolling? Use your account. We can agree to disagree. It's ok. Even if you think your opinion will cost you karma....

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335554)

Yeah...

These guys started with basic defacement. Which in real world terms is graffiti. No one really cared. Except the people that had to clean up after them.

They moved on to harassment. No one really cared. Except those being harassed.

They then moved onto theft of information. Now they started pissing off people who like to keep their secrets. Such as credit card companies and people who have credit cards.

Now they are doing simple b&e and being 'praised' for it. If this same group had smashed open a door and stole the information and spray painted the walls would we still be applauding them? No we would throw their asses in jail.

Each step of the way they have become emboldened by the apathy. Now they have shocked the bulls balls with a cattle prod. They are going to get it. To think otherwise is naive.

Free speech comes with a cost. Or as some people like to say "dont make checks with your mouth that you are not willing to cash with your ass".

Sure what *some* of them are doing is a 'good thing'. But lets not whitewash it here. They are committing crimes. Two wrongs never make a right.

Or if you want to make it like what you see in the school yard. Little Suzzy has a secret. Little Johny finds out that secret then tells everyone. Not only that he makes sure everyone makes fun of Suzzy. That secret? She was the one who colored on the front door of the school with a marker. Is what Johny did right? No not really. Just as what Suzzy did was wrong.

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (2)

santax (1541065) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335610)

Well it depends on the secret. Does the rest of the class suffer for or from this secret? Or let me say, the school. Did the guy/girl that had the secret made it a crime to tell that secret to anyone? Because I can name multiple examples of things that used to be a crime where we all agree on that it was the good thing to do. To make a Godwin, protecting Jews was once a crime in my own little place on earth. You would get shot for it! I think we can all agree that it still was the good thing to do. Despite it being a criminal act in that place, at that time. What if the secret (as in the wikileaks) is a much bigger crime? Sure, when things are just about ruining someones day or embarrassing them, things get different. When it's for profit (as in money) things get different... And you are right when you are pointing to those cases. But current laws are strict enough for those cases. Ask Mitnick. And in those days, laws were nowhere near as strict as now.

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (2)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335760)

tell me how do all of what you said above apply to governments who commit crimes with MY vote, MY money, and against MY will.

yeah. i will take the kids doing graffiti and then moving on to expose the shit i didnt allow my government to do. thank you. if free speech had a cost, we failed to pay that cost a long time ago. and now the kids are fixing it. shame on us.

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335716)

About the name "Anonymous" (with a capital A):
Yes, but what is called "Anonymous" by the old media has as much to do with 4chan, as what they call "hackers" has to do with us who like to hack away at a keyboard to tinker with computers.

What they call "Anonymous" is more likely Operation W.T.F. by the CIA, or some other false flag operation, than anything 4chan-related.
It's not some hacking that pisses them off.

It's that the people, that they supposedly serve, start to look behind the curtain, ask questions, wake from their walking daze, and get back in control.

They are where they are because they like being the masters, having servants. And obviously, they want to stay there. So this is the greatest horror to them.

At least that's my theory. Which can still be totally wrong, of course, but right now, it fits my observations better than anything else.
Especially since it's wouldn't be the first false flag operation I witnessed with my own eyes. (Hence I'm posting anonymously.)

Re:Wikileaks + anonymous + civilian obedience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335862)

Have you ever asked a child whether what anonymous/4chan does is just?

I'd be interested to hear the results.

Law targeting organized crime... (2)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335402)

...being used against organized crime. News at 11.

Seriously, most cracking and virus-creation is for the money these days. It's the new bootlegging. Is this supposed to be controversial?

Its Official: Jimmy Carter is off the hook (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335408)

Obama just showed that he's even worse than the worst president of the 20th century, Jimmy Carter.

I'm guessing Jimmy will be buying everyone drinks tonight and high five-ing anyone within walking distance.

Re:Its Official: Jimmy Carter is off the hook (4, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335592)

You've got to be kidding. Jimmy wasn't that bad, he was just stuck with a shitty economy, and he wasn't terribly effective. His death blow was when he failed to deal with the Beirut situation effectively.

That totally pales in comparison to several other presidents. The worst one in my book was Lyndon Johnson, who's responsible for destroying the American economy in the 70s because of the Vietnam War, plus the deaths of over 50,000 American citizens in that atrocity, plus countless Vietnamese. He's not quite as bad as Stalin who's responsible for 20-30 million deaths, but the Vietnam war probably killed about 1 million total, and most of the blood of those are on LBJ's hands.

His stupid Great Society program also helped to wreck the economy and create generations of inner-city blacks stuck in poverty, and is probably responsible for the destruction of the African-American family.

Nixon wasn't very good either; he also kept up the Vietnam war, plus he pushed the War on Drugs.

Reagan pushed deficit spending to levels far beyond what they ever were before in history. We only forget about that now because Bush and then Obama have raised the bar so much with their spending sprees.

What the heck did Jimmy do that was so bad? Nothing I can recall. Being ineffective isn't remotely as bad as what these other jerks did.

Obama is pretty bad too, but nowhere near as bad as his fellow Democrat LBJ.

skynet (1)

MichaelKristopeit410 (2018830) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335432)

"Secret Service investigations have shown that complex and sophisticated electronic crimes are rarely perpetrated by a lone individual"

can they prove the network has not become self aware? perhaps the crimes are not perpetrated by any individual at all.

Better than Terrorists (4, Interesting)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335462)

It's better than being treated like a terrorist which is how a lot of people would like to see hackers tried as. Though I don't think laws regarding organized crime should be used unless there is an actual organization involved or clearly working for an organization.

Re:Better than Terrorists (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335532)

Though I don't think laws regarding organized crime should be used unless there is an actual organization involved or clearly working for an organization.

Like, for example, someone gets caught working with Anonymous?

Re:Better than Terrorists (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335804)

I didn't really think of that. I always considered anonymous more like violent angry protesters and vandals than criminals. How ever in the eyes of the law they would be considered mobsters which really lends them way to much credibility in my opinion.

Re:Better than Terrorists (1)

Lexx Greatrex (1160847) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335686)

Agreed. And by this yard stick, shouldn't there be a distinction between organized terrorism and individuals doing the same? Pretty soon there will be enough of this legal nonsense to condemn anyone who speaks to someone that commits a crime as a mobster or terror cell. Hello fear, bye bye liberty.... wait... that's just what Bin Laden wanted wasn't it?

Every law is abused within the first year (0)

kawabago (551139) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335464)

No doubt some poor schmuck doing something ordinary like buying chewing gum will end up in prison for life when this law gets twisted around by police and prosecutors.

Dissent 1 person = crime syndicate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335470)

Organized crime is whatever the state deems as not serving the state's best interest, even though the state is corrupt. This might include soccer moms, activists, anti-war demonstrators, whistleblowers, children who make unpatriotic drawings and other subversives. The only thing you have to prove is people working together and you have yourself a veritable crime syndicate.

I thought the problem was security? (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335524)

Rather than the maximum sentences for cyber crimes have failed to keep pace with the severity of the threats, it seems that in many cases the problem is that hacked party's network security has failed to keep pace with the value of the data.

If a thief breaks a company's car window (where there's a sign that says "Credit card numbers stored here!") and steals a printout with a million credit card numbers, everyone will say the company was stupid for leaving the printout sitting on the car seat.

Yet when a hacker exploits a well known (and easily eliminated) SQL injection vulnerability to do the same thing, suddenly the hacker is escalated to "organized crime" level?

Re:I thought the problem was security? (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335690)

Sure if said hacker is part of organisation and committed two racketeering activities then why shouldn't the laws that have existed for 40 years (and have been applied to as diverse cases as the mob, a police department, the catholic church, a police department, and a texas health care provider) be applied?

Fraud seems the obvious RICO offense that said hacker would commit multiple times. Maybe theft if they snagged copies of secret government documents of if the jury squints enough.

Some are (1)

genfail (777943) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335606)

Some are mobsters. When you look at how false antivirus malware proliferates and fleeces the unsuspecting public and even holds their computer for ransom. You can't help but see similarity in how they operate in function and philosophy to organized crime. They will undoubtedly push this through with this in mind. Of course without limits on who is eligible every 12 year old with a LOIC download could find themselves with punishments far in excess of their crimes. Make no mistake many who support this intend to use this on the civil dissidents of anonymous every bit as much as cyber gangs of card cloners or bank hackers. To the detriment of liberty for us all.

Re:Some are (1)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335668)

The man children of Anonymous aren't "civil dissidents". They're vandals and trolls. They delight in causing suffering for others, and then laughing at that suffering. They say so themselves. They do it "for the lulz". Arresting some of them doesn't hurt our liberty, it helps it.

You need to stop imagining Anon to be some white knights come to your rescue. You are seriously misunderstanding their motives. Today they may attack someone you hate. Tomorrow they may attack you. They have more in common with a pack of wild dogs than they do with civil dissidents.

Holy Shit! (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335620)

Did anyone read the second half of the article?

Experts have warned that without some sort of enforcement mechanism [to compel compliance with Department of Homeland Security cyber security standards] companies will not take the necessary security precautions. [Democratic Senator] Blumenthal echoed that stance, suggesting the administration "consider some kind of stick as well as a carrot."

Industry has argued that resources are the main limitation and argued for incentives such as liability protection for firms that experience attacks.

Are you shitting me?
The government wants companies to actually secure their/our data and the response is "sure, if we're not liable for any break-ins"
Off the top of my head, the government has indemnified vaccine manufacturers and nuclear power plant operators.
For some reason, I don't see cyber security as being in remotely the same league.

If anyone else can think of other industries indemnfied by the Federal Government, don't be shy about responding.
I'm willing to bet that nothing anyone brings up will be remotely similar to indemnifying private companies for poor computer security.

Yeah. clueless morons. (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335632)

the 'organized syndicates' you talk about operate out of china, russia, and there is nothing in hell's depths you can do to them. unless you start third world war.

Re:Yeah. clueless morons. (2)

unreadepitaph (1537383) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335852)

That's the whole point.
They're well aware that 99% of the cyber-crime doesn't happen where their laws can reach, the rhetoric is for the justification so they can then use it for other purposes .
They do the same thing here in Australia (and probably every other country) all the time.

But can we differentiate between "serious" et al.? (3, Insightful)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335652)

Defacing a website: Trivial

Stealing money from people over the internet: Serious

But can our government tell the difference?  I don't think so, yet.

Re:But can we differentiate between "serious" et a (2)

SuperCharlie (1068072) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335806)

Im gonna say the punch line is: Disclose Govt Corruption and/or Ineptitude: Mob Law Enforcement.

So, crackers are terrorists, ..... (5, Insightful)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335662)

while bankers that have stolen BILLIONS, are friends? Hmmm. You crackers need to hire a lobbyist.

Re:So, crackers are terrorists, ..... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37335788)

Who you callin' a cracker honky?

what about hackers in russia? where it's easy to p (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335742)

what about hackers in russia? where it's easy to pay off cops and get a way with it?

Dammit .. (1)

n5vb (587569) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335814)

"Hacker" != "cracker". (We've allowed far too much confusion and conflation of those terms already, and it's time it stopped.)

We're getting dangerously close to the idea of "person in possession of unsanctioned knowledge == criminal and/or terrorist" here. I refer to myself as a "hacker" on a regular basis, but what I mean by that is that I enjoy recreational computing and coding for the fun of it, and occasionally repurposing hardware or building my own in the possibly insane belief that as a self-educated techie I can do it better than most people with engineering degrees. That, to me, is being a hacker.

And I'm not entirely convinced that that isn't what reframing "hacking" as "organized crime" is about .. really. I'm sort of convinced -- it's fairly plausible that people like Martinez just don't know the first thing about what they're talking about, which is dangerous in a far more clueless and haphazard way, and really honestly don't know the difference between people like me and people who crack into things to vandalize or steal data from them -- but there's a nagging voice in the back of my mind that hints that maybe people like him do know the difference, and it's no accident that they're conflating and confusing the terminology because it's hard to hide things from people who educate themselves outside the system.

And defacing websites may be a way for people whose message has been blocked from every other possible channel to communicate their ideas. So is it really the same as mob drug dealers selling heroin to teenagers? Is it certain there's no baby in that bathwater?

Possibly moot points. But I am a hacker. And I am not a criminal. Get it right, people.

Complex crimes... (1)

Lexx Greatrex (1160847) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335820)

The idiocy of politicians seems to rise to greater and greater heights.

"complex and sophisticated electronic crimes are rarely perpetrated by a lone individual"

This ridiculous statement is entirely redundant. It's like saying "organized crime is rarely committed by an individual". But what is fathomlessly ridiculous about this proposed legislation is that it imposes tougher penalties on ALL hackers, including graffiti-artist teenagers and undergrad pranksters, not because the punishment does not fit the severity of their crimes, but because there are criminals also called "hackers" that actually do commit serious crimes.

This is akin to giving a motorist jail time instead of a $50 speeding ticket because they could have used the car to commit vehicular homicide.

Right Idea, Wrong Application (3, Interesting)

happyhamster (134378) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335866)

I disagree with applying this law to hackers, but I have been saying for a while that Wall Street should have been tried under RICO Act [wikipedia.org] . That would allow to put at least half of the scum in jail, along with confiscation of property. Some justice would have been served.

WAIT a minute here (3, Interesting)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335904)

What about all the patent trolls? shouldn't they be classified as mobsters too? After all, aren't they behaving in the same way?

Headline misleading as usual (2)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 2 years ago | (#37335922)

RICO has been used to charge groups of people who are involved in a crime - including those who ordered the comes but did not commit them - hence the racketeering moniker. While it aims at traditional mob related activities; it was not necessarily intended to only be used that way. rather, it allows increased penalties for multiple crimes, seizure of assets and civil recovery by victims. Given the nature of some computer crimes, RICO seems a reasonable tool to use against computer criminals. As side effect of RICO is it puts a lot of pressure on defendant sot settle because of the extra penalties it applies if convicted.
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