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More Jail Time For Computer Crime Starting Next Month

CowboyNeal posted about 11 years ago | from the third-arm-of-justice dept.

The Courts 419

An anonymous reader writes "Washingtonpost.com is running a detailed story about how new changes to the sentencing guidelines will increase jail time for most computer crime cases, starting November 1. When will the feds learn that raising penalties isn't going to deter this type of crime? The piece ends with a quote from uberhacker Kevin Mitnick saying just that."

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Just popped in (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119416)

FP?

Re:Just popped in (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119516)

I SUCCEED IT!

Re:Just popped in (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119538)

When will the feds learn that raising penalties isn't going to deter this type of crime?

just report the article. we don't need your input.

Jail Time (0, Redundant)

dann0 (555381) | about 11 years ago | (#7119417)

Still not sure how increasing jail time will deter hacking...

Re:Jail Time (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | about 11 years ago | (#7119435)

It will actually increase it. Cause all you faggot hackers can't even get man sex on the street. You can only get it prison. Happy hacking.

Re:Jail Time (1, Flamebait)

gfody (514448) | about 11 years ago | (#7119440)

who said anything about hacking?

Re:Jail Time (1)

dann0 (555381) | about 11 years ago | (#7119517)

who said anything about hacking? Er, good point. Please replace hacking with computer crimes. Maybe I should have put hacking in quotes.

Re:Jail Time (1)

The Dobber (576407) | about 11 years ago | (#7119514)

It's not a deterrent. It's punishment.

Re:Jail Time (2, Insightful)

Tyrdium (670229) | about 11 years ago | (#7119535)

Isn't the point of all punishment to deter the criminal and/or others from committing criminal acts?

Re:Jail Time (2, Insightful)

marko123 (131635) | about 11 years ago | (#7119575)

It can also be argued that it is there to keep law-abiding citizens satisfied in their law-abiding ways, and content that crime doesn't really pay. It's a two-fold effect.

Re:Jail Time (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119557)

Well, as has been pointed out by Dilbert author Scott Adams (among others), if you're in jail then you're not out committing the crime. Putting criminals in jail certainly does deter crime during the duration of their sentence.

Re:Jail Time (3, Funny)

galgon (675813) | about 11 years ago | (#7119573)

"...but most maximum prison sentences handed down for computer crime range from one year to 10 years. Hackers whose exploits result in injury or death -- if they disable emergency response networks or destroy electronic medical records, for example -- face 20 years to life in prison.

Hackers will face up to a 25 percent increase in their sentences if they hijack e-mail accounts or steal personal data -- including financial and medical records and digital photographs. Convicted virus and worm authors face a 50 percent increase.

Sentences also will increase by 50 percent for hackers who share stolen personal data with anyone. The sentences will double if the information is posted on the Internet. More than half of the sentences handed out under federal computer crime laws would be lengthened by this change alone, according to a Sentencing Commission report released in April.

Jail time also will double for hackers who break into government and military computers or networks tied to the power grid or telecommunications network.

Hackers who electronically break into bank accounts can be sentenced based on how much money is in the account, even if they don't take any of it. Under the new guidelines, however, judges can tack on a 50 percent increase to the sentence if the hacker did steal money."

So Lets see if I create a worm to hack into millitary computers to hijack email accounts and steal personal data which then sends then info in an email to George W. Bush and also posts it on slashdot all the while destroying medical records and stealing money from secret millitary accounts how many years in prison do I get?

Re:Jail Time (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119644)

Are you that slow or just taking a break from your homework?

How much hacking/cracking did Kevin M. do while he was in jail?

If there is no punishment, there is no reason not to do it. Put the jerks in jail!

Re:Jail Time (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119706)

So the only reason you're not out killing people is because you'd get put behind bars for the rest of your life?

I'm glad I'm not your neighbour.

Computer crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119419)

Computer crime made easy!

Hack root simply by clicking a link [67.37.26.119] .

Re:Computer crime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119543)

Could you actually press charges if you openly admited to leaving your new work insecure and providing your IP? I clicked your link, and typed in ls what could you really do?

its like a jackpot (3, Funny)

gfody (514448) | about 11 years ago | (#7119423)

the punishment gets worse and worse until they actually catch one of the little bastards

Re:its like a jackpot (1)

GMontag (42283) | about 11 years ago | (#7119462)

Well, it's true and tragically funny.

I was thinking the same thing and did not realize how funny it was until I saw the moderation.

Perhaps some actual enforcement of some actual wrongdoing will deter crime, but not much hope of that either.

Re:its like a jackpot (1)

kaltkalt (620110) | about 11 years ago | (#7119679)

That's actually called a "progressive jackpot" ... where the prize amount increases by a dollar every minute (or by a $Y amount every X seconds, whatever). But yeah, the comparison is great. I bet the frequencies of winning/prosecution are somewhat similar, too. I think someone wins one of those jackpots every couple of months. Many times the machines are on nationwide networks (jackpot is the same in vegas and atlantic city), much like how the federal laws cover the whole nation. The comparisons are quite amusing and pathetic.

OK We have a month to take over the world (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119439)

Everyone hack as if it's your last month

MY exwife (1, Funny)

LennyDotCom (26658) | about 11 years ago | (#7119442)

My ex-wife uses computers to run her company (political polling) and she cheats. So technically she is comitting a crime and using computers. Should she worry about his?

Re:MY exwife (1)

Erick the Red (684990) | about 11 years ago | (#7119507)

Oops, you forgot to post AC.

Wait, that was on purpose?

Re:MY exwife (0, Offtopic)

LennyDotCom (26658) | about 11 years ago | (#7119570)

Oops, you forgot to post AC. Wait, that was on purpose?

nope definately not I want the world to know she is a cheater and a liar and what a stupid sucker I was

http://www.lenny.com/love/

Re:MY exwife (0, Offtopic)

binarybum (468664) | about 11 years ago | (#7119518)

Should she worry about his?

No. She should worry about hers.

sheesh. did you read the article??

Re:MY exwife (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119560)

I would have if wasn't a washington post article...grrr.

It's not about deterring crime .. (5, Insightful)

RubberDuckie (53329) | about 11 years ago | (#7119448)

It's about appeasing the masses. "Look", say the politicians, "We're tough on computer crime!" This will keep most people off the law makers backs.

Class War (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119451)

Yet corporate executives who steal millions and fuck with societies infrastructure walk free.

If ya wanna be l33t-- (0)

Shifty_McWriteoff (698909) | about 11 years ago | (#7119453)

better do it before next month! ;)

Who cares (1, Flamebait)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | about 11 years ago | (#7119465)

I dont live in the US nor frankly care about the democratic theocracy running there. The sooner the US falls (like all other empires in history) the better. The ironic thing about the US is americans are unwilling to pay minor costs associated with social services but are willing to pay huge costs associated with running the worlds largest prison population.

Re:Who cares (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119546)

Isn't this flamebait or something? The funny thing about these anti-US people is they can only bash the US so much. The US has about 1/3 of the World's GNP. So basically we pay for everything more than anyone else in the world. Why do people want the US to fall? What is so wrong with the US? Well, many of these people want it to fall mainly because they aren't apart of the nicely constructed US system. The problem with these people, they are born elsewhere and are jealous of the satisfaction we get, for paying for things cheaper than they do, live in nice houses, drive large cars, etc.
Also about your social cost thingy. The Americans pay MORE MONEY to other countries than ANY OTHER COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. We support the world with so much international aid, it pisses the US taxpaers off. So I'm sorry you don't read the news often or get out often enough to see headlines "THE US REBUILDS (enter thirdworld country)."
As far as our prison population, we harvest criminals in our prisons because our public isn't too hot to trot on the killing of criminals. Also we have stupid drug policys that put drug offenders away longer than other serious crimes, but thats another story.
Please take your hatred to the US and direct to your third world country forums where you can pout and cry about why the US has it so good and no other country doesn't, so that must mean the US is all bad people rountine bullcrap.

Derrr... (1)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | about 11 years ago | (#7119466)

So if my car has a computer under the hood do I get a life sentence for speeding?

Kevin....My roof is almost done. Email me.

Re:Derrr... (1)

xtal (49134) | about 11 years ago | (#7119697)

Only if you live in California and modify the emissions. heh.

It's already completely unbalanced (5, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | about 11 years ago | (#7119467)

Currently, you can get more time for hacking your cablemodem than manslaughter. What's the point anymore?

To any lawmakers out there who might read this - We Get It Already. Lay Off.

Weaselmancer

Re:It's already completely unbalanced (5, Insightful)

Cat_Byte (621676) | about 11 years ago | (#7119646)

Yeah it's the same with the MADD sponsored DUI laws. It's down to 1 beer makes anyone under 120 lbs legally drunk now and the laws get tougher & tougher. Currently in TX you get in more trouble for 2 beers than you would for being caught with halucinogens. You lose your license for 1 year for a first offense as of Sept 1. For 2 beers I had to pay $2500 bond, $2500 fines, $1500 lawyer fees, and $150 to get my vehicle back. Next phase is my insurance went up over $2000/year. All that was for cutting myself off at 2 beers and going home early.

I know it sounds off topic, but making more laws does not prevent breaking the law. It is simply another source of income for law enforcement and the court system. You can compare it to the gun laws. There are more than enough laws on the books to enforce what they want (and then some) but it's a lack of enforcement that makes some people think more laws are needed.

Re:It's already completely unbalanced (4, Funny)

Threni (635302) | about 11 years ago | (#7119668)

"Currently in TX you get in more trouble for 2 beers than you would for being caught with halucinogens."

Good. Texans need more acid - they most certainly do NOT need more beer, trust me!

Seriously, that's the way it should be.

Re:It's already completely unbalanced (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119716)


Having personally driven a very large Dodge van full of friends at high speed while on 5 tabs of Windowpane, I'm here to tell you that you're much better off if I had shotgunned 6 beers and gone cruising with my buddies...

Other traffic (and pedestrians, while on surface streets) were little more to me than 2-dimensional curiosities in my little Genesis-infused automotive dreamscape.

Re:It's already completely unbalanced (3, Funny)

Threni (635302) | about 11 years ago | (#7119719)

"We Get It Already. Lay Off"

Huh..coupled with:

"When will the feds learn that raising penalties isn't going to deter this type of crime?"

from the headline... I think there's a spot of point-missing going on. The idea is to make as many laws as possible so that everyone is breaking at least one of them. That way the goverment can get more money from you in fines. Its a sort of tax/protection racket rolled into one. But one which looks good in the papers. "He was a drug dealer"..."He was a hacker"...."He removed the tracking device from his car"..."He obscured the GovCam in his bedroom" etc.

Reminds me of the 10/20/life law in Florida (5, Funny)

downix (84795) | about 11 years ago | (#7119473)

Next thing you know, prosecutors and corrupt police officers will be planting PalmPilots instead of pistols on folk to get harsher jail sentances.

"Your honor, not only did this man murder his wife, he has an AOL account!"

"hang him then fry him"

Right after drugs win the drug war. (1)

voisine (153062) | about 11 years ago | (#7119479)

When will the feds learn that raising penalties isn't going to deter this type of crime? I'd guess right after the learn that
people are going to use illicit drugs no matter how many of
our tax dollars they spend trying to stop it.

Go directly to jail, Do not pass go (1)

rossy (536408) | about 11 years ago | (#7119482)

Great, this means that if you can't find a room in a hotel in the bay area. You can write a script to do a night of jail time.

Just clicking a link to go to jail might be faster than the normal check-in process at many San-Jose bay area hotels.

If you coded it correctly, you could download some MP3's to listen to, and go to jail at the same time!

Advanced hackers could arrange longer stays if they couldn't pay their rent due to all the open source free work they have done.

In fact, with wearable computer clothes, you could push the button, and call 911 to get a free pickup right at the airport! -- Ross

Re:Go directly to jail, Do not pass go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119525)

you are unfunny

Uh-oh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119484)

I guess I should be using my palm pilot less. If I commit manslaughter while using a computer, God save me.

Guidelines (3, Funny)

KevinMS (209602) | about 11 years ago | (#7119485)


I think if the guidelines actually included the phrase
"Federal pound me in the ass prison" it might help.

Re:Guidelines (1)

Fnkmaster (89084) | about 11 years ago | (#7119650)

And they could include a goatse.cx link too, just for illustrative purposes. Now THAT would be a deterrent!

YEAH, REAL FUNNY, HA HA. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119664)

I bet when you make jokes about other types of rape you get the yuks too. Fucker.

About the same time as (1)

Sean80 (567340) | about 11 years ago | (#7119493)

This may sound flippant, but they'll realize that increased penalties don't act as a deterrent around about the same time that that realize that fact for every other type of crime.

Legalize crime. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119571)

" This may sound flippant, but they'll realize that increased penalties don't act as a deterrent around about the same time that that realize that fact for every other type of crime."

So does that mean that crimes shouldn't have a penalty? If the original penalty doesn't do it, and increasing it doesn't. Then I suggest we make all crime legal. No more expensive prisons. No more clogged courts. No more sociopolitical intellectual debates over the legality of this or that, and what kind, and amount of punishment. Who knows, crimminals might even see the light, and spare us all.

research done (0)

hardcnxn (593490) | about 11 years ago | (#7119494)

Mitnick says, "I really can't see people researching what the penalties are before they do something."
Except /.ers.

The usual linguistic confusion is present... (3, Interesting)

JessLeah (625838) | about 11 years ago | (#7119495)

...regarding the word "hacker". As many of us here know, the term "hacker [catb.org] " does not mean "computer criminal", as the mainstream press continually connote or denote it. I've often heard the defense that "well, once 99% of people start using a given word in a particular sense, that becomes a/the 'correct' meaning." By this logic, the millions of people who point at their computer (the box with the power supply, optical drive(s), floppy drive(s), hard drive(s), PCI/AGP/ISA card(s), etc. in it) and call it a "CPU", or a "processor", or a "hard drive"-- or even a "modem"-- are correct. They're not, nor are the people who think that "hacker" means "cyber-criminal".

I'd say that perhaps 99% of lay-people would, if shown a computer sans monitor, keyboard and mouse, call it either "a CPU", "a processor" or "a hard drive", and a few will call it "a modem" or "some computer thingy". This does not make these terms correct.

"Hacker" will never mean "computer criminal", no matter how many ignorant journalists and non-techies take it as such.

I am most definitely a hacker. I am most definitely not someone who breaks into systems, creates or uses exploits, makes viruses, etc. etc. etc.

HAY UR GAY SHUT UP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119521)

thx man rly

Re:HAY UR GAY SHUT UP (0, Offtopic)

JessLeah (625838) | about 11 years ago | (#7119547)

What in the name of Fuck are ridiculous trolls like you doing on a technical site anyhow? Go back to your NFL game, cretin.

Re:HAY UR GAY SHUT UP (0, Offtopic)

smart.id (264791) | about 11 years ago | (#7119579)

Wow. That was the most stereotypical comment I've ever heard. You don't have to be stupid to like the NFL. In addition, your comment had more quotation marks per character in it than I've ever seen before. I think you should look over the usage rules for them.

Re:HAY UR GAY SHUT UP (0, Offtopic)

JessLeah (625838) | about 11 years ago | (#7119601)

Oh well. Your mileage may vary; I'll stand by my stereotypes. In addition, please consult your English book; I believe I am in the right. And if not, okay, I made a mistake... why, then, are you grilling ME over the coals rather than the Neanderthals who can't tell the difference between "it's" and "its", or between "your", "you're" and (shudder) "ur"? Maybe because I dared to say something you disagree with?

PLZ SHUT UP NOW (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119665)

cause ur still a homo taco wants ur ass

JOEKS LOLOLOLOLLOL OMG (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119720)

Q: What do JessLeah and a hen house have in common?

A: They both have lots of cocks entering through the back door!

You lost this fight years ago. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119551)

Langauge is what the majority makes it. The fact that you yourself speak year 2003 English and not Olde English is proof enough. Hacker now means "computer criminal", much like "romantic" now refers to something laden with matters of the heart, instead of "strange". Get over it.

Re:You lost this fight years ago. (1)

JessLeah (625838) | about 11 years ago | (#7119584)

So I suppose "CPU", "hard drive", "processor" and "modem" are all now synonyms for "computer", eh? After all, MANY MANY MANY people use them to mean just that.

Re:You lost this fight years ago. (1)

Karamchand (607798) | about 11 years ago | (#7119598)

Very good point. Please mod it up, it is very important, even if you do not like it - it's just true. The etymology of a word only describes where it comes from, not what it means.

Re:You lost this fight years ago. (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 11 years ago | (#7119617)

" Langauge is what the majority makes it."

Not quite so simple. When the majority of those for whom the word can apply start using one way, then the language changes. But when the group for whom the word can apply continues to use it the original way, and only clueless outsiders continually misuse the word, the language does not change.

In other words, ignorance doesn't lead to language change, deliberatly using a word in a new way leads to language change. So if computer people start using "hacker" to mean criminal, the meaning can change. Until then, it's just ignorance no matter how large the ignorant group gets.

Re:You lost this fight years ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119623)

It must be nice living in that little bubble where "computer people" form the authoritative upper elitist caste of all aspects of society.

Re:You lost this fight years ago. (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 11 years ago | (#7119654)

" It must be nice living in that little bubble where "computer people" form the authoritative upper elitist caste of all aspects of society."

I don't live there and I implied nothing of the kind. The word "hacker" applies to "computer people," and thus you need to speak of them when defining the term. The upper elitist caste business came from your brain, not mine.

Re:You lost this fight years ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119670)

So if I everyone calls drug addicts "junkies," but casual drug users insist that it's their happy-nice-word to describe themselves affectionately, I'm wrong?

Please.

Re:You lost this fight years ago. (1)

FunWithHeadlines (644929) | about 11 years ago | (#7119712)

" So if I everyone calls drug addicts "junkies," but casual drug users insist that it's their happy-nice-word to describe themselves affectionately, I'm wrong?"

Hmm...not quite sure what you mean by that as the analogy doesn't quite fit. The word "hacker" has a noble meaning that was used for only one thing once upon a time. Then the media started to catch on to computers, began to use "hacker" to describe something else entirely, and thus we have today's confusion. It's apples and oranges. Your example is different, for you seem to be saying that "junkies" refers to the same thing except that casual drug users admit it cheerfully rather than perjoratively.

Re:You lost this fight years ago. (1)

garett_spencley (193892) | about 11 years ago | (#7119718)

"Computer people" do use the word "hacker" to refer to a computer criminal. The only people that I have ever met who use "cracker" instead of "hacker" are the 1337 linux user zealot types who want to refer to themselves as hackers and not be considered criminals.

I've worked in IT for the past 5 years and I very rarely come across a linux coder or sysadmin who doesn't use "hacker" to refer to a computer criminal. The fact is, that the majority of people do use hacker... even those who would be considered "hackers" in the so-called 'correct' sense of the word.

I used to be the type who would constantly pitch linux to windows users and call myself a hacker... until I grew up and realized that I just don't have the energy to give a damn about something so trivial as a word. Majority rules. Hacker has been taken. Pick a different word if you're so bent up on labeling yourself.

- Garett

the Bastard Customer From Hell (1)

SHEENmaster (581283) | about 11 years ago | (#7119568)

(who lives in Jefferson City, TN) calls it "emodium"

Just as with misuse of the term hacker, we eventually learn to deal with such ignorance.

(My emodium has more cross compilers than your emodium, so there!)

Re:The usual linguistic confusion is present... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119589)

Nothing makes me lower my head in shame more than seeing a nerd argue the meaning of a commonly used word against the voice of the world. Words are defined by how society uses them.

If enough people call a computer a CPU, then guess what, the definition of the word changes. When I say "enough," I'm talking about the amount of people who use the word "hacker" as meaning computer criminal. You know, everyone.

I suppose you can go on living the dream that one day, after years of fighting, you'll convince the world that Kevin Mitnick is not a "hacker," or "software pirate" but a "computer criminal" or "copyright law violator" and you'll have your moment of silent satisfaction. But then you'll realize what a fucking loser you are, cry, and furiously jerk off your small pathetic penis to pictures of fat, asian women dressed like Sailor Moon.

Re:The usual linguistic confusion is present... (1)

JessLeah (625838) | about 11 years ago | (#7119619)

I don't think your little masturbatory fantasy applies to me. 'Specially since JessLeah is short for JESSICA Leah. Not everyone on SlashDot is male-- not even everyone you disagree with.

Re:The usual linguistic confusion is present... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119651)

Oops! Sorry.

Nothing makes me lower my head in shame more than seeing a nerd argue the meaning of a commonly used word against the voice of the world. Words are defined by how society uses them.

If enough people call a computer a CPU, then guess what, the definition of the word changes. When I say "enough," I'm talking about the amount of people who use the word "hacker" as meaning computer criminal. You know, everyone.

I suppose you can go on living the dream that one day, after years of fighting, you'll convince the world that Kevin Mitnick is not a "hacker," or "software pirate" but a "computer criminal" or "copyright law violator" and you'll have your moment of silent satisfaction. But then you'll realize what a fucking loser you are, cry, and furiously penetrate your wet, stank ass pussy to pictures of fat, asian men dressed like Russel Crowe.

Oh, and you're fat! ha ha

Re:The usual linguistic confusion is present... (1)

NineNine (235196) | about 11 years ago | (#7119687)

Oh please. Get off your high horse. You go around saying that you're a hacker, and argue with the FBI agents once they handcuff you, jackass. I suppose that you could argue that "child molester" actually means a person who makes and sells ice cream, and you could wear a t-shirt that says "I am a child molester". You'd get a good ass pounding for that.

That's odd. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119503)

When will the feds learn that raising penalties isn't going to deter this type of crime? The piece ends with a quote from uberhacker Kevin Mitnick saying just that.

That's funny. It deterred Kevin Mitnick for quite awhile---particularly when he was behind bars, and when he was prohibited from using a computer.

Re:That's odd. (2, Insightful)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | about 11 years ago | (#7119533)

Deterance is supposed to happen before you're arrested.

No amount of... (1)

barenaked (711701) | about 11 years ago | (#7119504)

threatening/ warnings will put a halt to the overweight 30 year olds (or the growing number of uber 31337 13 year olds) of the world who want to take their anger out on something. Just like addicts if they need something bad enough they will get/do it. Kazaa users still continue to download songs, people just seem to think they are anonymous when they do things on the web. Go Figure.. ::unchecks post anonymously::

It's not just a deterrent (2, Interesting)

Thatmushroom (447396) | about 11 years ago | (#7119510)

It's about actually punishing the crime. This might filter out a few people who would've committed a crime, but that's only a secondary function of the law. Given the greater damage incurred by attacks (worms and viruses being a key component of that), it seems fit to more severely punish those who take a part in this increased damage.

This is wrong (0)

Yoshitoshi_ABe (694570) | about 11 years ago | (#7119524)

This is wrong, why are we going to focus so much on computer crime when we have violent criminals killing and raping people, and priests, corporate criminals, etc who all deserve more time. We dont have enough space in the prison and the FBI does not have enough time to go after every script kiddie. This is almost as stupid as this article which links kiddie porn to P2P http://zeropaid.com/news/articles/auto/10022003d.p hp [zeropaid.com]

Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119526)

Sounds like the government is giving up on the computer security war just like they gave up on the drug war. Of course, "giving up" doesn't ever mean repealing laws.

Spammers (5, Insightful)

Erick the Red (684990) | about 11 years ago | (#7119529)

Spammers already do all kinds of computer crimes (hijacking computers, etc.), and get no punishment, even after being reported. Sorry, but %100 more of zero is still zero.

At what point does hacking become terrorism? (1)

z3ngine (635087) | about 11 years ago | (#7119534)

Jail time also will double for hackers who break into government and military computers or networks tied to the power grid or telecommunications network.
Surely if you're a prosecutor looking at a case where hacking of this nature is being argued you're going to start pressing for terrorist links. It would then be a pushover to get the defendant to plead for the double-time hacking charge with a chance of release rather than face life in Guantanamo.

Uhhhhh.... (3, Flamebait)

mcrbids (148650) | about 11 years ago | (#7119537)

When will the feds learn that raising penalties isn't going to deter this type of crime?

It won't deter this type of crime? I can assure you, I've seen plenty of situations where I've been tempted to play the line a bit, but when I think about my lovely wife, and 5 children, and the risk of penalties, I change my mind quickly.

Perhaps we should realize that deterring a crime is not the same as eliminating it?

A $200 fine for speeding will deter speeding - but it won't eliminate it.

[ Dictionary.com ]

v. deterred, deterring, deters v. tr.

To prevent or discourage from acting, as by means of fear or doubt: "Does negotiated disarmament deter war?" (Edward Teller). See Synonyms at dissuade.

Kevin, Uber Hacker??! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119556)

Whatever

computer crimes (0)

stroustrup (712004) | about 11 years ago | (#7119559)

Yes, people stare at their computers all day and do all sorts of weird things to them. There should be some strict laws to protect the computers from such criminals.

Poor Little Hacker.... (1)

Stephen Samuel (106962) | about 11 years ago | (#7119566)

The problem is that hackers don't make enough money. If hackers were regularly making 'donations' of a few (dozen) thousands of dollars to the campaigns of various politicians (or alternatively, causing the contents of those accounts to mysteriously evaporate), Capitol Hill would be a lot nicer to the hacker community.

I mean just look at the lot of lying, and cheating stock brokers and corporate executives... If they were as poor as the average hacker, they'd be in a pound-your-ass prison faster than you could say 'enron'.

Fixing security holes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119567)

"The new guidelines let victims tally financial loss based on the costs of restoring data, fixing security holes, conducting damage assessments and lost revenue."

Financial loss to fix security holes? That seems...wrong.

I wish the h^Hcrackers well. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119581)

Personally, I'd prefer that small scale computer cracking, viruses, worms, and other security challenges continue to be a problem. It's unforunately the only method we have to ensure we are vigilant against the far greater problem. There are REAL TERRORISTS out there who would love to destory the infrastructure of the US and other first-world nations. But for the script kiddies making computer security a problem for everyone, these issues would largely get brushed under the rug by software companies wishing to save face.

The logical solution to this problem is not to try and weed out those who are malicious--this will fail the moment we fail to catch even ONE cracker. The only solution is to continue to improve security.

I am actually quite surprised, given the apparently inadequate security present in most government and commercial institutions, that we have not yet seen a major terrorist attack on our information infrastructure to date.

Note to Justice Department... (2, Interesting)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | about 11 years ago | (#7119585)



Hey boys...Just keep pumping out more of these "Hackers are Witches" kinda dumbass penalties and you're going to start to find that good computer help won't help your asses anymore.

Get it?

Life? (3, Insightful)

heli0 (659560) | about 11 years ago | (#7119588)

I guess the guy(s) responsible for this are going to get a life sentence: Yes, the source code that has been posted is the HL-2 source code.... [homelan.com]

Here is what we know:

1) Starting around 9/11 of this year, someone other than me was accessing my email account. This has been determined by looking at traffic on our email server versus my travel schedule.

2) Shortly afterwards my machine started acting weird (right-clicking on executables would crash explorer). I was unable to find a virus or trojan on my machine, I reformatted my hard drive, and reinstalled.

3) For the next week, there appears to have been suspicious activity on my webmail account.

4) Around 9/19 someone made a copy of the HL-2 source tree.

5) At some point, keystroke recorders got installed on several machines at Valve. Our speculation is that these were done via a buffer overflow in Outlook's preview pane. This recorder is apparently a customized version of RemoteAnywhere created to infect Valve (at least it hasn't been seen anywhere else, and isn't detected by normal virus scanning tools).

6) Periodically for the last year we've been the subject of a variety of denial of service attacks targetted at our webservers and at Steam. We don't know if these are related or independent.

Well, this sucks.

What I'd appreciate is the assistance of the community in tracking this down. I have a special email address for people to send information to, helpvalve@valvesoftware.com. If you have information about the denial of service attacks or the infiltration of our network, please send the details. There are some pretty obvious places to start with the posts and records in IRC, so if you can point us in the right direction, that would be great.

We at Valve have always thought of ourselves as being part of a community, and I can't imagine a better group of people to help us take care of these problems than this community.

Gabe Newell


USA, no way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119590)

Being an Australian technologist, the least attractive place for me to work is the USA. The DMCA and all this publicity surronding court cases and penalties are scaring me. If I wanted my company to global I too would avoid the USA, otherwise I might be up against a cashed up lawyer who had claimed a patent on exchanging goods for money.

Tech dudes in the USA! Pull the rip-chord while you still have half a chance of keeping your livelihood. (Although bailing would be hard now that I am hearing some company's have the policy of not hiring Americans)

This will keep *me* from computer crime. (1)

Snarfangel (203258) | about 11 years ago | (#7119591)

Well, that and "Hello, World!" is the height of my programming prowess.

raising penalties != lowering crime (1)

teslatug (543527) | about 11 years ago | (#7119600)

Who cares if raising penalties doesn't result in lowering crime? It can't hurt and it looks like they're doing something in the public's eye. It's not like it takes as much effort as studying the problem and coming up with the best solution. Seriously though, do they think someone is sitting at their computer contemplating whether a couple of months of jail time is worth doing for the crime, or if two years might be too much. They don't think that they will get caught, or they are too addicted to (the trill, "glory", etc.)do anything about it.

like decreasing jail time's going to deter it??? (1)

ctk76 (531418) | about 11 years ago | (#7119610)

you must be a cracker..

What do you want them to do? (3, Insightful)

Meor (711208) | about 11 years ago | (#7119613)

This is why I don't like a lot of Slashdot readers. What options are you giving politicians in order to deter computer crimes? You guys say higher penalties don't deter crime; while that may be true, Slashdot has to be one of the biggest proponents of anonymous computing around. So if you don't want criminals to be named and you don't want them to be sentenced, what do you want to have happen to them? Is computer crime not really a crime?

I doubt the intent is to deter hacking... (3, Insightful)

GojiraDeMonstah (588432) | about 11 years ago | (#7119630)

...or "rehabilitate" anybody. The intent is to control a kind of power that is greatly feared.

Here's an analogy, which I'm sure has flaws but here goes anyway.

This is like burning witches at the stake. Witches were thought to have control over nature and man via black magic, special knowledge of the occult, etc. We've all heard the saying that advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic to those who don't understand it.

When I hear things like the giant brou-hahas made over websites using "cookies" (gasp!), I realize how mysterious computers must seem to ordinary non-tech people. When bad things (virii, DDOS attacks) start happening to computers and web sites, it must be especially scary to these folks because they didn't really understand what was going on in the first place, and now it's all gone to crap for no easily explainable reason.

All of this fear and ignorance eventually bubbles over into rage, and an urge to lash out towards those perceived to be responsible.

Yes, I realize that a cracker is not a perfect analogy to a witch because the cracker is actually performing malicious actions. But there seem to be many examples of white-hats getting snagged in this over-zealous dragnet (the Adrian Lamo case for instance).

The extent to which The Gubment has started prosecuting these crimes smacks of fear and ignorance, just like the Red Scare, and the original witch hunts. The idea that Kevin Mitnick could actually call in a nuke strike from a payphone... idiots!

You fucking body builder. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119631)

Your wife told me about you, big sholders, big muscles, no dick, it's like putting an inchworm through a tunnel that's what she told me, 220lbs of dynamite with a quater inch fucking fuse. Look at him wearing this one earing, what does that mean I'm just half a fag. Look how pretty I look from this side of my face, I'm so tough wearing mommies stuff, ah FUCK with ME.

Rereading (3, Funny)

Faust7 (314817) | about 11 years ago | (#7119633)

More Jail Time For Computer Crime Starting Next Month

Anyone else read that as someone getting jailed for a computer crime that will happen in the future?

what if i rm -rf /* your box? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119638)

I am an adult. I know the consequences of my actions. Lets say out of spite I own your boxes on your lan. This is your real business that makes income for your family. And i just destroy it all.

How would you feel when i end up with 6 weekends in jail and 4 years probation when i just destroyed 3-10 years of your life. Judges will probably use this as leverage against real assholes who hurt others. This is not a mandatory sentence.

It is there to hurt those who hurt others by hacking. Not a curious 14 yr old who looks at /etc/passwd through a cgi bug on washingtonpost.com :P

hacking brick and mortar (1)

Tin0men (592738) | about 11 years ago | (#7119655)

Why are there so many more hackers in the real world then there is in cyberspace? Is it that hacking gates, windows, doors, and safes is easier? It certainly can't be that the risk is less. And there is no way you could use the defense of "I was just showing them that the building was venerable, serious."

Oh, that's right, I steal and vandalize for the sake of better security in the future and for the challenge.

Damn! (1)

TLouden (677335) | about 11 years ago | (#7119658)

And I was planning on hacking the IRS before right before April rolled around. Now what am I going to do, pay my taxes?!

Actually they already owe (not own, like many people think) me.

ugh. (1)

tempest303 (259600) | about 11 years ago | (#7119667)

Aren't the sentences for themes crimes overblown as it is? Why don't they just declare the death penalty for all "hacking" crimes and get it over with? This way we at least don't have to spend money on pushing the legislation through.

tough on crime? look at California (3, Insightful)

puzzled (12525) | about 11 years ago | (#7119691)

Its politically beneficial for politicians to appear tough on crime. This move does get the political points but it leaves a long term mess for a prison system already over burdened by mandatory minimum sentences and it makes judges into clerks, rather than intelligent wielders of the law.

Look at California; direct democracy there lets the voters feel good for one election and saddles the politicians(managers, lets remember) with situations that just can't be made to work - you *must* provide more services, but not raise taxes.

Disaster ensues when you decouple responsbility and authority to discharge the duties. Judges are being hamstrung, reform has become impossible for nonviolent offenders in many areas, and it is only going to get worse.

I'll tell a personal story about what a joke mandatory minimum sentences are.

I have a friend who has a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart mounted in a little wooden box. He operates on one lung, shrapnel from the booby trap he set off while on patrol in the Mekong delta still comes to the surface in his back, but he kept his M60 lit up covering the LZ while the rest of the platoon retreated to the choppers.

He was involved in agricultural research and he ran a computer shop. One of his computer shop customers laid hands on his ag business information, ordered methamphetamine precursors, and then implicated my war hero friend to cover himself when he got busted.

Because of the manner in which the prosecutor handled the case the judge had to sentence this guy for something. He said he wanted to have him do forty hours of public service to remind him to keep his business records locked. He served six years in a federal camp.

More Jail Time will Cause more crime. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7119702)

Being in Jail gets you free room and board, you can even veg out all day! People will rob, cheat, kill just to get this perk!
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