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What Do Court-Ordered Internet Bans Really Mean?

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the not-a-heckuva-lot-just-yet dept.

The Internet 453

tcd004 writes "Chris Lamprecht, a.k.a. Minor Threat, was the first person to be banned from the internet back in 1995. Since then, the practice has gained popularity worldwide. In the last year, courts in Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United States have all banned people from the Internet. A British court recently banned a convicted pedophile specifically from entering chatrooms for 10 years. But how effective are the bans? Minor Threat contends that the rules governing his internet ban use were toothless. How much harder is it to keep people off the internet in an age when everything--from parking meters to refrigerators--comes with an IP address." (Note: the Globe and Mail story requires registration.)

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453 comments

Don't forget... (-1, Troll)

SCO$699FeeTroll (695565) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088616)

...to pay your $699 licensing fee you cock-smoking teabaggers.

I'm breaking my ban to get first post. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088619)

Roflomg!

Bah. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088622)

Bah.

I'm banned (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088625)

Not sure how well it works for others, but I'm banned from the internet....

Re:I'm banned (1)

drakethegreat (832715) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088972)

What do they actually do? I'm just curious what the governments do in an attempt to keep you from it. Couldn't you steal wireless or something from your neighbors?

Re:I'm banned (1)

ZhuLien (150593) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089075)

damn, banned from using any Network - better stop using SERNET or PARNET then, heck, technically there's not much difference between SERNET and PARNET and using a printer. Better not use a TOPFIELD PVR then cause when you plug that into your PC via USB, you have a network between the TOPFIELD implementation of Linux and your computer. Not to mention perhaps a digital camera running Linux to copy the Photos from it, or perhaps playing LAN games with two Playstation2's connected...

Russia (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088628)

Internet bans you
fp?

Re:Russia (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088983)

No, no, in SOVIET RUSSIA, the Internet is banned from YOU!

They actually did ban the internet, didn't they. SOVIET RUSSIA jokes are funny because they're true.

Same as always (3, Insightful)

koreaman (835838) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088629)

Before computers, there were difficulties getting people to respect parole and probation.

With computers, there are difficulties getting people to respect parole and probation.

But we seem to have dealt with the problem so far, so why can't we deal with it nowadays?

Re:Same as always (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11089050)

Exactly. Many of these odd parole and probation restrictions aren't there to keep the pedophile away from the chat rooms or to keep the hacker from breaching web sites. It's there so that the authorities can go ahead and investigate him whenever they feel like it, and they can throw the book at him if they find anything. It's a trap. The cops aren't trying to enforce probation, they're trying to figure out who are the unreformable types that will break probation.

First Post (1)

Lokinator (181216) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088631)

Perhaps it's a hint that coercive governmental do-gooders are....damned silly?

Internet Ban (4, Funny)

OneArmedMan (606657) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088644)

Better not let em near touch tone phones either, just in case they want to launch a Nuclear strike! ...

Re:Internet Ban (5, Interesting)

sexysciencegirl (829001) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088820)

I assume you're referring to Kevin Mitnick's case where he was refused a phone call. This one actually made some sense from the law-enforcement point of view. We just need to pretend we are the police and start with the assumption that Kevin is indeed a powerful hacker-terrorist committed to causing death and destruction. Now what would a hacker-terrorist do for a contingency plan? He would set up his most devastating hacking scripts and make them activatable by a modem listening on a dedicated phone line. And all you need to launch the attack is a phone call to a specific number. Of course, Kevin was actually a pretty different character but the authorities didn't really have any way of verifying that this was the case.

Re:Internet Ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088882)

Or, more likely, law enforcement thought he would just delete a bunch of evidence remotely or somehow signal a partner. The guy fucking 0wned Ma Bell switches, I wouldn't give him a phone call either.

Banned from the Internet? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088647)

Easy just use the Internet2.

Re:Banned from the Internet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088726)

Or the other way around, ban people from the Internet2. If people start switching to the Internet2, the regular Internet will become some renegade wasteland of criminals and social degenerates. Sort of like Australia. I kid, I kid.

Re:Banned from the Internet? (1)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089049)

I find your characterisation of Australia as a wasteland offensive. Now excuse me I have to go back to creating my child porno films.

Re:Banned from the Internet? (3, Funny)

Phroggy (441) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088781)

Or one of the other Internets GW Bush mentioned.

Re:Banned from the Internet? (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088788)

Will you get presidentially pardoned, so that you can use the internets?

Re:Banned from the Internet? (4, Funny)

Kenshin (43036) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088884)

Or, alternately:

"It's not the internet... it's AOL!"

hard to verify (1)

remosain (836828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088648)

There will always be cyber coffes around the world. Or Telepohones ... It sounds good but I don't know how practical can the order really get.

Re:hard to verify (4, Insightful)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088814)

It's not meant to be practical. It's put in place so that if you're caught again doing something illegal on the Internet they can nail you on breaking the ban and give you a heavier sentence.

Enforcement of such "ban" (1)

beatnitup (616700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088649)

your mom has more enforcement over that aspect than anyone else.

Anybody? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088650)

Hi, Is Anybody in SlashDot banned from connecting to Internet?

Terms (3, Interesting)

dirkdidit (550955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088652)

With voice over IP becoming more common place with carriers like Vonage, etc., phone calls are starting to travel over the internet. Does an internet ban mean they are banned from all things internet? If it does, some people may screwed 5 or 10 years down the road when it comes to even using a telephone, as they too will use the internet.

Re:Terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088863)

If you're on probation/parole and you screw with (fail to gleefully grab your ankles for) the cops it will.

Re:Terms (1)

DigitalTechnic (822530) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089031)

"With voice over IP becoming more common place with carriers like Vonage," Maybe more common but will never ever in a million years replace a POTS line because POTS are 1049038983048948409584398458 times more reliable. Internet down, bam no phone with vonage.

Specific to anglo-american law system (4, Interesting)

yanestra (526590) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088660)

These bans are very specific to the anglo-american law system, I suppose. It works by threatening with punishment for "contempt of court", which is a construct, I think, not present in any other modern law system.

It shouldn't be there either, because it opens the door to pure arbitrariness.

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (1)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088703)

You don't even need to read the fine article to know it's not just America. Read the fine Slashdot post and notice it says worldwide. Britain, Australia and Canada have all done similar things.

But then, perhaps you meant to include those countries in the designation "anglo-american?" If so I know at least three of those countries would probably be rather offended.

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088731)

Britian Australia Canada and the US are the very definition of Anglo-American jurisprudence. Note the Anglo in Anglo-American. Anglo == England.

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (1)

yanestra (526590) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088750)

But then, perhaps you meant to include those countries in the designation "anglo-american?"
Their law system is basing on the old system which was founded by William the Conqueror. I guess that's bad luck, but it doesn't mean that they are all Anglo-Americans. No, at least the Australians would object, I suppose.

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (3, Informative)

T-Ranger (10520) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088911)

The phrase you are looking for is "English Common Law".

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (3, Informative)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088967)

Exactly, in opposition to (e.g.) "Roman Law" (the basis of the Napoleonic Code and many other European-originated law codes), which comes out of Justinian. IANAL.

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088807)

Why would Canada and Austrailia be offended by "anglo-american"? They have a common British culture, at least ancestrally.

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088866)

Why would Canada and Austrailia be offended by "anglo-american"?

Because we're not American?

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089089)

Why would Canada and Austrailia be offended by "anglo-american"?
Because we're not American?

Sure you are. Just what continent do you think Canada is on?

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (1)

JanneM (7445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088877)

Those countries (and most - all? - other Commonwealth countries) share the same system of law (from the British legal system), as distinct from the continental system of law used in most other countries.

Re:Specific to anglo-american law system (1)

konekoniku (793686) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089056)

it does open the door to arbitrariness, but lets face it - anything that involves the interpretation of law with regards to human society involves a large degree of flexibility (and thus arbitrariness) anyway. this is true for code and well as common law systems. and actually, though IANAL, on first glance i doubt this is true - that code law systems don't have a misdemeanor analagous to "contempt of the court," even if those exact words might not be used. can anyone verify?

Zero Cool (3, Interesting)

LewsTherinKinslayer (817418) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088662)

The term "internet" is a damn broad statement in and of itself. I think that has a lot to do with just exactly where to draw a line as to what's considered using the internet or not. Touchtone telephones for example. A grey area.

I'd say that the aforementioned pedophile's example was quite a bit different. He has a rule like "no chat rooms for 10 years." I'd say a chat room is fairly easy to define, and a much clearer cut case.

Also, the "toothless" threat of this is just like the "toothless" threat that is given to people on parole or probation for drug offenses. You can't be around anyone who is using drugs as part of the deal. Can they really enforce that too effectively? Its supposed to be a point. Something you're supposed to regulate yourself on, because, on the off chance they do find out, you're in a whole world of trouble.

Supervised deferment, aka parol/probation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088737)

*Johnny slams the bong down on the table*
Bob: wtf, johnny
Johnny: Shit, I'm late for my PO meeting

Officer: Ok Johnny time to pee in the cup.
Johnny: Erm, i was at a concert (or some such feeble excuse) and i don't think i'm gonna be clean
Officer: Do you want the vasoline now or later...

It basicly defuses the excuse oh i was with some friends at a party and got a contact high.

right- it's exactly about terms (3, Interesting)

conJunk (779958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088772)

The term "internet" is a damn broad statement in and of itself. I think that has a lot to do with just exactly where to draw a line as to what's considered using the internet or not

that's exactly the question- what is using the internet, and, how reasonable is such a punishment as internet usage becomes even more common than it is now?

10, or even 5 years ago, you could get by without an email address... you could have a normal family life, and an almost normal job, and never think about email... but now? how about 5 or 10 years down the road? not being allowed an email address would be like prohibiting someone from talking, or from using the postal system.

a generalized internet ban would essentially mean somebody couldn't work, or, employers would have to put up unreasonable work-arounds, like a special extra employee to handle all the email for the ban-ee... it would be rediculous

as other posters have mentioned, this will soon mean the ban would extend to most telephone use as well...

so, hopefully, some court somewhere, like the british court that restricted the ban to chat rooms, will realize that they have to tailor bans to specific needs

however, i think idea of these kinds of bans in general are a little dodgy anyway- take mitnik's ban, he had to put up with that after serving a prison term... well, come on here, if you've served your time you've served your time, and normal probation should follow... we don't tell jewelry thieves that they must serve their entire probation without entering jewelry stores, and imagine the uproar if a bank robber was told he had to serve his probation without entering a bank!

that said, in the case of the pedephile, that seems pretty reasonable to me- if the popularity of bans continues, hopefully, they'll be restricted to recreational activities, such as chat rooms, but not prohibit uses that are necessary for one's livelyhood... but, this is the court system we're talking about, so i'm not keeping my fingers crossed

Re:right- it's exactly about terms (1)

aoptik (792350) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088897)

I agree with you 90% but how would we monitor a person from entering a chat room. This seems like a double-edge sword. If you prohibit people for lets say even a year from entering a chat room resources have to tap his equipment to check if he is not defying his probation, but this would deal with giving up our privacy. So we really want the courts to get involve at this kind of level? Also remember a very good criminal especially a cracker is more savvy than most investigators if you don't include NSA or CIA when it comes to cyberspace.

Re:right- it's exactly about terms (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088994)

just because you 'serve time' doesn't mean that its all over when you get out.
Take drunk driving for a really good example.
You drink, you crash, you kill someone on the side of the road with your car. You serve time, and once you get out doesn't mean you should be allowed to drive.
Yes its difficult to contemplate being banned from the internet and dealing with everyday life.
Same can be applied to drink driving penalties, the point is that its supposed to make things difficult for the person that commited the crime.

Working globeandmail.com login (4, Informative)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088663)

Freshly registered during The Mysterious Past:

Login: CowboyNeal
Password: CowboyNeal

Re:Working globeandmail.com login (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088785)

too bad someone changed the password already :(

Re:Working globeandmail.com login (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088834)

try goatse.cx

Re:Working globeandmail.com login (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088881)

Hmph, well, it was working. Some AC posted the article text in the meantime, though.

Re:Working globeandmail.com login (1)

Planky (761118) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089067)

Who the hell modded the parent offtopic? It's a login for the story on globeandmail.com!

what I think it means is (2, Informative)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088665)

If you're banned by the court to normally legal X activity, and you are caught doing X activity, then you can be fined and/or sent to jail.

Slashdot via Snail Mail? (1)

toxickiwi (799307) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088666)

This is almost cure and unusual punishment... no more checking Slashdot every 5 minutes, I guess it would have to be delivered by post ;)

Re:Slashdot via Snail Mail? (1)

LewsTherinKinslayer (817418) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088698)

This is almost cure and unusual punishment... no more checking Slashdot every 5 minutes, I guess it would have to be delivered by post ;)

Actually, he hangs out a local Kinko's, telling them to refresh the main page and print the screen every five minutes.

Jag är bajsnödig. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088669)

Är du också det? Vet du, sushi är jävligt gott!

Hmm... (1)

JNighthawk (769575) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088917)

The only thing funny about this post are the umlauts!

Mod down parent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088936)

and fire the moderator who moded it funny.

It says:

I got a need to shit.

You too? You know, sushi is damn good!

Definition of Internet ban (1)

sjrstory (839289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088671)

I think the courts would need to define what an Internet ban really is. As IP spreads to nearly every device and medium, in the foreseeable future it could be rather hard to avoid. Is calling your mom from a VoIP phone considered using the Internet?

AOL (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088679)

I think if someone is banned from the Internet for hacking they should be forced to use AOL, dial-up, version 1.5.

Re:AOL (5, Funny)

chaffed (672859) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088838)

I think that qualifies as Cruel and Unsual Punishment [wikipedia.org]

The "unusual" provision, at least, is clear: providing that persons will not be subjected to arbitrary, humiliating, or carpricious punishment outside the normal course of the law

Re:AOL (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088918)

How about Windows 3.0 with Trumpet Winsock, manual dial, and NCSA Mosaic 1.0.

Re:AOL (1)

wezzul (813900) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089086)

Crimeny, let them use the latest version of AOL. It's not like they are getting BETTER with each increment.

Re:AOL (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089087)

Being forced to use AOL is punishment in and of itself!

Reg-free link to the globe article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088681)

news.google.com [google.com] (Click on 'Edmonton man jailed for luring teen on-line')

Re:Reg-free link to the globe article... (1)

Joey Patterson (547891) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088747)

Or you could just go straight to the article. [globetechnology.com]

Re:Reg-free link to the globe article... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088878)

Dumbass. Did you try going 'straight to the article'? It's called a HTTP REFERER, you stupid fuck.

Re:Reg-free link to the globe article... (1)

marshmeli (122728) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088774)

Wow, that is so sick...

The lengths this guy went too. Make her get birth control pills and have sex int he car (unprotected). What a scum bag! Then drank vodka coolers and had sex two more times. This girl's social judgment and reasoning skills are impaired they should have treated this case as rape.

And he only gets 4.5 years and not allowed to make contact with children under the age of 14, how about all minors (that aren't related to him).

I know we hear about things like this all the time but this is one of the worst I have heard... just sickening...

In South Korea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088684)

only old people use the Internet...

Edmonton man jailed for luring teen on-line (text) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088687)

Edmonton man jailed for luring teen on-line

By KATHERINE HARDING
From Thursday's Globe and Mail

Edmonton -- An Edmonton man whose on-line nickname was "Edmonton-pervert" was sentenced to 4 1/2 years in prison yesterday for having unprotected sex several times with an autistic teen he had lured using an Internet chat room.

"I find it repulsive, repugnant, sickening and disgusting, the idea of a 38-year-old man and a 13-year-old girl who was obviously sucked in by the Internet," Judge Paul Adilman told a packed courtroom before sentencing Brian Deck for sexual interference and luring a child using the Internet.

Upon his release, Mr. Deck, a divorced, university-educated father of a 17-year-old girl, will be prohibited for 10 years from communicating on-line with children under the age of 14. He pleaded guilty to the charges earlier this week.

Judge Adilman said the case "sent shivers" up his spine, and warned that Internet chat rooms are "extremely dangerous," adding he hoped the sentence would deter others from committing similar crimes.

Before the sentence was announced, Crown prosecutor Steve Bilodeau urged the judge to send a strong message.

"This sentence should send a chill through the Internet lines to all the people at their keyboards late at night talking to little girls and little boys on the Internet," Mr. Bilodeau later told reporters.

The young victim, who under a publication ban cannot be identified, was in court yesterday with her mother. In written victim-impact statements, both said the incident had changed their lives.

"I was scared when I had to go to the hospital to get a bunch of tests done," the victim wrote, adding that she was afraid she might have contracted sexually transmitted diseases from unprotected sex with Mr. Deck. All of the tests turned out negative, she said.

The 13-year-old has a form of autism called pervasive developmental disorder; her social judgment and reasoning skills are impaired.

Her mother, who has been in counselling since the incident, wrote that she is "terrified" to let her daughter out of her sight and has become overprotective.

The teen first met Mr. Deck, who was employed as a tradesman at the time, in a MSN chat room last January. After exchanging several "lurid" e-mails, Mr. Bilodeau said, the two agreed to meet on Jan. 16. Mr. Deck was aware that she was 13, but the girl was under the impression that he was 29.

During that meeting, the pair had unprotected sex in Mr. Deck's car. They agreed to meet the next day, and Mr. Deck wrote his name and number on a piece of paper with instructions for the teen to bring her provincial health card so they could buy birth-control pills.

The next day, Mr. Deck picked the girl up and drove her to his house, where they drank vodka coolers, watched DVDs and had sex twice. He later took her to an Italian restaurant at a local mall.

When the girl called home and lied to her mother about where she was, her mother grew suspicious and called police. Mr. Deck was arrested the next day.

During his sentencing hearing, Mr. Deck apologized to his family and the teen.

"It's been really hard. . . . If I could just turn back time," he told the court.

Re:Edmonton man jailed for luring teen on-line (te (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088701)

"It's been really hard. . . . If I could just turn back time," he told the court.

Yeah, I bet you're hard and wish you could go back to "those times".

Re:Edmonton man jailed for luring teen on-line (te (4, Insightful)

theboyhope (741371) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088913)

a 13-year-old girl who was obviously sucked in by the Internet

chat rooms are "extremely dangerous"

Now, this is a sad story, and I can only hope that this guy has a *really* bad time in prison, but how has the idea that the internet is an evil entity with malevolent intent managed to flourish? Chat rooms are as dangerous as warm fluffy socks. If he chatted her up in the local park no-one would have suggested the park was to blame. I'm off to register theinternetisnotababysitter.com

Internet ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088700)

It means that one is not allowed to use an "Internet Browser", for example "Internet Explorer", or any program that substantially mimics the behavior of said program. Being "on the internet" means to be using either such a "Browser" or other program or feature of a program which makes substantial use of the Internet. The Internet is defined as any computer network directly or indirectly connected to the Internet. "Chat room" means any feature, program, or service that is substantially similar to various "Internet" services known as "Chat". Using a program is defined as interacting with said program via a user interface or something substantially similar to a user interface.

Did you know? (4, Informative)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088711)

Minor Threat along with Mucho Maas authored ToneLoc [securityfocus.com] , a great war dialer. Hours upon hours I sat, watched, and listened while it scanned. Great Stuff..

Tantamount (5, Funny)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088721)

A ban from the internet for me would be tantamount to a death sentence.

Re:Tantamount (1)

sjrstory (839289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088768)

Death sentence being hyperbole of course. Humans have quite the knack for adapting to new situations. If your were marooned on an island, I think survival would be your prime motivator, and not how to get your next Slashdot fix.

Re:Tantamount (1)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088776)

you must be new here

Re:Tantamount (1)

angedinoir (699322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088892)

You must be an EverQuest player.

Re:Tantamount (1)

jstrain (648252) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088932)

I know this is Slashdot and all, but you really need to get away from the computer. There really is more to life than the Internet...

Punative jeopardy (2, Interesting)

bm17 (834529) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088783)

I would think that the point of something like this is to make sentencing easier if a person is caught for the same crime. Maybe there will be a point where they think the person has commited another crime and I'll the evidence that they have is the web activity. That would be enough to bring him in for questioning. And if they did convict him for this new crime, the penelty would be that much more severe if they could also pin breaking the Internet ban on him. I doubt that they expect to actually enforce the ban.

Job Requirements (4, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088849)

At many jobs, a networked PC is standard office equipment and is needed for corporate email, time cards, etc. Would a court tell a convicted forger that he was prohibited from using pen and paper?

This would be difficult (3, Insightful)

durtbag (694991) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088856)

I cannot imagine a punishment like that. I mean how many people needto use the WWW/Internet for school and work? Would they force you to resign from your job and/or change your major because you can no longer use the internet? This isn't like drunk drivers being banned from drinking. Alcohol isn't *cough* necesarry *cough* for most jobs.

Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088963)

Alcohol isn't *cough* necesarry *cough* for most jobs.

In the government it is... How else do you think that normal employees can put up with their superiors incompetent decisions?

Re:This would be difficult (1)

sjrstory (839289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089015)

I don't think an Internet ban is a punishment per say. Rather it's a means to reduce the risk of a repeat offense. Some people get a high off of committing certain wrongdoings, and just like drug addicts they are also prone to "environmental triggers". For example; if the crime in question was abducting kids from chat rooms, the act of logging in and engaging in innocent chat could rekindle desires to find a kid to chat to, and the cycle begins again...

Re:This would be difficult (4, Insightful)

beerits (87148) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089021)

This isn't like drunk drivers being banned from drinking.

No it isn't. It is more like banning drunk drivers from driving.

Re:This would be difficult (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11089074)

Closer to banning drunk drivers from being in cars at all. They already ban them from driving.

Does that mean he's gotta go blue collar for 10yrs (1)

zlel (736107) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088876)

since most other jobs will need you to be online? Then they might as well feed him in jail.

Slippery slope? (3, Insightful)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088886)

Does anyone else worry that such bans will become more commonplace on non-technically oriented crimes?

I mean, I recall (possibly incorrectly) that the journalist who was just given house arrest for not revealing his sources is banned from the net.

How long before smoking pot bans you from the net? Or protesting? ;-)

With the Internet as the primary communications method for the world (or at least the backbone for the various protocols), how long before repressive governments use this to suppress those who's opinions they don't like?

Would it be so clear-cut if you, convicted of a non-technical crime, were banned from sending snail-mail or using the telephone for a year?

What about a device worn... (1)

Chatmag (646500) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088903)

on the ankle, similar to the tracking ankle devices, and that would give a shock every time the person is near a computer? Surely there has to be some low frequency emissions from computers in general that a device can be tuned to, producing a reaction.

Re:What about a device worn... (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089081)

That's an insane idea. First of all, it's brutal and punitive. And going near a computer isn't a violation of the probation, using one is. What happens when he walks into any office building? A doctor's office or a dentist's office? He gets a shock?

This is easy to fix (3, Funny)

anon*127.0.0.1 (637224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088912)

1) Have every website to require registration.
2) Give the websites a list of the people who have been banned.
3) If a banned person signs up for a website, shoot them!

I'll be solving world hunger next week.

Re:This is easy to fix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088985)

You'll need some education before that.

Access denied (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088922)

How much harder is it to keep people off the internet in an age when everything--from parking meters to refrigerators--comes with an IP address.

What, now you're telling me I can't eat anything anymore?! Damn you Al Gore!!!!

Only means something to the tech-ignorant (2, Insightful)

Saeger (456549) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088935)

Trying to legally ban someone from using a device connected to the internet is just as futile as trying to ban him from using the phone network, or a vocal network, but that won't stop judges from trying anyway.

The only way to effectively ban someone from something as ubiquitous as the internet would be to either put him in a (faraday) prison, or track him every second of the day with police state measures.

Perhaps lazy judiciaries and prosecutors? (4, Insightful)

Shadowlore (10860) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088953)

Essentially, I see such "punishments" as a result of laziness on the part of the sentencing entity. The judges are failing to apply reasonable standards and realize that online behaviour is fundamentally not different from offline behaviour.

If a person is convicted of pedophile behaviour with a child he/she met in the shopping mall, do they the judges ban them from shopping malls? If they met them at a McDonalds, do they get banned from fast food restaraunts? Not that I am aware of.

If someone "knocks over" a convenience store or a bank, do they get banned from entering convenience stores or banks? Again, not that I know of. With possibly one or two rare exceptions I don't know of any offline crime where the convicted is banned from all locations similar to the crime scene.

So why do we suddenly think that banning pedophiles and crackers from the Internet, or phones, or other communicative technology is useful or effective? In my opinion the idea that the Internet is somehow different and that you can be banned from using it by committing a crime on it (or using it to get information to commit a crime) is dangerous to freedom of speech and information. Indeed, may even serve to perpetuate crime.

In today's society it is becoming more and more commonplace to carry out one's business, education, and entertainment online. From online banking and bill pay to online shopping, getting one's degree or a job. Even the local job service and unemployment offices are online.

As the value of the Internet in our daily lives increases such a sentence -if enforcable and enforced- is a damming one in that it begins to perpetuate a class of have-nots with regard to such cost savings and opportunities. Increasingly with government going online the government itself would then be creating a class of citizen that is effectively banned from many government services.

Ultimately it will be impossible to monitor one's access to the Internet, chatrooms, etc. w/o constant supervision. This will naturally lead to a lack of respect for such actions/penalties causing a further drop in respect for law in general. As this increases additional crimes will be committed. Not unlike when as a child if you got "sentenced" to being house restriction but mom and dad were not around to enforce it you began to realize it was toothless and didn't care about it.

Only by treating "cracking" the same as we would such an act in the offline world (breaking and entering, theft, fraud, etc.) can we expect our laws and punishments to be anything near rational and respectable. Banning pedophiles from the place they met their victims doesn't change the pedophile's behaviour.

Just like (IMO) it is wrong to be able to patent something you can do online that you can't get a patent for doing in a "brick and mortar" store, it is wrong to view crime online as different than crime offline. Theft is theft, fraud is fraud, and pedophilia is pedophilia. The Internet doesn't change that.

Better Solution (1)

jtbauki (838979) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088959)

Chopping off the man's jewels would make more sense (wait no it wouldn't, but it would be funnier), then it wouldn't matter if he went to a chatroom or not.

You're Screwed Anyway (4, Insightful)

BuenasOlas (832203) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088981)

If you are on parole/probation you are screwed anyhow. Good luck getting a job at that internet company after checking the box that says "Have you ever been convicted of a felony", even if you aren't restricted from using the internet. Most companies now even ask if you have been convicted of a misdemeanor(do not check this box if it was posession of Marijuana). If you get rolled in this country you are royally screwed for a while. So get a good lawyer, and pay him a lot of money to get your record expunged.

I'm not really sure... (5, Interesting)

laughingcoyote (762272) | more than 9 years ago | (#11088984)

On the one hand, people are quite often prohibited from normally-legal activity (such as leaving the state) during a probation or parole period. However, it would seem to me that, with the Internet taking over more and more everyday functions (VoIP, the wide use of email, IM, and videoconferencing in business, Web-based applications coming into wider use by corporations, in some companies, including the one I work for, you have to log into an online server just to punch in), this could effectively amount to a prohibition from holding any but the most menial jobs during your probation/parole period. I think that, looked at that way, that would certainly seem to be cruel, excessive punishment.

The arguments that "they can bust the hacker if he's caught again" seem somewhat specious to me. They can already bust him for committing the same crime again, and they can already punish a second offense more harshly than a first. They don't need some "violation of an internet ban" to do either.

In balance, while I can understand the reasoning behind this line of thought, I don't think it's an acceptable punishment. I can see why it might've been thought so in 1995, but this is not 1995 and it no longer is.

Re:I'm not really sure... (2, Insightful)

BelugaParty (684507) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089069)

I agree. Banning someone from the internet, or computers in general, is akin to banning someone from using the electrical grid.

You Can't Ban Me!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11088995)

I'll just set up shop in Gopherspace

A Routine Procedure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11089033)

This is a routine legal procedure often used against those who do business with prostitutes and similar vices. There's no 'big brother' monitoring of the sort so beloved by SlashDots's 'foil hat' crowd. But if they ever hit the legal system facing similar charges, they'll bounce back to the same judge, who can make life very uncomfortable for them.

Year ago I worked with drug addicts and once heard a judge rake an addict over the coals, repeating over and over, "I told you that if you came back to this court...." Judges don't take kindly to being ignored and convictions for violating a court order are very straight forward.

--Mike Perry, Inkling blog [inklingbooks.com] , Seattle

K-Lined from walking! (0)

BicycloHexane (819192) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089038)

I can't wait until they start banning people from walking on the street or sidewalks.

Isn't restricting free speech unconstitutional? (2, Insightful)

koko775 (617640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11089052)

Not sure if others have addressed this, but wouldn't prohibiting internet use be restricting what has become an entirely new medium for free speech? Is it legal to prohibit someone from the internet? Constitutional?

Alternatives (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11089084)

Why not just use one of the other internets?
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