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How Do You Punish a 16-year-old Spammer?

timothy posted more than 7 years ago | from the with-a-nice-slow-cooked-long-pig-roast dept.

346

An anonymous reader writes "A 16 year old 'Boy Spammer', David Lennon, has been told by a judge that as punishment for his crimes he can't leave his bedroom for two months during curfew. CNET thinks this is no punishment at all: "With the streets awash with axe murderers, terrorists and paedophiles, staying in and playing games seems like a reasonable response. Given that our kids are growing up as stay-in gamers, the Boy Spammer's curfew is no more punishment for the blighter than sentencing a boy caught speeding to two months on a race track." Apparently Lennon used a piece of email bombing software called Avalanche to wreak revenge on his ex-employer, Domestic and General Group. His five million emails contained the message "You will die in seven days.""

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346 comments

*snort* (2, Funny)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970478)

Alternative punishment from TFA:

Lennon should be forced to use an iPod Shuffle filled with fantastic music that he is completely unable to identify on account of the absence of a display.He will then have to deal with the paradoxical conditions of being utterly cool (having an iPod-branded player) and being utterly ignorant (having no idea what is playing). He will, in short, learn what it is like to be Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Diabolical!

Re:*snort* (3, Funny)

portmapper (991533) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970533)

> He will, in short, learn what it is like to be Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Oh my God! The next Governor of California will be a 16 year old spammer?

Re:*snort* (2, Funny)

FatMacDaddy (878246) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970798)

The worst part is we'd probably be better off with a 16 year old spammer than we are with Ahnold.

He should not be punished at all (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970552)

Anybody, absolutely anybody, who torments microcomputer users in any way, is a hero in my book.

Why spam works (4, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970480)

See, this spam worked because about 200 of the people received it did die in 7 days. Its always that small percentage of people responding to the spam that keeps the spammers going. Damn those people.

[moderators: this is supposed to be funny]

Re:Why spam works (3, Funny)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970592)

So the solution to spam is to get people to not die in seven days?

Re:Why spam works (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970636)

> See, this spam worked because about 200 of the people received it did die in 7 days. Its always that small percentage of people responding to the spam that keeps the spammers going. Damn those people.

And that should be his punishment. He should be forced to use his product. In other words, the judge should have ordered him to die... and the method used should require seven days to complete.

And just so we're clear here, by "should require seven days to complete", I'm thinking "acetominophen overdose and ensuing liver failure", as opposed to "shotgun pointed at his head, electromagnet keeping a spring-loaded trigger from closing, powered by a battery designed to last about a week."

Reminds me of the "I love you" virus (2, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970670)

Reminds me of the "I love you" virus, and all the idio... erm... computer-illiterate people who opened it because they genuinely thought that their boss/secretary/whole-fucking-department sent them a genuine love declaration. Or all the viruses that get opened because someone really thought that their long lost cousin Amir N'gbendu from Nigeria sent them a porn-video/incredible-investment-opportunity-sprea dsheets/whatever. Conveniently packed in an .exe file. It must be a self-extracting zip, really. Would your long lost cousin lie to you?

So being that some people _are_ that gullible, I wonder how many actually went and wrote their will, said goodbye to their loved ones, and arranged their own funerals, after reading "you're going to die in 7 days" in an email.

Re:Why spam works (1)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970711)

[moderators: this is supposed to be funny]

The CNET column is also (with questionable success) supposed to be funny, and that doesn't seem to have dissuaded anyone. I look forward to seeing your point discussed in the Math section tomorrow. (Will you decline the Fields Medal if they offer it to you?)

Community service (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970485)

Tell a 16 year old to stay in the bedroom? Well hey, don't throw me in the briar patch!

No, what this kid should be doing is community service. Work in a soup kitchen, pick up garbage by the side of the road, help out his common man by distributing clothes in an inner city, something like that. In addition, I'd like to see him have all private computer access restricted (can only use a computer in the presence of an adult until he demonstrates he can act like an adult) and to undergo some sort of therapy to deal with his anti-social mores as sending out emails saying "you will die in seven days" is pretty sick. This is not punishment per se, however. I see it more as societal rehabilitation.

Re:Community service (5, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970534)

No, what this kid should be doing is community service. Work in a soup kitchen, pick up garbage by the side of the road, help out his common man by distributing clothes in an inner city, something like that.

Indeed, something like that - I'd go for the poetic justice punishment however. Something like cleaning badware off the local library's windows 98 internet PCs. Every day, all day for two months (its the sort of job where when you finish one PC, the last one's allready been reinfected.)

ideal punishement (4, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970571)

spam filter.. human...

Re:Community service (2, Funny)

SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970640)

can only use a computer in the presence of an adult until he demonstrates he can act like an adult

Maybe they only need to restrict him to the use of just one computer [wikipedia.org] .

And make him wear a sign. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970712)

Seriously, make him wear one of those signs that states what he's done.

"I'm doing community service for sending millions of spam emails to you."

Then make him clean up public areas. Or better yet, make him walk around a mall, or a business district.

This type of behavior *thrives* on the anonymity of the Internet. Making his community or locality realize who he is and what he's done will take away the privilege of that anonymity. It would put a very strong and real consequence to his seemingly risk-free spammer actions.

No Community service - Yes excruciating Pain (2, Funny)

lbmouse (473316) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970730)

How do you punish a 16-year-old Spammer? Community service is too good for him and doesn't send a strong enough message to other pubescent male teens thinking of starting Spam businesses... I say string 'em up by his testicles!

Re:Community service (1)

voice_of_all_reason (926702) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970731)

and to undergo some sort of therapy

lol, wut?

It's one or the other. Either he's responsible and gets punished or he's not and gets therapy to help him understand why.

Re:Community service (4, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970843)

Therapy to deal with or understand root causes of destructive behavior does not abrogate responsibility for that behavior. "lol".

Re:Community service (3, Funny)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970737)

Haven't you been paying attention to the news?! Any literary allusions to Uncle Remus stories are racist! You insensitive clod.

What a tar baby you've just picked up.

Re:Community service (3, Insightful)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970790)

... and limit computer access.

If you did this to me at 16 years old ... or hell even now.. I would be go insane.

How do you know he wont be playing Wow or spamming more people for profit.

Re:Community service (1)

NOT Rich Allen (994003) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970895)

If he sits in his room concocting programs to send five million e-mail messages he's probably in no kind of shape for community service. HE WOULD DIE IN SEVEN DAYS!

More time for Spam (1)

sherms (15634) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970486)

Great, now he has more time to spam!!!

Maybe this was just me.. (5, Insightful)

zyl0x (987342) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970490)

..but video games were still around when I was a kid. Being grounded to my room included the removal of anything that I could enjoy doing. I don't understand why they don't just take his computer away..

Re:Maybe this was just me.. (1)

hc5duke (930493) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970875)

Dad: David, I'm taking your computer and your XBox.
Son: Ok, but I'm taking the keys to the Porsche I bought you.

Heres what I would do.... (5, Funny)

ConsumerOfMany (942944) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970504)

Make him write out each email he sent on a blackboard, all 5 million of them.

Re:Heres what I would do.... (5, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970576)

Make him write out each email he sent on a blackboard, all 5 million of them.

Like this?

Dear Sir/Madam, I am very sorry for sending you an unwelcomed message stating that you will die in seven days. If you can find it in your heart to forgive me, send $1 to: Sorry Guy, 742 Evergreen Terrace, Springfield

I say... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970509)

flog the little bastard. Every Thursday. 'Round my place.

easy punishment (1, Funny)

legoburner (702695) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970511)

- Make him consume everything he was selling/trying to sell
- Forced community service fixing virus-laden windows boxes
- Public flogging
- Format every disk/hard drive/CD he owns
- Break his fingers

And that's just off the top of my head. How easy is that?

Re:easy punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970612)

Two words: tar feathers

Re:easy punishment (3, Informative)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970655)

If you RTFA or even the summary instead of just the headline you would see he was not really spamming in the sense you are talking about. He email bombed someone for revenge. Seems more akin to a DoS attack on the email server than spamming.

Re:easy punishment (1)

OakDragon (885217) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970738)

"Nail 'im up, I say! Nail some sense into 'im!!"

What? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970529)

A 16 year old 'Boy Spammer', David Lennon, has been told by a judge that as punishment for his crimes he can't leave his bedroom for two months during curfew.

That's punishment? If he's a nerd that's a reward!

He should be locked up in a reading room with all the Harry Potter books. That'll learn him.

Re:What? (1)

knightmad (931578) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970580)

"He should be locked up in a reading room with all the Harry Potter books. That'll learn him."

In Soviet America, Harry Potter books learn you!

Re:What? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970685)

Hahaha, cheers mate.

You made me laugh :), quite a nice way to write a meme

Re:What? (1)

The_Mr_Flibble (738358) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970589)

The only problem is he was 19 not 16.

Re:What? (1)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970643)

or how about forcing him to attent gym class every day.

Re:What? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970880)

or how about forcing him to attent gym class every day.

With Ronnie "Wedgie Master" Ropeburns?!?!?!? *shudder*

Re:What? (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970676)

No kidding! When I was a little nerd, my room was where my books, my games, my toys, my little black-and-white TV, my TRS-80, and my soldering kit were. I spent so much time in my room I used to get punished from it by my worried family. They would make me go outside and get some sunshine every once in a while.

Of course, that's how I met the neighbor kids who showed me the joys of pyromania, shoplifting, trespassing, and other irresponsible activities, but that's another series of stories entirely.

Re:What? (2, Funny)

compsci07 (839291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970860)

They should give him free subscriptions to the top ten MMOG's but only allow him a dialup internet connection.

Re:What? (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970910)

They should give him free subscriptions to the top ten MMOG's but only allow him a dialup internet connection.

Nah, give him DSL, but run it through a router which intermittently lags for 5 minutes.

Leave his bedroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970549)

A 16 year old 'Boy Spammer', David Lennon, has been told by a judge that as punishment for his crimes he can't leave his bedroom for two months during curfew.

It would be better if he was prevented from leaving his bedroom for any reason whatsoever for the next two months. He'd get a little pail in the corner where he could go to the bathroom in, and his mother would have to give him a sponge bath in his bed.

Re:Leave his bedroom (1)

OldBus (596183) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970715)

He'd probably use the time in his bedroom to send 15 million spams to the judge...

Alternative Punishment: (5, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970555)

How about:

He's allowed to have only one e-mail address for the rest of his life, which has no spam filtering. This e-mail address is provided to everyone he spammed, who are encouraged to sign him up for whatever mailing lists they choose.

Not spam (5, Insightful)

skraps (650379) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970559)

Sending "you will die in seven days" millions of times to your ex-employer does not qualify as spamming in my book. He wasn't sending advertisements. He wasn't collecting personal information to resell. He wasn't doing anything that typically qualifies as spamming.

This is just plain old harassment, and the punishment sounds fine.

Re:Not spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970746)

No kidding. It is so wierd that this has the "spam" slant on it. I repeat: This kid was not spamming people.

I would even prefer they (incorrectly) call it hacking rather than spamming because this kid will get far worse punishment for being labeled a "spammer". It's like the whole "OMFG, you own nail clippers! Terrorist!!!" thing we have in the US.

Community service seems like the best punishment here. Or something rehabiliting as others mentioned. Being locked in your room is hardly punishment even if they took away all his stuff. That's jail and he needs to learn how to be a proper adult. Sheesh he's only 16, how many stupid things did you do at 16?

Re:Not spam (2, Informative)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970776)

Not only that but he got off at the first trial because the email system was designed to recieve email so he didn't break into the system or misuse it.

There was an appeal against this descision to which he plead guilty. (Quite why he did so I can't even begin to guess)

Re:Not spam (1)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970779)

Sending "you will die in seven days" millions of times to your ex-employer does not qualify as spamming in my book. He wasn't sending advertisements. He wasn't collecting personal information to resell. He wasn't doing anything that typically qualifies as spamming.


Tell that to the sysadmin who had to do all the grut work to find the kid and take care of the spam. I say make him work for a companey under a sysadmin who is about ready to snap. Be a grunt for a while doing the worst jobs possable. But being sent to his room, I rember being sent to my room, I would read comic books, or play sega. Wish my boss would send me to my room >:)=

Re:Not spam (2, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970909)

And most importantly, he was sending it to just one person. To be spam in my book it's got to be sent to a lot of different people without trying to target your audience.

So I concur with you: he's still an asshole, just not a spamming-asshole. Being sent to his room (without even depriving him of supper) may be a tad weak for an attack which had at least the potential to do economic harm, as well as containing an tone of violent threat, but it doesn't merit the sort if massive ire that true spammers have earned.

the key word is Punishment (2, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970568)

If you actually want to PUNISH the kid, not to 'rehabilatate' him, then do something evil and disgusting. Like get all those people, who received his emails into a building, bring in the kid and then let every single person in that building to spend some time with him one on one with no rules at all. They could do anything they wanted without any consequences. That'll be a punishment.

If you want to rehabilitate him, this one I don't know much about, I only know how to do evil and disgusting stuff.
--

Re:the key word is Punishment (1)

milamber3 (173273) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970725)

You sir, sound like one of the axe murderers, terrorists and paedophiles that the article mentions the streets are awash with.

Re:the key word is Punishment (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970799)

muhaha! I said no rules for everyone, hopefully some of those people will take it to the necessary logical steps to make sure that this kind of a condition is properly utilized.

Re:the key word is Punishment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970749)

So... you got one of the emails from him. And you would really like to have sex with him.

Where's the computer? (4, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970572)

he can't leave his bedroom for two months during curfew.

Err...where's his computer located?

Cheers,
Ian

Re:Where's the computer? (1)

Slovenian6474 (964968) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970889)

Judge: "in his room. Why?"

Re:Where's the computer? (1)

wodelltech (168047) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970914)

Let him keep the computer; just make him type with both hands on the keyboard...

What do you do with a drunk'en spammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970590)

What do you do with a drunk'en spammer?
What do you do with a drunk'en spammer?
What do you do with a drunk'en spammer?

Earl-eye in the morning?

  Way hay Viagra makes you riseth
  Way hay Cialis raises your girthith
  Way hay Levitra if you want the sexish

Earl-eye in the morning.

Shave his belly with a rusty razor.
Shave his belly with a rusty razor.
Shave his belly with a rusty razor.

Earl-eye in the morning.

grrr (1)

Danzigism (881294) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970595)

I'd simply elbow drop the little bastard from the top rope..

Alternative...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970601)

What about the sort of Kevin Mitnick punishment... denying him computer access and/or Internet access. In this kid's case, I'd go for the Internet access ban or so.

Seems appropriate to me, what with his crime being death threats by spamming.

Deport him to Singapore (0, Redundant)

bwalling (195998) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970608)

And let them cane his ass. I'm serious. He won't even think about doing it again after that.

I say (1)

Blinocac200sx (955087) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970613)

put him in stocks and beat him with a cain. Then for the next 6 months, make him where a shirt with a Scarlet "S" on the front and back while carrying a sign that explains what he did. Plus some community service and a hefty fine to be paid by him, not his parents.

Re:I say (1)

mrami (664567) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970787)

Many municipalities are not abel to inflict corporal punishment, brother

No crime at all (0, Flamebait)

ghettoimp (876408) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970616)

"CNET thinks this is no punishment at all"

He hardly did anything. Being grounded for two months seems pretty reasonable.

Re:No crime at all (1)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970844)

Really? Crashing his companies email server is 'hardly anything?' Bull. He should be fined and have community service for 2 months.

Interesting cure... (1)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970622)

...cure a murderer by making him watch violent movies...now where have I seen that before?...

I couldn't agree more with this:
Lennon's punishment sounds more like a re-enforcement of the existing social habits of the geek-gamer demographic than a curtailing of his freedoms

It's as though the judge is saying "Well done son! Here, have a cookie!"

I know MST 3K him... (1)

Twixter (662877) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970625)

Shoot him into space and make him watch "Cave Dwellers" with two robot friends....

"Who is this warrior with pecs like melons and knees of fringe?"

I remembered: (2, Interesting)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970630)

Bernie was talking to his friend Jack about his rebellious son Yossi. "When I was a youngster and did something wrong, my parents punished me by sending me to my bedroom without supper. I hated it. But our Yossi has his own colour TV, phone, computer and DVD player in his bedroom so we can't do that - it wouldn't be much of a punishment."
"So what do you do, then?" asked Jack.
"We send him up to our bedroom without supper!



When I was younger (on secondary and high school) my parents sometimes used to punish me sending me to my bedroom. Unfortunately the home PC was *in my bedroom* so I just made a sad face and went up there, turned on the computer and started programming for aaaaaaaall the rest of the day :) great days where those =op

Oh, and the mentioned text was from here [awordinyoureye.com] . I just remembered the passage but the page is the first that came on google :)

Re:I remembered: (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970867)

And thus the reason as a father now I have a very strict no-PCs, laptops, or TVs in bedrooms rule. That PC is going to continue to sit in the dinning room with the monitor positioned so that it can be seen from the kitchen, dinning room, and living room.

-Rick

Not even a tap on the wrist (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970633)

With the streets awash with axe murderers, terrorists and paedophiles, staying in and playing games seems like a reasonable response

So why not stick him in a nice safe jail cell? All the real criminals are either on the streets or locked in their bedrooms.

Seriously, they should take a page (just one) from Kevin Mitnick's terms of rehabilitation and take away his internet access for a year or two. If he's an ordinary teen that's a punishment worse than death.

Re:Not even a tap on the wrist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970858)

If he's an ordinary teen then we're all doomed.

Easy. Death: (1)

base3 (539820) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970638)

by bumba [ebaumsworld.com]

THIS IS NOT SPAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970649)

This is a mail bomb. They are different.

I agree (1)

soft_guy (534437) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970659)

He should spend one hour in jail for every spam message he sent.

Re:I agree (1)

James McGuigan (852772) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970753)

Assuming that the reciepient wasted 1 second dealing with each of his emails 5,000,000 emails = 60s * 60m * 24h * 57.87037 days ~ 2 months approx

A worst punishment... (2, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970662)

Working at McDonald's.

Sleeeeep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970666)

I must be missing something here... Yes, for a start, sitting inside for someone like this is not going to be a punishment, but also reading the article: he can't leave his house between the hours of 12.30am and 7am on weekdays, and between 12.30am and 10am on weekends So in fact....he is given time to sleep....

Let the punishment fit the crime.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970677)

... kill him in seven days.

Wrong bedroom (3, Interesting)

Old VMS Junkie (739626) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970681)

They should make him stay in his parent's bedroom. Punish the kid for being a dope And punish his parents for raising an ignorant twerp.

16? Nope. (2, Informative)

no.17 (997011) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970696)

He's electronically tagged, although the curfew times are a joke- 12.30-7.30am weekdays and 13.30-10.00 on weekends. When the little blighter will be alseep...he's a teenager for crying out loud!

Oh and he is not 16, he was 18 (here [cio.com] , and here [silicon.com] ) but is now 19 (here [irishdev.com] ).

He has been named and located [irishdev.com] though ....so any really irate ex-work buddies dont have far to look...

Band and Dangerous Journalism (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970718)

"With the streets awash with axe murderers, terrorists and paedophiles,"

What a ridiculous and more to the point, extremely irresponsible statement!

I wish media companies such as cnet had to help pay the medical insurance costs for all the millions of obese kids who have become that way because their parents were too terrified to let them outside for fear of all these boogeymen.

It's digusting that when the biggest killer in our country is heart disease, the best cure for this disease (exercise) is discouraged due to risks that statistically non-existant.

Media companies are meant to inform on the truth, not make their own risks up and then justify them because they affect 1 in a million (or often less) people.

Re:Band and Dangerous Journalism (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970849)

Media companies are meant to inform on the truth

They did. It was successfully apprehended a while back.

Had he downloaded one song or duplicated one disk (5, Insightful)

monopole (44023) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970724)

He'd be facing federal charges, and a civil suit that would ruin him financially. But since he's a spammer who does real and quantifible damage to productivity, as well as making e-mail increasingly less viable he gets a slap on the wrist.

Not Spam. Harassment. (3, Interesting)

RagingFuryBlack (956453) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970726)

What this kid did wasn't spam. He wasn't selling anything, wasn't soliciting personal information. He was harassing a former employer because for some reason he had a bone to pick with them. He tried to DoS their mail servers with death threats. If anything, this kid should be charged as a vandal and fined for the dammage and man-hours that it took to unclog the mail server and clear the accounts, as well as some well deserved community service either clearing royally screwed windows PCs of ad/spyware/viri from public PCs or by physically hard labor.

Good Lordy Lo! (1)

thatgun (221980) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970747)

The vast majority of you /.ers are vicious. I hope I never have to be "taught a lesson" from you guys.

Where's the compassion?

ASBO not given? (1)

Madoc Owain (832726) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970752)

After visiting the article linked to in TFA, I'm amazed this kid got off so lightly!

"On Wednesday morning, the judge ruled that Lennon should be subject to a curfew, which means he must stay at home between the hours of 12.30am and 7am on weekdays, and between 12.30am and 10am on weekends. If he breaks this curfew, he risks a more serious sentence.

The curfew has been timed so as not to interfere with Lennon's work at a local cinema. The judge said it was a "happy coincidence" that it will end the day before Lennon starts college in September. "

and

"The prosecution dropped its demand that Lennon should pay costs amounting to £29,000, which arose from his attack on Domestic & General Group in which 5 million emails crashed its servers."

So not only did his spamming threaten the recipients, it crashed the company's email servers, stopping legitimate, business-related email from reaching the same.

The judge slaps his wrist and grounds him except for work? No fines, and it drops just before he leaves for college.

From the other stories I've been reading on Slashdot, I thought the knee-jerk British reaction would be to slap an ASBO on his ass and call him "Pip"?

Which type of ruling is the exception to the rule - leniency for first-time offenders, or throwing the book at them? All I ever have read about in the US regarding computer-related offenses is hard time in pound-you-in-the-ass prison.

Pathetic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15970757)

16 year old kids are out there mugging people, stabbing people, and doing all sorts of things. If we just sit down, say "Poor little kiddies", and tell them they're bad, what good is it going to do?

They may not be fully developed, but I sure as hell would expect myself to be held accountable for any act I did at 16 years old.

I suppose if he'd killed somebody it would have been two months in his bedroom without TV or games.

Make him eat it (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970759)

Make him eat 5 cans of S.P.A.M. everyday for a year.

Drivers license (1)

Chapium (550445) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970766)

Suspending drivers license or eligibility for drivers license for 1-2 years would be pretty good punishment for this kid.

Simple (1)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970771)

Each person who received the email should give the boy a swift kick in the a**; I think a few million boots to the bum would help him remember the lesson.

Psychiatric help? (2)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970774)

Am I the only person here who thinks sending an e-mail message saying "You will all die in seven days" needs to get the kid a little more than 2 months? Maybe he's not a psycho, but still. That's not something you just send out and get a slap on the wrist for. Granted, this isn't a punishment per se, but he needs to see some consequence for his action.

Caning (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970812)

I'll tell ya what, when that little snot got caned many years back, I was cheering it.

That's what we need in this country; Extremely painful punishment for kids in the justice system. Jr got caught tagging a freeway sign? Cane'em. Little shit spams death threats? Cane'em.

Parents are to blame. (2)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970828)

I think parents need to start being held accountable for their child's misbehaviour. This way the dilemma of how to punish the child is avoided and the source of the problem is addressed.

Given what I've seen, I have to say the single largest reason why kids are so screwed up is because of bad parenting.

I read that as: (1)

Omicron32 (646469) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970835)

"How do you punch a 16-year old spammer."

Re:I read that as: (1)

openldev (925511) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970904)

Holy crap, so did I ... I was wondering about that title. I wouldn't have even checked it a second time if it wasn't for you post.

Judge Sentences Kid To Sleep (1)

embracethenerdwithin (989333) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970842)

From article: "he can't leave his house between the hours of 12.30am and 7am on weekdays, and between 12.30am and 10am on weekends, for two months"


The weekday one is a bit of a joke. No 16 year old is leaving there house before 7am or is even awke then. Also 12:30 isn't a horrible time to have to be home, he can still have plenty of fun. And when I was 16 I usually woke up around noon on weekends, so 10am isn't all that bad.

Basically the judge should have just said "I sentence you to a solid 7-8 hours of rest every day!" it would have the same effect.

Enforcing (1)

senor_meow (990740) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970845)

I don't see how the judge will know if the kid was actually in his bedroom unless the parents report him (unlikely) or if he gets caught by the police after curfew. After a week he could probably beg his parents to hang out at friends houses and be back to normal. I have to agree that community service would work far better solution.

Mitnik (1)

CodemasterMM (943136) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970854)

I'd say do a bit of Mitnik's punishment on him; disallow him to use the Internet for a period of time (perhaps 7 weeks along with his "7 days" e-mail?). I would presume that he'd have to use the computer at least (not necessarily the Internet) for homework and such, being he is only 16.

I also would make him spend that time doing community service. Maybe he'll find something else to do instead of spamming his ex-employer[s].

What happened to... (1)

xate (784379) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970857)

What happened to being banned from all electronic equipment until the age of 18? How about the little prick can't use email in any fashion? Why don't we punish him for the HACKING he did? idiots. Lets lock him exactly where he committed the crimes. He probly already didnt leave his house!

Spammer? (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970866)

As far as I can see, what he did was a DoS, not spamming. He didn't attempt to make any sort of income from sending unsolicited emails, he just bombarded one mail server with 5 million emails.

Why not take away his internet access? (1)

saan44 (994560) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970883)

I don't understand why the judge, with the parents' consent, didn't simply take away his access to the internet, or a computer all together. It seems like it would be a much more applicable punishment for a crime that requires a computer to commit.

hurm.. (1)

Churla (936633) | more than 7 years ago | (#15970905)

I would have opted for "You are under house arrest in a house with no television, video, gaming or computer devices until such a time as you have hand written an apology to each of the mail recipients."

But I'm a draconian Chapeau D'âne
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