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Minimum Sentences (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39502943)

Judges hate minimum sentences. Legislators should stop making them.

Re:Minimum Sentences (5, Insightful)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503075)

Minimum sentences as well as private prisons should be entirely unconstitutional.

Re:Minimum Sentences (0)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504167)

Just because. Of course, they aren't.

Re:Minimum Sentences (1, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505425)

Minimum sentences as well as private prisons should be entirely unconstitutional.

I'm afraid I'm not as dazzled by your pronouncement as the moderators, so I'll ask, could you expand upon this a bit? Why do you claim this? Why is it unjust for there to be minimum sentences or prisons run by private companies for the government? In most legal systems it is the prosecutor that makes the primary decision about the possible penalties you will face by deciding what crimes to charge you with: none, minor charges, or serious charges, depending upon the merits of the case. Once the prosecutor files charges, the penalties available to the judge tend to be considerably more limited than the options open to the prosecutor in charging. One of the reasons legislatures tend to impose minimum sentences is to ensure more uniform treatment of serious crimes. Also, as to the prisons run for the government by corporations - those tend to hold people convicted of lesser crimes, so there should be fewer issues with them and force. Why is this bad? Why must it be a government employee who counts you daily to make sure you are still in prison?

Re:Minimum Sentences (2)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505489)

Private prisons do create some conflict of interest. Repeat offenders mean repeat customers.

Re:Minimum Sentences (3, Insightful)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505737)

Minimum sentences are pure insanity and pandering to the voters.

The problem is that it takes away the option of the prosecutor and judge to give fair sentences, and forces them to hand out minimum sentences for cases where the minimum sentence was never intended.

Examples are plentiful everywhere they have been implemented. 10 year prison for teenager for taking nude pictures of themselves, 4 year prison for _reporting_ child-pornography on web to the police (reporter have it cached on your computer, so in his possession)... The list goes on, it should be unconstitutional to protect politicians from being tempted to introduce this insanity.

What constitution? (3)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505863)

Europe doesn't have a constitution, it's not even a nation or anything like that. There was an attempt at a European constitution, but it was voted down in referendums in several countries in the EU.

Re:Minimum Sentences (4, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503103)

Judges hate minimum sentences. Legislators should stop making them.

Yeah, you can see how this will go wrong. Someone finds an open facebook at a netcafe, and decide to post some dopey comment on the unsuspecting security-ignoramasus page. The person flips out and calls the cops, and the cops charge him, because technically it is hacking.

The judge hears the case and goes "Well I have to find this guy guilty, and normally I'd give him a $50 fine and tell him to quit being a dick, but instead he's going to jail for 2 years and having the rest of his life ruined because of a harmless prank.

Yes indeed, theres a very good reason judges hate mandatory minimums.

Re:Minimum Sentences (1)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503583)

Id expect cases like that would be handled by extrajudicial measures either before or after charges - Police or Crown warnings/Extrajudicial sanctions/referral to programs.

Re:Minimum Sentences (4, Insightful)

davester666 (731373) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505559)

Yes, you, a reasonable person with neither an axe to grind or a political point to make.

But in reality, things like"I've had too many of these stupid hacks screwing up the wifi at the coffee shop I go to. Find the guy doing it and nail his balls to the wall for 2 years." Or it's a funny hack that goes viral, giving it lots of publicity, so the prosecutor has to follow through "because it's the law and we don't want to encourage this behaviour".

Re:Minimum Sentences (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503699)

I would know about overseas, but here in the US mandatory minimums aren't (or at least weren't) mandatory, despite the name.

I'm not-at-all sure how that works. I just know I got lucky that way once, many moons ago, when a judge and prosecuting attorney gave me "half the minimum" for something that was obviously way overblown.

Re:Minimum Sentences (5, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503193)

Simpletons are the only ones who like mandatory minimums. You have a mechanism to investigate crimes on a case-by-case basis, looking at all the evidence, the factors that went into the crime, and setting the punishment to fit the case. That's the job of the courts. It's not perfect, but one-size-fits-all justice is usually not justice. The mandatory minimum sentence should be zero in ALL crimes.

Re:Minimum Sentences (1, Flamebait)

danny_lehman (1691870) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503617)

While I personally agree, from a crime-control perspective there is at least some value in this law as a general deterrent.

Re:Minimum Sentences (2, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503813)

The death penalty for murder hasn't ended murder in the US. There is strong evidence that it hasn't even reduced the rates (comparing murder rates among populations in states that have and don't have the death penalty). Being killed by the state is a much higher risk than two years in prison, and even that doesn't work, so why would you believe a lesser deterrent would be effective if the ultimate penalty isn't even enough?

Re:Minimum Sentences (3, Insightful)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503979)

Of course part of that is that the "death penalty" is more of a "rot in prison for a decade or two and then we might kill you penalty", and by the time the executioners get around to offing anybody the public has completely forgotten about both the original crime and the murderer, and the execution doesn't even make the news.

A punishment of any kind can't serve as a warning to would-be criminals if it's carried out in a way that nobody knows or cares about.

Re:Minimum Sentences (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504135)

Which is an argument that it should be abolished, since rushing the job and massively increasing the risk of executing an innocent person is not an option.

Re:Minimum Sentences (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504455)

Though it's not like they're actually doing any research into the guilt or innocence of the person during the decades they rot in prison. If the police were willing to put the funding into initial crime scene investigation instead of keeping a possibly innocent person in prison for a decade, maybe there would be less wrong with the justice system in general.

Alternately, use the death penalty only when things are absolutely cut and clear, but make it A) immediate and B) public.

Re:Minimum Sentences (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504871)

A punishment of any kind can't serve as a warning to would-be criminals if it's carried out in a way that nobody knows or cares about.

Because of all those public executions that happened around the world stopped crime dead cold, right?

Re:Minimum Sentences (2)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504961)

Of course part of that is that the "death penalty" is more of a "rot in prison for a decade or two and then we might kill you penalty", and by the time the executioners get around to offing anybody the public has completely forgotten about both the original crime and the murderer, and the execution doesn't even make the news.

A punishment of any kind can't serve as a warning to would-be criminals if it's carried out in a way that nobody knows or cares about.

Of course, there were no murders back in the bad-old-days when people were hanged for minor offenses after a short (and often optional) trial, right?

Re:Minimum Sentences (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504259)

It stops repeat offenders.

Re:Minimum Sentences (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505203)

So does just locking the murderer up, and there's no risk of accidentally killing an innocent, wrongly convicted, person.

Oh and the "it's cheaper to kill them" argument is false, too. Carrying out a death penalty costs more than life in prison. [deathpenaltyinfo.org]

Re:Minimum Sentences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503851)

It is impossible to know that.

Re:Minimum Sentences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503669)

Everyone seems to wonder why the wheels of justice grind so slowly for people who are obviously guilty of a crime, especially when pre-convicted in the court of public opinion.

Until they find themselves in the same boat one day. But, until that happens, they hold on so tightly to "it could never happen to me", consciously or unconsciously, and are more than happy to be throwing proverbial stones at the sucker's head.

But don't we see the same behaviour in packs of baboons and chimpanzees and other apes, too?

Humans are so fucking cool sometimes.

Re:Minimum Sentences (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505661)

pff next what, innocent until proven guilty?

Re:Minimum Sentences (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505925)

"The mandatory minimum sentence should be zero in ALL crimes."

I have to disagree? What about murder and rape? I think that society has a need to set a minimum sentence for such violent crimes to ensure that those who perpetrate them are off the streets for whatever amount of time.

That being said, I don't think that hacking, which has a hugely broad definition (even a good one depending), should carry a minimum sentence.

Minimum or minimum maximum (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503315)

The article from the first link says that the law in question would require member states adapt a maximum penalty of at least two years. This doesn't sound like what we would normally call a "minimum sentence".

Re:Minimum or minimum maximum (3, Interesting)

Rhodri Mawr (862554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503497)

From the first linked article:

Cyber attacks on IT systems would become a criminal offence punishable by at least two years in prison throughout the EU under a draft law backed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday.

The maximum penalty to be imposed by Member States for these offences would be at least two years' imprisonment, and at least five years where there are aggravating circumstances such as the use of a tool specifically designed to for large-scale (e.g. "botnet") attacks, or attacks cause considerable damage (e.g. by disrupting system service), financial costs or loss of financial data.

At first glance these two paragraphs do appear to be contradicting each other - but it isn't clear which of these paragraphs is an EU press release and which is the journalist's interpretation. The article (and as a result the slashdot summary) may be misinterpreting the press release.

"maximum" may be a misprint here, or, the EU may, as usual, be trying to obfuscate the intent of their legislation.

Re:Minimum or minimum maximum (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503645)

What is contradictory? A minimum sentence of two years, and a maximum sentence of at least two years is not contradictory. A minimum of two years and a maximum of at least one year would be contradictory.

Re:Minimum or minimum maximum (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39504585)

Maximum sentence of no more than x implies there is a possibility for a lowered actual. Minimum of at least x implies there is a possibility for a higher actual.

It's not so much contradictory as it is redundant when put together - just say EXACTLY 2 years already - it's the only option based on the wording.... but minimum implies the suggestion of seriousness (we take hacking serious because some constituents want to see that in a campaign add) and maximum implies some level of reason and compassion (we want to consider mitigating circumstances and such because other constituents want to see that in a campaign add) so we have both for political reasons in an attempt to cater to both extreme sides of the debate.

However, those in the more moderate middle (most of us) see the contradiction: Once again, politics contradicting basic logic.

Another contradiction is that in a system that calls itself a democracy, the 5% (or so) on both extremes of any issue end up outweighing the voice of the 90% in the middle that mostly agree or are at least willing to compromise.

That and politicians can then speak out of both sides of the mouth about why they voted for the bill - depending on who they are speaking to - and then to demonize anyone that voted against the same bill even if they did so because it was a bunch of double-speak bullshit.

Re:Minimum or minimum maximum (2)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504591)

Or maybe they want a minimum maximum of 2 years.

Re:Minimum or minimum maximum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39504693)

This is likely. Silly categorical minimum sentences are pretty much an alien concept here.

Re:Minimum or minimum maximum (1)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505481)

Silly categorical minimum sentences are pretty much an alien concept here.

That depends where "here" is. In the UK, we have seen all kinds of minimum sentences for possession of various prohibited items over the years, not to mention the policy of compulsory life sentences for murder.

Re:Minimum Sentences (4, Informative)

Kat M. (2602097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503369)

The article is not entirely clear on the minimum sentence part. From the body of the text it appears that it's that the maximum sentence should be at least two years (which makes sense, given that individual member states would be free to set higher maximum sentences if it's a directive), and five if there are aggravating circumstances. Also, given that petty offenses should not carry criminal sanctions at all does not mesh with a minimum two year sentence.

The only part that mentions a two year minimum sentence is the summary paragraph, which may be the result of poor editing.

There's a video recording of the committee meeting, but I don't really have the time to search through it to find what was actually decided. I guess it'll become clearer within the next few days.

Re:Minimum Sentences (2)

TheGinger (2575099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503647)

I agree, the first article paints a very different picture from the second. first article talks about maximum sentences being at-least 2 year or 5 years for aggravated circumstances, the 2nd article they have becomes minimum sentence. In the first article there is also a section (under IP spoofing) stating 'However, no criminal sanctions should apply to "minor cases", i.e. when the damage caused by the offence is insignificant.' This could be very significant

Re:Minimum Sentences (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504237)

"Aw, I don't think you can do it!" "Learn that poem... learn that poem..."

Re:Minimum Sentences (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39505255)

RIAA & others hates maximum sentences. so, lobbism would stop making them

what about www.eu.com/doc_with_password.xls (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39502959)

Does "Hacking" include typing the URL wrong?

Re:what about www.eu.com/doc_with_password.xls (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39502981)

According to my high school, "hacking" includes opening Internet Explorer when the last guy to use the PC set the home page to an unprotected network share.

I want penalties for DRM abuse in return... (2)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505557)

I lost a boot drive for a workstation recently, and with it the activation for some very expensive professional software products.

More than one vendor subsequently refused to let me reactivate the software (the same legitimate copy of the same software on the same machine except with a fresh OS installation on a new drive) because they had records showing that my software key was registered to someone else, sometimes not even in the same country. Eventually, after multi-week hassle and in some cases literally sending photos of the boxed package with serial numbers etc. and the original sales invoice, everything was working again.

It's not as if they even apologised for messing me around entirely because of their own over-zealous copy protection and poor record keeping/registration checking, and certainly no form of compensation was offered for the downtime. And yet, the disruption and direct loss income from that downtime because I work from home was surely at least as bad as having someone break into the workstation and install some sort of malware, which I could at least have fixed within a day by nuking and reinstalling everything, but which would have been a criminal offence on their part.

I want the people who were directly responsible for authorising and operating those copy protection schemes to be personally and criminally liable, the same way they would be if they had cracked my network and remotely wiped the software. I understand why companies want to copy protect their code, but there's no way a mini-company like mine can afford to sue a global corporation to recover a week's lost income, so there needs to be some other form of deterrent. Locking up the guy who types my serial number into the remote-deactivation script would be a good start, I think, and a hell of a lot more justifiable than any nebulous law that covers obviously inadvertent access, "hacking" tools with legitimate uses for sysadmins/software developers, etc.

Also prohibits hacking tools. (4, Insightful)

BitterOak (537666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39502973)

From the article:

The proposal also targets tools used to commit offences: the production or sale of devices such as computer programs designed for cyber-attacks, or which find a computer password by which an information system can be accessed, would constitute criminal offences.

So, what would the scope of such a prohibition be? Would pen testing tools commonly used by security professionals be prohibited in Europe? Would you need a license to possess or use such tools? This sounds like an overreaching law. And since when did the European parliament get the authority to impose mandatory minimum prison sentences in its member nations?

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (4, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39502987)

I used wireshark to fix a bug today. Apparently I would be a criminal in the UK, with a minimum sentence of 2 years.

This is fucked.

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503159)

Yup, can't wait till they go after MS, Google, and Apple for creating all these web browser thingies with built in exploit tools.

Stupid law is stupid, we've seen these attempts of overreach before, the "hacking tools" clause will be removed if it ever passes that is.

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (2)

walkerp1 (523460) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503201)

I used wireshark to fix a bug today. Apparently I would be a criminal in the UK, with a minimum sentence of 2 years.

Nothing so elaborate is required. I've perpetrated some beautiful felonies with netcat one-liners.

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39504025)

the near mention of netcat gets you 5 years

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39504577)

the near mention of netcat gets you 5 years

You think that's bad? Try mentioning Netcraft! You'll be strung up before you can say "confirms".

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503825)

I used wireshark to fix a bug today. Apparently I would be a criminal in the UK, with a minimum sentence of 2 years.

This is fucked.

If you did it trying to hack into someone else's computer(s) or network(s) that you didn't have proper authorization to use or use in that manner, then probably yes. If you did it for your employer as part of your job responsibilities or normal maintenance, or on your own personal network of systems you own, control, or have authorization to use for that purpose, then it is very unlikely. Hmmm, that didn't seem so hard.

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (3, Funny)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504205)

I used wireshark to fix a bug today. Apparently I would be a criminal in the UK, with a minimum sentence of 2 years.

This is fucked.

No, no! That's good news! In Texas, you'd get the death penalty...

That's nothing, in Alabama (2)

dutchwhizzman (817898) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505885)

That's nothing, in Alabama you'd be burned at the stake for witchcraft and electrickery.

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (1)

buglista (1967502) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505831)

Er, don't think so. I'm a pen-tester in the UK. The usual clause is "access a computer system without authorisation" - which generally means logging in and doing stuff without permission. There might be something about possessing hacking tools "with intent" - but that's just the same as e.g. lockpicks. It's more of an aggravating factor, because it's easy to trace back once you've been caught, but very hard to prove intent without an action having taken place.

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503271)

What the hell was with the analogy she used as well:

"We are dealing here with serious criminal attacks, some of which are even conducted by criminal organisations. The financial damage caused for companies, private users and the public side amounts to several billions each year" said rapporteur Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE). "No car manufacturer may send a car without a seatbelt into the streets. And if this happens, the company will be held liable for any damage. These rules must also apply in the virtual world" she added.

By her analogy shouldn't the people exposing sensitive customer data through poor security practices be held responsible?

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (2, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503283)

>>>since when did the European parliament get the authority to impose mandatory minimum prison sentences in its member nations?

Since when did the American congress get the authority to impose mandatory minimum prison sentences on its member states' courts? ANSWER: When both the parliament and congress usurped the power through decree. This is the natural progession from a union of independent states into a central authority that tries to control everything down to the smallest level (even your home).

At least in the U.S. we have a 10th amendment and a Supreme Court which forbids congress from exercising powers never granted to it (such as nullifying the mandate forcing individuals to buy insurance). I am unware of a similar mechanism to check the power of the EU parliament, so their power will continually grow and grow. An "ever-closer union" until all laws come from Brussels.

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (3, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503683)

At least in the U.S. we have a 10th amendment and a Supreme Court which forbids congress from exercising powers never granted to it

There's amendments with lower numbers they ignore all the time.

Why should the 10th be any different?

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504367)

There's amendments with lower numbers they ignore all the time.

Why should the 10th be any different?

The actual problem, as generally seen on Slashdot, is that many people fail to understand how they get applied in practice as opposed to their actually being ignored. Prisoners of War, for example, have generally never been subject to Habeas corpus - a subject of perpetual confusion on Slashdot. German and Italian POWs in the UK, US, and Canada didn't have the right to Habeas Corpus in WW2, Al Qaeda members taken prisoner originally didn't either. (Perhaps they now wish Bin Laden hadn't declared War on the US [pbs.org] . Of course it took 9/11 for the US to reply in kind, legally [findlaw.com] .)

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (1)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503431)

Hide your nmaps...

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503719)

And since when did the European parliament get the authority to impose mandatory minimum prison sentences in its member nations?

Co-operation in areas of security and justice was changed by the Lisbon treaty in such a way that the previous inter-governmental co-operation (in the Maastrich's treaty) was replaced by the ordinary and special legislative processes. The EU parliament gives its approval to the Council and the Council unanimously (required) decides about any harmonizations concerning the minimum sentences (for example) for certain types of crimes, computer related crime being already mentioned in the Lisbon treaty. The usual rules about member state complaints and limited accelerated implementations are holding.

Re:Also prohibits hacking tools. (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504113)

I should have bought one of these "Hacking is not a crime" stickers they proposed on the hackerspaces mailing list...

This is still under discussion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39504971)

As part of a working group of a small political party we advised on (/against) that proposal criminalizing hacker tools to some EP's, of course the major critical point here was that regular usage of tools that are required to assess the vulnerability of systems also is affected by such a law. Even if the person using the tools was not affiliated with the party that complained it could be a legal use: ie to expose vulnerabilities in a critical system. One such example would be that of a journalist in The Netherlands who used such tools to illustrate the vulnerability of a public transport pass. Another example would be that of the numerous open source tools made for pen-testing in general - would they all be liable ? - bad idea for the security of systems in general: the only way to be safe is to be prepared and test systems. Judges are still out on this one, but rest assure not the complete EP is in favor of such draconian laws.

What is illegal for the citizenry... (5, Insightful)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39502995)

Should be illegal for the government.

Re:What is illegal for the citizenry... (2)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503713)

What is illegal for the citizenry...Should be illegal for the government.

Because every citizen needs their own standing army, blue water navy, air defense artillery & missiles with the right to govern their own airspace, the ability to capture and imprison their neighbors for acts ranging from buggery to murder, the power of personal approval over new cancer treatments, and the ability to make treaties with Japan, Canada, Fiji, and Peru. Or is it nobody and no government needs that? I forget.....

I enjoy Slashdot because on occasion you read fine minds in elevated discourse. Unfortunately sometimes that means simply moving from 3rd grade to 5th grade discussions.

Re:What is illegal for the citizenry... (2)

gnapster (1401889) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503801)

I negotiated a treaty with Peru just last week, you insensitive clod!

Re:What is illegal for the citizenry... (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503955)

Point taken, and my regrets, sire. ;)

Queue the misapplications of this law (4, Interesting)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503029)

Just watch and wait: it'll be the kid who takes apart his iPod to replace the broken battery who gets charged.

Re:Queue the misapplications of this law (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503123)

Just watch and wait: it'll be the kid who takes apart his iPod to replace the broken battery who gets charged.

He hurt a poor, defenseless, for-profit corporation. Taking two years of his life for slightly modifying a thing he already owns is getting off easy -- the kid is a monster.

Re:Queue the misapplications of this law (1)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503213)

No, it'll be some dumb schmuck who has no idea about computer security, whose computer gets taken over to launch a series of attacks and once the attacks are finished all traces are cleaned up, leaving nothing but a trail to the victim, the victim here being the person accused of hacking who now can no longer prove the innocence.

Now of course if it is a law enforcement type who is meant to be upholding these laws, it will be kind of funny, for every one else and of course everyone has heard about tens of thousands of computers on bot nets, seriously disturbing.

The thing to keep in mind with computer misuse is the crime doesn't just stop there. There is always something more to charge the person with, credit card fraud for example. The computer hacks do not occur in isolation somehow saying that a person who hacks a banks computer and steals 10 million dollars will only go to jail for two years for computer hacking is ludicrous they will also be penalised for the theft. Same with any other kind of damage, if real actual damage did occur, than they will get charged with that damage.

You can not really charge someone for making a company wake up to how insecure their computer system is and going into paranoia overdrive and being ripped off by computer security experts (in the majority of cases drips under pressure trying to scam clients into spending hundreds or even thousands of times more than they need to).

Re:Queue the misapplications of this law (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503605)

If I were emperor of the planet, I'd make owning a botnet-infected computer a crime.

Re:Queue the misapplications of this law (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503723)

Agreed. Thirty lashes with a sonic screwdriver.

Re:Queue the misapplications of this law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503821)

If i were emperor of the planet, I'd make not being emperor of the planet a crime.

Re:Queue the misapplications of this law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503499)

You could also cue [wikipedia.org] them.

Re:Queue the misapplications of this law (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504149)

More like cue a queue of them.

Re:Queue the misapplications of this law (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503853)

Just watch and wait: it'll be the kid who takes apart his iPod to replace the broken battery who gets charged.

That is entirely too cynical. The authorities seem perfectly capable of coming up with reasonable suspects:

'Lulzsec hackers' arrested in international swoop [bbc.co.uk]

FBI arrests 16 in Anonymous hacking investigation [cnet.com]

Re:Queue the misapplications of this law (1, Funny)

Ksevio (865461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504573)

replace the broken battery who gets charged.

Well it'd be hard to charge if the battery was still broken.

Minimum sentences, three strikes, all traps (3, Interesting)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503057)

These ideas are all traps put in place by corrupt lawmakers and special interest groups that benefit from for profit prisons. Don't get it twisted.

Re:Minimum sentences, three strikes, all traps (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504273)

This is, of course, utter fantasy mixed with BS. Minimum sentences have been in use going far back into history. Prisons run by corporations account for only about 10% of prison beds, and if there was that sort of corruption I expect we would hear of it constantly (with evidence). And three strikes laws?

Three strikes law [wikipedia.org]

The three strikes law significantly increases the prison sentences of persons convicted of a felony who have been previously convicted of two or more violent crimes or serious felonies, and limits the ability of these offenders to receive a punishment other than a life sentence. Violent and serious felonies are specifically listed in state laws. Violent offenses include murder, robbery of a residence in which a deadly or dangerous weapon is used, rape and other sex offenses; serious offenses include the same offenses defined as violent offenses, but also include other crimes such as burglary of a residence and assault with intent to commit a robbery or murder.This law also penalizes habitual offenders

If you have evidence to support your nonsense, please present it.

 

Re:Minimum sentences, three strikes, all traps (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39505225)

Mark Ciavarella Jr. Where there's money to be made from abusing the prison system, there is a person there to abuse it regardless of the lives they ruin in the process.

Re:Minimum sentences, three strikes, all traps (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505389)

Do you have any more? The claim here seems to be that this is such a huge, pervasive problem that the situation must change. A single case isn't really going to do it. If your thinking is that government run facilities will be abuse, scandal, and corruption free, you are greatly mistaken. It would be easy enough to find any number of scandals over government run prisons. Where is the evidence of a systematic problem? So far this seems to be a philosophical issue in the main.

Re:Minimum sentences, three strikes, all traps (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505945)

These ideas are all traps put in place by corrupt lawmakers and special interest groups that benefit from for profit prisons. Don't get it twisted.

In this case I think it as likely that it's techno-ignorant lawmakers trying to accomplish something valid by using too large a hammer.

Scare away the white hats and leave the black hats (1)

Dwedit (232252) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503097)

Why does it seem that laws like this would do nothing except scare away responsible White Hat hackers who report security flaws, leaving only the Black Hats who profit from their computer crimes?

Re:Scare away the white hats and leave the black h (2)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503343)

"If hacks are outlawed, then only criminals will have hacks." --- I'll guess we'll have to rely upon Microsoft to investigate and fix any holes in the software. (In other words like calling the police on 911; no defense at all.)

This can destroy lives. (2)

elucido (870205) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503101)

These minimum sentences should not exist. It's bad enough that peoples lives can easily be ruined by hacking in general but it's even worse if they lose 2 years of their life. This would kill them professionally as they'd have no way to explain their gap in resume.

It's only a matter of time before hackers are treated like sex offenders, just wait and see.

Re:This can destroy lives. (2)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503935)

This would kill them professionally as they'd have no way to explain their gap in resume.

Most people who need to worry about a resume/CV are bright enough to realize they shouldn't be cracking/hacking into other's people's networks & computers.

The word will spread quickly. Besides, don't most people on Slashdot have a warm spot in their heart for Darwin..... at least when his ideas don't work against them?

It's only a matter of time before hackers are treated like sex offenders, just wait and see.

I think it will be a very long time before anyone has to worry about the cry going out,

            "Oy! Lock up your daughters! We've got a hacker in the neighborhood!"

Re:This can destroy lives. (1)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505535)

Most people who need to worry about a resume/CV are bright enough to realize they shouldn't be caught cracking/hacking into other's people's networks & computers.

FTFY

Re:This can destroy lives. (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505721)

FTFY

Not really, no. As soon as you engage in this sort of behavior you are at risk, and you have little control over the risk other than not doing it. Most people know not to do it, Slashdot audience not withstanding.

This is Part I (2)

Genda (560240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503145)

Part 2 is; Hacking is defined as anything we don't want you inspecting too closely. We'll be using the first million prisoners to build the prisons for the next million and so on and so on. Once society is imprisoned, people will be much more easily controlled.

Governments everywhere, rejoice!

And of course everything will count as hacking (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503163)

I have a suspicion that they will count jailbreaking/bypassing DRM as hacking too. It's just a small step from outlawing IP spoofing.
How about sentencing hackers based on the damage they have done instead of another witchhunt against technology?
Only demonstrating a vulnerability: no sentence or a few month of community service; destroying data or sabotaging systems: monetary fine based on the losses that occurred if the guy can't pay then prison; stealing and selling or making public user data: long long years of prison.

Re:And of course everything will count as hacking (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505761)

*How about sentencing hackers based on the damage they have done instead of another witchhunt against technology?*

Then they would have to actually show damages. in information leak cases that's quite hard. espionage, meddling with others exchange of letters etc is already illegal though. purely monetary fine would let murdoch run free though.

Why is eAnything treated so differently? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503219)

So, given applying the same logic to the physical world. Every kid who steals a radio from a car should get a minimum of 2-years - not that I'm against that - and all locksmiths should be jailed. The same goes for makers of crowbars or anything used in a smash-and-grab...

far too over-reaching (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503477)

when i was 16 while learning how to program i created a cheating engine for an online game which i was then arrested and charged for at 18 under the computer misuse act. as it stood i was given a £300 fine and some community service, considrring i was unaware of the fact breaking TOS was illegal (i was a kid, and cheats have always been in games, or things like gameshark that injected into games so i consider
ed it akin to that) hoeever this new law would have seen me goto prison for two years.

this is just a stupidly thought out blanket law in my opinion. hopefully it doesnt go through or thrre will be a big spree of teenagers in jail for petty things like that.

Ok let them... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503655)

As if prisons aren't overcrowded enough. Instead of giving brilliant hackers employment and an opportunity to do good in the world, they would much rather imprison them and have tax payers pay for their lively hood. Basically, these intelligent people who can learned how to "take things apart" will be completely useless in society and depend on tax payers to pay for everything while they are in prison. The government is seriously retarded.

On the flip side... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39503771)

Why punish hackers for exploiting poorly written software, when the onus should be on the software companies to provide well written, secure and robust software that is fit for use and fit for purpose.

Can someone please explain why software consumers are willing to accept that the product they paid for has so many bugs and holes that they need to (in the case of companies especially) spend a significant amount of their own time updating and patching against yet another security hole.

I say punish the software vendors with time in jail for negligence. If you leave your door open with nothing but a fly-screen as security.....

Minimum sentence or minimum of maximum sentence? (1)

0dugo0 (735093) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503859)

Dutch lawmakers have never been able to pass a criminal law with a minimum jail sentence for very good reasons. Leave it to the Eurocrats to wreck the Dutch judicial system.

the charge used against whistleblower Tom Drake (1)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#39503895)

was the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. The law is incredibly vague, and thats the only thing they could get him on. They couldnt get him on 'espionage', because he didnt commit espionage. they couldnt get him for 'false statements to the FBI', because he didnt make any. they couldnt get him for 'obstruction of justice', because he didnt obstruct justice. The only thing they could get him for was improperly accessing information on a govt computer. Which basically could be used arbitrarily against almost anyone in the government who does their day to day job because of the vagueness of the law and the reality of how computer systems work in government. Millions of govt contractors and employees unknowingly violate this law all the time. Ever shared a password with someone because your access hadn't been granted yet, but you had to get a job done anyways, and your boss let you use theirs for a few days? Yeah, thats against the law.

You should read the act some time (google it at cornell). The first part, the 'Computer Espionage Act', is essentially the ordinary anti-spy Espionage Act rewritten to include not only 'defense information' but 'foreign relations' information. . . this law is one of the reasons they could claim Bradley Manning violated the law for leaking innocuous state department emails about things like Icelandic Bank Fraud (the reykjavic 13 memo for example).

this is not about 'anti hacking'. well, its intent might be. but the real effect will be an arbitrary hammer to smash against people the government doesnt like. who doesnt the government like? people pointing out its flaws. thats who.

On the other hand . . . (1)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504851)

It appears that they have Bradley Manning pretty much dead to rights.

Not so much ambiguity there.

What is the point of humans in the process? (2)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39506009)

It is as if we reward programmers by how many lines of code they write.

A JUDGE is supposed to JUDGE something. We put all these extra detailed rules on everything to employ more lawyers while removing as much actual decision making as possible.

When we take out the common sense of a HUMAN who can put situations into context and deal with specifics of each situation while a GENERIC blanket statement of law is just a brain dead policy. It is literally brain dead and if we keep defining more detail it will not be impossible to train some new IBM machine to replace judges too.

Law is NOT a bill of some kind of payment. We have to stop this MBA mindset being applied to every aspect of life. It hasn't been helping our economy in modern times that well either; but it surely is out of place everywhere else. The purpose of a law is to get compliance of some sort - not to make you "pay a debt to society" with prison time. Where did that idiotic phrase come from anyhow? Rules sometimes need breaking-- we allow self defense as an exception and it is coded into the rules but all exceptions are not thought of nor are they equally applied simply because more details are added.

All I wanna know is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39504353)

How do you define a 'Mimimum'?

Criminal offence? (2)

manu0601 (2221348) | more than 2 years ago | (#39504609)

When did the UE gain authority on criminal offences? I thought this was a member states prerogative. This un-democratic monster is getting uglier every day.

Re:Criminal offence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39505357)

This un-democratic monster is getting uglier every day.

Welcome to the Fourth Reich...
(though I don't think Frau Merkel was exactly what the perpetrators of the Third Reich had in mind apropos 'blond Aryan Überfrau')

Re:Criminal offence? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505823)

well the member states have to sign it to law first.
it would make some tools illegal though. like a password bruteforcer. it would make a lot of things anyone can write on a keyboard in an hour illegal.
however there's an upside to this one, it would make a company liable for what it's employees do. how that works actually I don't have the slightest idea, would the ceo go to prison? shareholders? the board?

"However, no criminal sanctions should apply to "minor cases", i.e. when the damage caused by the offence is insignificant."

anyways, in just pretty much anywhere in the eu the law is tough enough already so that the cops can seize your computers for feeling like it and don't have to compensate. that's bullshit.

About damn time! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39504899)

I say its time to drop the f*cking hammer. This sh*t has to stop... That LULZSEC crap was ridiculous...

European Law Could Give Hackers Mimimum Two-Year S (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39505273)

European Law Could Give Hackers Mimimum Two-Year Sentence

so many debates and no spell checks

Where's the Real Threat? (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#39505957)

Can't do anything about China (and others) breaking into every system they can...okay, let's hit our own citizens hard because we can then at least we can say that we're doing SOMETHING about the 'hacking problem'.

Just like Intellectual Property and counterfeit producs. Can't get the real problems solved, hit those within reach.

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