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Hackers are 'Terrorists' Under Ashcroft's New Act

CmdrTaco posted more than 12 years ago | from the it's-in-the-name-of-freedom-we-swear dept.

News 1021

Carlos writes "Most computer crimes are considered acts of terrorism under John Ashcroft's proposed 'Anti-Terrorism Act,' according to this story on SecurityFocus. The Act would abolish the statute of limitations for computer crime, retroactively, force convicted hackers to give the government DNA samples for a special federal database, and increase the maximum sentence for computer intrusion to life in prison. Harboring or providing advice to a hacker would be terrorism as well. This is on top of the expanded surveillance powers already reported on. The bill could be passed as early as this week. I feel safer already."

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yah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343502)

fp suckaz

gas!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343601)

GAS!

I have GAS!

FUcking help me !!

Somebody has to say it, but... (1, Redundant)

mikeage (119105) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343505)

Hackers aren't criminals. Crackers are. Seriously-- why _shouldn't_ computer crime be crime?

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343512)

Well, of course Slashdot is going to incorrectly use the phrase "hacker" here since it will piss the most people off.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343517)

here in the U.S. the punishment is supposed to fit the crime. i can't think of any other nonviolent, arguably victimless crime that carries no statute of limitations and can get you life in prison.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (1, Troll)

nebby (11637) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343532)

Victimless? Are you kidding? If someone cracks into a big ass server and steals credit cards, I think I know who the victims are.

Just because they're geeks doesn't make them any less criminal.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343604)

who are the victims?

stop and think.

if someone commits credit card fraud with said stolen numbers, then we know who the victim is. but we already have a law for that. until some other crime is committed, there was no victim of simply stealing the numbers.

just because a computer was used to commit the crime, it doesn't mean the crime is somehow worse than the same thing done without a computer. theft is theft, and should be treated as such. it's not like we have separate murder laws for guns vs knives...

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (3, Informative)

Alan (347) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343623)

Depends on the crime. Cracking a big DB of credit cards yes, but how about reverse engineering say, a copyright'd protocol? Maybe the people who made programs like gaim, gnapster, knaptser, kicq, gnomeicu, etc should get thrown in jail for their evil "hacking"?

I'm not against bad things being a crime, but who gets to define what is a crime or not? And what about when new types of hacking/cracking come out? Maybe windows virus authors should be made criminals? How about websites that use cookies to track you (doubleclick anyone?).

The problem with computers and hacking in general is that it's very hard to narrowly define what is and isn't a crime. Mitnick is a sure sign of this, as is Dimitri. On one side ($$) it's a crime of epic proportions, on the other side it's harmless fun, investigation, proving a point, whatever. This has been a problem since phreaking and probably far before....

So what? (1)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343647)

A few people lose a bit of money because some company had a security flaw that they didn't feel like taking care of and made the absurdly stupid mistake in the first place of storing CC info for themselves. Seems like the company is almost as much at fault as the cracker. Still, for many credit card companies, if there are charges on your account that you obviously didn't make, then you only pay a nominal fee, like $50 or something. If the cracker has also monitored your behaviour enough to only make the same purchases that you make... well, then your just screwed, lol. The crime here is somewhat severe, but the effects of the crime are hardly severe at all to the end user.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (2, Insightful)

benedict (9959) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343628)

How about growing marijuana?

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (1)

avalys (221114) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343638)

Who the hell says it's victimless? Companies lose business every time their site is down, or gets cracked, or whatever. And people lose money when their credit card #s are stolen by some loser. As for the fact that it can earn you life in prison, well, that's too bad for the cracker. They'll just have to suffer the consequences of their actions.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (0, Redundant)

BlackSol (26036) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343535)

Agreed. Whole heartedly if the person knowingly and purposely accesses/trespasses on a computer system.

What may also help with the virus propagation is to issue tickets, equivlent to speeding tickets to those propogating (unknowingly, knowingly would be a crime) a virus. ie: 2 days of propogation = $500 fine + 2 points off your sysadmin license or something like that...

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (3, Insightful)

caduguid (152224) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343550)

Ok, computer crime should be crime.

But crime punishable by life in prison? With no statute of limitations? Doesn't murder have no statute of limitations and get you life?

There's a difference between 'crime is crime' and having some sense of proportion. geez.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (0, Redundant)

Water Paradox (231902) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343554)

Because hackers know who crackers are, but attorney generals think they're both the same, that's why.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (0)

Suffering Bastard (194752) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343572)

>>Hackers aren't criminals. Crackers are. Seriously-- why _shouldn't_ computer crime be crime?<<

Depends on how you define computer crime. Mitnick may have downloaded proprietary information, but he didn't use it for any personal gain. Why should he go to jail for life?? A kid proclaims his love by defacing a corporate web site -- is this just grounds for destroying him?

What if I donated money to help get Mitnick (or Sklyarov) out of jail? Does this make me a harborer of terrorism?

This proposal is far too broad. Anyone know of any public protests?

-SB

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (4, Insightful)

DeadMeat (TM) (233768) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343583)

Stab somebody with a knife and kill them, and odds are you'll spend 20 years in jail, tops. Maybe more if you use a gun, or stab somebody famous, but as any U.S. citizen can tell you, even life sentences for violent crimes rarely live up to their name.

Break into their computer, and you're instantly labelled a terrorist. Think there's any chance you'll get much less than the maximum penalty of life? Hell, my high school once informally accused me of piracy (which, incidentally, I was not guilty of) just on the basis that I knew enough and therefore could have done it. If there's anything that makes people paranoid, it's hearing that the Big Bad Hacker is right outside their computer's door.

Fair, no?

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343618)

Guess what the easy solution to this dilemma is?

Don't break into anybody's computer.

Problem solved.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343646)

Yeah, if they weren't guilty, they wouldn't be suspects, now would they?

Here's the story. (2, Informative)

Water Paradox (231902) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343587)

Hackers face life imprisonment under 'Anti-Terrorism' Act Justice Department proposal classifies most computer crimes as acts of terrorism.

By Kevin Poulsen
Sep 23 2001 11:00PM PT

Hackers, virus-writers and web site defacers would face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under legislation proposed by the Bush Administration that would classify most computer crimes as acts of terrorism.

The Justice Department is urging Congress to quickly approve its Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), a twenty-five page proposal that would expand the government's legal powers to conduct electronic surveillance, access business records, and detain suspected terrorists.

The proposal defines a list of "Federal terrorism offenses" that are subject to special treatment under law. The offenses include assassination of public officials, violence at international airports, some bombings and homicides, and politically-motivated manslaughter or torture.

Most of the terrorism offenses are violent crimes, or crimes involving chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. But the list also includes the provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that make it illegal to crack a computer for the purpose of obtaining anything of value, or to deliberately cause damage. Likewise, launching a malicious program that harms a system, like a virus, or making an extortionate threat to damage a computer are included in the definition of terrorism.

To date no terrorists are known to have violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. But several recent hacker cases would have qualified as "Federal terrorism offenses" under the Justice Department proposal, including the conviction of Patrick Gregory, a prolific web site defacer who called himself "MostHateD"; Kevin Mitnick, who plead guilty to penetrating corporate networks and downloading proprietary software; Jonathan "Gatsby" Bosanac, who received 18-months in custody for cracking telephone company computers; and Eric Burns, the Shoreline, Washington hacker who scrawled "Crystal, I love you" on a United States Information Agency web site in 1999. The 19-year-old was reportedly trying to impress a classmate with whom he was infatuated.

The Justice Department submitted the ATA to Congress late last week as a response to the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania that killed some 7,000 people.

As a "Federal terrorism offense," the five year statute of limitations for hacking would be abolished retroactively -- allowing computer crimes committed decades ago to be prosecuted today -- and the maximum prison term for a single conviction would be upped to life imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal justice system

Those convicted of providing "advice or assistance" to cyber crooks, or harboring or concealing a computer intruder, would face the same legal repercussions as an intruder. Computer intrusion would also become a predicate offense for the RICO statutes.

DNA samples would be collected from hackers upon conviction, and retroactively from those currently in custody or under federal supervision. The samples would go into the federal database that currently catalogs murderers and kidnappers.

Civil liberties groups have criticized the ATA for its dramatic expansion of surveillance authority, and other law enforcement powers.

But Attorney General John Ashcroft urged swift adoption of the measure Monday.

Testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, Ashcroft defended the proposal's definition of terrorism. "I don't believe that our definition of terrorism is so broad," said Ashcroft. "It is broad enough to include things like assaults on computers, and assaults designed to change the purpose of government."

The Act is scheduled for mark-up by the committee Tuesday morning.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (1)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343591)

yeah, and we should make jay-walking a capital offense. It's not a question of "what is a crime", but "how severe a crime is"

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (1)

AshPattern (152048) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343593)

Well, computer crime _is_ crime, by definition. If it weren't a crime, it wouldn't be computer crime, now would it?

All the same, so is a little kid stealing a candy bar from a grocery store. Life imprisonment? Terrorism? Geez...

Good thing the U.S. has a judicial branch to help sort things out.

Re:Somebody has to say it, but... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343664)

Is intrusion necessarily terrorism? If I break into the DMV computer system and replace their web page with something silly, that is certainly criminal, but it's more like vandalism than terrorism. Besides, wouldn't you be a traitor and not a terrorist even if these things did apply?

Also, does this mean that we no longer need virus programs and firewalls? I mean, who needs to lock their door when burglary is illegal?

And of course, how does this bode for tech workers? I often have to gain access to a customer's servers. Does this mean a simple "here's some credentials for you to use" is no longer enough? Do I have to have the admin at the customer's site file a contract with his boss and have his boss and himself and myself sign it each and every time I help them out, even if I'm just entering to check their logs because -- hey -- someone might later say it was unauthorized?

Ashcroft can suck my cock -- but we all know these things will be passed. And projects like mozilla.org that have sections on "hacking the code" will become villified for contributing to terrorism. Welcome to the witch-hunts; i'm finding a new line of fucking work.

There's too many of us (2, Informative)

Water Paradox (231902) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343506)

There are just way too many of us out here.

Put us all in prison, and prisons will be freer than out here.

The true hacker is absolutely, completely, devoted to freedom.

-wp

freedom? by stealing resources and information? (1)

DiveX (322721) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343580)

That is BS. By even proping systems or exploiting vunerabilities hackers/crackers/whatever cause untold millions of dollars in damages and lost wages.
They not only steal information, but also deny others the right to do business and cause a need for shift in resources to protect the company rather than producive service.

Re:There's too many of us (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343610)

just shut up u fag

Re:There's too many of us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343665)

We'll see how much devotion to freedom you have when Bubba repeatedly shows you his devotion to putting his dick in your ass at shower time.

First (-1)

Bilton (517325) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343508)

First post in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

This is what we've need for a while now (0, Troll)

Vardamir (266484) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343511)

How can anyone say this is a bad thing?

Re:This is what we've need for a while now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343537)

i really hope you're just trolling and are not really as stupid as you sound.

Not Me! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343602)

I for one will be glad when some of these obnoxious, pimply-faced introverts are sent to Federal Pound-Me-In-the-Ass prison.

Re:Not Me! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343634)

no no no, the worst they'll get is a white collar minimum security resort. did you know they have conjugal visits there?

oh, crap... (4, Funny)

hugg (22953) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343513)

Damn, we /.'ed the securityfocus server... that's a DOS attack, isn't it?

Quick, smash your DSL modems, clear your logs, and run for the hills before the Feds arrive!

script kiddies beware! (1)

NeoTomba (462540) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343514)

Finally, script kiddies will get what they deserve... life imprisonment!

Wait, this wouldn't be targeting "real" hackers, now would it? Uh oh...

-NeoTomba

Umm, Thats not right... (4, Interesting)

11thangel (103409) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343515)

Providing advice to a Hacker == criminal offense? Doesn't legal counsel count as advice? Isn't that protected under the 5th ammendment?

Re:Umm, Thats not right... (2)

EnderWiggnz (39214) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343533)

the bigger problem here, is ... whats advice?

teaching someone how to disassemble a program?

teaching assembly language?

using a non-MS product?

Re:Umm, Thats not right... (1)

Dexx (34621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343589)

Would that make the vulnerability databases like the one at SecurityFocus illegal? Bugtraq?

Re:Umm, Thats not right... (4, Insightful)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343598)

> Providing advice to a Hacker == criminal offense?

"If you have programming skills, get the fuck out of the States and take your skills with you. Your country obviously doesn't want you anymore."

(Am I now a felon?)

Hey, Whattaya Want? (1, Informative)

stealie72 (246899) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343518)

What do you expect from a guy who annoints himself in Crisco and gets telepathic advice from some big guy who lives in the sky that nobody's ever seen?

Re:Hey, Whattaya Want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343611)

Hey, don't you dare pick on my invisible friend because he can kick your invisibe friend's ass!

No.... (0)

justletmeinnow (315504) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343520)

They mean like the movie!!

Uh oh. (1)

ByteHog (247706) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343522)

I just read that to a couple of coworkers here, and they all said they should stop talking to me. :)

Harboring the hackers (1)

BlowCat (216402) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343540)

Soon any country harboring hackers will be considered as a country harboring terrorists.

59 Temple Place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343620)

Expect to see choppers over 59 Temple Place in Boston. It's the base of the world's most wanted hacker (RMS).

Re:Harboring the hackers (2)

MadCow42 (243108) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343643)

Ok, does that mean that datahavens like Sealand are now suddenly Terrorist cells?

They harbor data, quite possibly for "crackers", along with other "questionable" sources (along with many legitamite ones too). If I were them, I'd be a little worried.

MadCow.

USA harbors terrorists! (3, Funny)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343660)

Lets see, Kevin Mitnick is a hacker, a hacker is a terrorist, Mitnick is in the USA = USA harbors terrorists. The USA did not execute him on site.


Is everone infected with Code Red a terrorist?

Silly huh? Well, people thought it was silly to say that the attack would be used as an excuse to abridge our rights further.

But what if (-1)

okmar (266773) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343541)

we used that knowledge to help track terrorism and not group it in to the same classification. Very cold war. Hell, almost fashionable!

Ouch! (5, Interesting)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343542)

I conduct Penetration Testing and Vulnerability assesments for a living.

All it takes is one bad customer relationship to cause a false accusation...

jeremiah cornelius

Re:Ouch! (-1)

okmar (266773) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343560)

Word.

Re:Ouch! (1)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343606)

>I conduct Penetration Testing and Vulnerability assesments for a living.
>All it takes is one bad customer relationship to cause a false accusation...

Part of your standard business practice should be to get a signed authorization to probe a client's systems.

Or in "Penetration Testing" does 'NO' sometimes mean 'YES'? :-)

Re:Ouch! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343627)

Um.. If you are actually conducting tests above board, for a real company, you will not have this problem. Legal paperwork should be completed when contracts are signed.
If you are breaking in, THEN asking if they need assistance, I sincerly hope you spend some time in jail.

Re:Ouch! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343635)

I conducted some "penetration testing" on your mom last night. I'm proud to say she passed with flying colors!!

Hahaha! (-1)

egg troll (515396) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343544)

Of course this might be a good thing because if they go to jail, hey, at least they're out of their parent's basement.

My DNA? (5, Insightful)

Papa Legba (192550) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343546)

Why in the world would they need DNA. I am pretty sure that no where in the specs for DNS or IPv4 is it required that my genome sequence be part of the string being sent out.

So, who wants to take bets that the RIAA get's copyright violaters termed as hackers?

Re:My DNA? (1)

Dexx (34621) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343631)

"I am pretty sure that no where in the specs for DNS or IPv4 is it required that my genome sequence be part of the string being sent out."

So far. Who knows what will come in later. There's been articles and discussion elsewhere about national id cards in the states with DNA sequences on them. Even if you don't get life, when you run your ID card through the airport (or grocery store or high school) scanner, all the bells and whistles go off..

Six degrees of separation. (2)

AMuse (121806) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343548)

Right now, the laws in this country have you by six degrees of separation. If anyone is determined enough, they can convict you and throw you away for life based on laws that reference laws that reference laws. . .

This is a perfect example. Decrypting DVDs under the DMCA is circumvention. Circumvention is hacking. Hacking is now terrorism.

Crack a copy of your new CD so you can have burned copies in your car instead of the originals (in case they get stolen), and you are now a terrorist.

Now hang on just a sec... (4, Redundant)

w3woody (44457) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343552)

I don't mind increase survelance powers in order to fight terrorism. However, scrawling "I love you Crystal" or some such on some web page is not terrorism.

This thing needs to at least be tempered by a clause which adds or defines criminal intent. That is, if hacking is done with the intent to destroy or disable the United States government and/or make actual acts of terrorism (such as blowing people up) easier, then throw the bastards in jail. But defacing some web site doesn't harm the United States government; it's just annoying as hell. And annoying doesn't deserve life in prison without the possibility of parole--especially since actually killing someone is what I would consider slightly more annoying, yet many types of murder don't get anywhere near life.

Backwoods terrorists (1)

DiveX (322721) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343608)

"However, scrawling "I love you Crystal" or some such on some web page is not terrorism."

Water Tower taggers of the world unite!!

Re:Now hang on just a sec... (2)

abe ferlman (205607) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343614)

But defacing some web site doesn't harm the United States government

I agree with this statement, unless you hack a major commerce site (the government's revenue source) or a major news site (the government's propaganda outlet). In either of those cases, you're actually threatening the government. The safest thing to do is probably to hack a government information website, since there's very little of value there and most likely no one will even see it for weeks.

Bryguy

This guy just doesn't get it. (1)

The Slashdolt (518657) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343556)

In the latest cryptogram [counterpane.com] I referenced this article [bbc.co.uk] . And this quote(look at the reader comments at the bottom to see my point):

"There are many people of poor and evil motivations who are seeking to disrupt business and government and exploit any vulnerabilities in the digital universe."

From John Ashcroft. This guy is just way off base here. He is totally missing what is going on the real world. We need some more technically savvy people in the government!

Umm.. (2)

nebby (11637) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343557)

Doesn't the CIA employ many, many crackers to bust into their stuff?

Re:Umm.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343609)

We also employ assassins... or we did, but we likely will again.

def con (2)

davey23sol (462701) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343562)

this would make def con illegal... a convention of terrorists giving information to each other.

what next?

Re:def con (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343659)

The FBI will arrest America's best and brightest, crippling high-tech innovation.

what about bugtraq? (5, Interesting)

Bastian (66383) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343563)

I don't know much about how this bill would be interpreted were it to come to law, but it seems to me that making security bugs known to the general public could be construed as giving advice to a hacker since, well, it alerts the general public to security problems.

oh jesus... (1)

feed_me_cereal (452042) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343566)

I hope people arn't stupid enough to support this bill. I mean honestly: Define terrorism. Then define "computer crime". Then notice that there is no containment. Ashcroft should go back to school. Why the hell do people want to pick on computer criminals so much?

Size Matters (1)

nexex (256614) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343567)

The only thing bigger than John Ashcroft's ego is his all out crusade to turn America into a Communist country where corporate america rules.

What's a computer crime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343569)

What's a computer crime?

- Throwing a computer to anybody.
- Installing M$ Windows
- Other ....

perversion (5, Insightful)

nodrip (459776) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343571)

This is a perversion of what Ashcroft requested. Hackers who attempt to disrupt key systems that are vital to protecting human life, for example the FAA's radar systems, are terrorists. And they are.

Enough with the whining (0, Troll)

avalys (221114) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343573)

Arrgh!! Screw my karma! Stop the damned civil rights whining! Any crime is bad! That includes computer crime! The DMCA may be evil, but while it is law you must obey it! Why is it that every slashdot poster is some sort of liberal hippy freak?

ok (1)

CodeMonky (10675) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343574)

Well, I don't mind the DNA thing as long as it applies to other criminals and not just computer crime, the life in prison thing is a little messed up. I just don't see how a rapist could get less time than someone who defaced a web page.

DNA samples? (1)

rakerman (409507) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343575)

Oh no... it's The Geeks from Brazil

oh great (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343577)

Think twice before reporting a found security flaw to someone.

The answer is simple (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343579)

Don't write viruses.

Don't write worms.

Don't use known cracking tools and 'sploits.

Don't tell people how to take advantage of vulnerabilities, with the intent of helping others cause harm.

Don't break the law, and you'll have nothing to worry about. You had nothing to worry about before if you didn't break the law. Is it really that hard to do?

Hmmmm... (1)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343584)

"and increase the maximum sentence for computer intrusion to life in prison." And exactly how is this supposed to help everyone out and teach someone their lesson? How can sending some of the smarter people in our society (assuming this won't be a script kiddie in many instances) to jail for the rest of their lives help better our lives? Although I should assume that every case under this proposed act would come with the possibility of paroll due to its complete lack of immediate physical or mental damage to any persons, right? What's next? The death sentence for avid computer users? Gimme a break.

So... (2, Insightful)

gwillden (447979) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343594)

All those that detect and report security flaws in systems are terrorists because they comunicate these details to the Crackers (accidentally, but what does that have to do with it?).
Bummer...

Good! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343607)

After pounding on Nimda for the last SEVERAL days. I'd like to have choice things done to the coder that wrote it...Damn Bastich Terrorist

Come with me to hacker paradise! (1)

Kukuman (37494) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343612)

Canada, here I come!

This will never work. (0, Interesting)

linuxgod (17683) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343613)

This Act probably will never be passed. The simple fact of life imprisonment for someone who hacked CSS encryption for DVDs, and such, is poposterous. It would only work to make the government look like they are doing somthing in the face of terrorism.

The end of age of computer innovation (1)

zoftie (195518) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343621)

Computer innovation, that was mostly done via tinkering and actual analysis of the way things work, is DEAD. People having fun brining down systems because apparently selling underware on the web is of utmost importance for american nation. Think this is blessing for sysadmins? No. Now coprations don't need teams of sysadmins
maintaning security and stability of the site. As long as they can blame service collapse on some script kiddie with large sack of lawyers, they will do that.

Script kiddies are irratation to internet community nothing more, serious hackers are of a thread to real corporations, but often they don't include in their budgets a REAL security teams that have hands on experience with hardening kernels, but rather hoards of mathematitionas analysing flowchars. Now its gonna change. Lawyers will replace security teams, and sysadmins role will be installing new software, and tracing connections to nearest point where lawyers will be deployed.

This is hot headed measure that will damage internet environments and synergy they are in now. It will focus security of reprimand not of real safety of systems.

I hope Ashcroft goes to HELL. Oops I already sound like whitetrash Bush family....

Interesting question (2)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343622)

Does recommending LINUX count? Does Criticizing Windoze insecurities count? What about BugTraq?

hmmm (2, Funny)

the_other_one (178565) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343624)

Microsoft regularly gives advice to hackers with this thing called the Knowlege Base.

They even have a program (IIS) that aids hackers in break in attempts.

Their new advertisement [theregister.co.uk] advocates the destruction of buildings.

This is clearly one of the worst terror organizations

The US and it's allies must take action

I don't know (1)

+Majere+ (178506) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343625)

Well I agree hacking is a crime. I think it should be classified by different areas. Like people nosing around public computers shouldn't get 20 years in jail, but military computers, .gov sites, sure I can understand that. Selling information about companies, sure that's bad. But I don't think most hackers should get more time then some murders and other violent crime criminals. That is just silly. Virus writers on the other hand, we can just hang them.

Just my thoughts on the subject.

Big day... (1)

Magus311X (5823) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343626)

This could be a big day for the fight against script kiddies. :)

-----

Hack chinese websites.. (2, Interesting)

tempestdata (457317) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343629)

So now if script kiddi3s in the US, decide to deface chinese websites, the Chinese authorities could legitimately, accuse the US of harboring Terrorists???

Ashcroft can suck my ass. (-1)

Trollificus (253741) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343630)

This Ashcroft character seems like a bigger threat to the US than Bin Ladin.
All he needs is a towel on his head and a camel between his legs and he's set.

Well Gee (1)

Maskirovka (255712) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343632)

So it's terroristic to provide advice to a hacker. Hmm. So that would make

Comp-sci professors/students
Entire IT departments
Teachers
Parents
publishers
bookstores
helpdesk services
etc

liable. That Ashcroft guy is smoking some really bad shit. Does anyone remember that he lost mississippy gubernatorial election to a DEAD man? That's how popular he is at home. Excuse my while I go out and puke :P

Maskirovka

Eye no i cant spill:P

God Damn, I hate John Ashcroft... (2)

Bonker (243350) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343636)

Let's all remember that this guy lost an election to a corpse, please.

Seriously, I'm afraid that this line of reasoning is only going to continue under the Bush administration.

Anyone who violates the conservative faction's very narrow definition of legality and morality is going to face harsher and harsher penalties. It's the 'hackers' right now. I'll be charitable and say that that means anyone who illegally breaks into a computer system or network. It will be expanded in the very near future to include anyone who violates non-circumvention clause of the DMCA. Seriously, how far are those two apart?

It can be reasonably argued that violating copy protections will put illegal technology or information in the hands of terrorists.

The logical progression is pretty evident from that point on. Anyone caught breaking a copyright will be targeted, and then anyone who illegaly owns copyrighted material will be targeted.

Hmmm... I wonder if I should encrypt the stash of Anime fansubs on my HDD. Wait, encryption is going to be illegal to! I'm a terroist either way!

Congress will just keep passing laws to give Bush and Ashcroft what they want in the name of 'National Security'. Don't think for a second that they won't.

Fight the power, join your local IT clubs now!!! (1)

ADRA (37398) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343637)

We will rise up, and wipe the world of all those infidel non-computer freaks. For our faith in the inane and bloody, we will be granted into the highest form of life, T1 connections!

A backwards approach to legislation (5, Interesting)

melquiades (314628) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343641)

This act and the DMCA are eerily similar. Both seek to address particular historical circumstances and events (e.g. Napster, terrorist attacks). Both sets of circumstances are genuinely complex and problematic. And, in both cases, there were already perfectly adequate laws more general laws which address the particular situation. We already have laws to address copyright violation, and we already have laws to convict violent criminals, spies, and yes...even hackers.

The DMCA and all these supposedly anti-terrorist laws, past and present, take a terribly backward approach to lawmaking. The best laws, like the best software, succeed on minimality and generality. Witness the excellent US constitution, which has been extremely effective considering how long it's been around. The constitution uses very broad terms -- "life", "property", "punishment", "vote" -- and very few specific terms. (Some parts are quite specific, like the quartering of soldiers bit. They seem very quaint now.)

Laws, like software, tend to break if they are designed in specificity but used in generality. The trouble with these new laws is that they create all kinds of special cases and extra circumstances designed for a particular moment in history, which we'll have to support for decades or even centuries. The new terrorist laws, in a way, are like the 640k RAM limit -- they seem good enough for now, but in the future, they'll cripple and break all kinds of things.

The difference is, in this case, it is our fundamental freedoms that are being to get crippled and broken. As always, please please please call your representatives and give them a piece of your mind. They are under a lot of pressure right now, and they need to hear from sensible people.

I disagree 100% (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343644)

For isntance, regarding the Code Red worm(s) that were going around the net. I STRONGLY believe that Microsoft should be held accountable for the billions of dollars lost by businesses and should be held responsible. If I were a business affected by this, I would have taken them to court.

History has been forgotten (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343650)

The more rules and laws there are to follow, the more people will invariably break (sometimes without even realizing it), and the more control the 'authorities' will exert over the masses. The only difference between our world today, and the world of the past, is that we're all interconnected. No other time in history has witnessed a world where everyone in it had the tools and methods to instantly communicate and reach places so quickly as we can today. (Communications are nearly instantaneous thanks to instant messaging clients).

It will be interesting to see how soon all religion is stomped out because of a few off the wall psycho's who think that random acts of death and destruction without announcing intent to do so is a good thing for their religion. At that point, God be merciful to us all...

calm down (1)

davejenkins (99111) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343653)

Before everyone starts running around screaming Orwellian doomsday and the death of civil liberties, please remember that we still live in a country where there are courts, due process, trial by jury, and plain ol' common sense.

No one is going to get thrown in the Gaol for scribbling on the Jennifer Aniston Shrine or for lifting someone's Yahoo username and password in a chat Room.

You ARE in trouble if you hack into DoD systems, steal credit cards, or try to move a lot of money around anonymously, and rightly so.

Please go back and read the Bill of Rights (for you Americans out there) and remember that there are 9 wise souls in Washington who do nothing but think about this stuff all day.

This about computer CRIMES, not hacking... (1)

glenmark (446320) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343654)

Buy a clue, folks. The proposed legislation says nothing about HACKING. It is about computer CRIMES. Unauthorized entry into a system for stealing info. Web site defacement. Virus writing. These are CRIMES, and finally someone is coming up with legislation that has the teeth to properly punish the worthless waste-of-protein creeps who do these things.

This is a GOOD thing!

(And for the record, in the good ol' days before the proliferation of script kiddies and commercial SPAM, i.e. pre-90's, there was no distinction between hackers and crackers. That semantic distinction is a rather recent piece of revisionist computer folklore.)

Statute of Limitations (1)

stuccoguy (441799) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343656)

The US Constitution contains a clause which prohibits Ex Post Facto laws. In general, a law is ex post facto if it punishes an act which was not a crime when committed, increases the penalty for a crime after the commission of the crime, or substantially changes the proceedural due process attached to a crime.


Most courts have ruled that changing the statute of limitations on a crime is a violation of the prohibition on ex post facto laws under the third reasoning. Other courts have said that if the statute of limitations in effect at the time the crime was committed has expired, a new statute of limitations may not be applied. These courts allow the statute of limitations to be extended if it has not yet expired when the new statute is passed.


Either way, the language of this law is obviously ex post facto and is unlikely to stand in court.

If you liked the Drug War, you'll LOVE... (1)

Dolly_Llama (267016) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343663)

The thing that really scares me about this whole mess is listening to Ashcroft's impassioned pleas demanding powers to seize the assets of terrorists and those who support them, just like the war on drugs. If I can be any more obvious: this is a Bad Thing(tm). First look at the total failure property confiscation has been as a deterrent to narcotrafficing, then discover the rampant corruption of law enforcement, say things like targeting people based on the value of their homes (which are confiscated before trial), instead of their danger to society.

This isnt just an erosion of personal liberty, this is an avalanche. Consider how loosely terrorism can be defined and how closely it seems to parallel sedition.

Band's proceeds from Rage Against the Machine album sales? "They're mine now," sayeth Uncle Sam, "Your lyrics are obviously inciting acts of terrorism, and thus you are complicit."

Where is John Galt when we need him?

The actual Anti-Terrorism Act bill (1, Informative)

ilsie (227381) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343666)

Here's the actual bill: http://www.eff.org/sc/ashcroft_proposal.html [eff.org] . Instead of getting it second-hand from a news source that puts its own spin on it, why not make the judgement for yourself.

So.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343667)

..Securityfocus becomes a site that harbors terrorists, as it publishes sploits and discussion regarding said sploits.

With laws like this it won't be long before the terrorists start becoming domestic. Seriously, isn't this the sort of shit that starts civil wars?

Last I checked (1)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343668)

Ashcroft wasn't a member of Congress -- so it could not have been HIS bill, unless the US govt workings changed since I last checked. He may be pushing for it, but someone else wrote it and sponsored it.

Excellent! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#2343669)

Ah yes. Finally. We've been prosecuting hackers/crackers/system whackers for a decade with very little done on DOJ's part for our efforts.
Applied intelligently, this is a good thing.
Oh, and the term (hacker/cracker) doesn't matter. In jail, they are all someone's lover!

Giving advice to hackers (2)

Phroggy (441) | more than 12 years ago | (#2343670)

Does 2600 magazine qualify as an organization that gives advice to hackers, and would therefore be classified as a terrorist organization under this new bill?
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