Good News: Using A Proxy Server Isn't A Sign That You're More Of A Criminal (Yet)

from the phew dept

Some of us use proxy servers for VPN purposes, because it's just good security. However, the US Sentencing Commission was recently considering whether or not the use of a proxy server should be considered "sophisticated means," such that it could increase jailtime in sentencing for a crime. As the EFF notes, the Commission has rejected this concept for now, though, it's not entirely clear why or if this will change at a later date. However, for now, rest assured that using a proxy server doesn't automatically mean you deserve greater jailtime than if you don't.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    ryan, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 3:48am

    So if I live in a bad neighborhood, where mail theft is a problem, and I decide to use a P.O. box instead, am I subject to increased sentencing if I send or am sent mail of a fraudulent nature?

    ..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    ryan, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 3:52am

    con't

    ..or what about when I use a prepaid phone instead of a land line or a mobile with an annual contract?

    Give me a break.

    While I appreciate their ruling to this point, legislators, politicians, and judges need to understand the technology before acting on it. Just like everything else. Funny how that works.

    ..

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 5:14am

    Guess I should stop purchasing things off the intarwebs.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Government Spy, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 5:43am

    Guilty!

    >..or what about when I use a prepaid phone instead of a
    >land line or a mobile with an annual contract?

    Using a pre-paid phone?! You must be a terrorist or drug dealer! Guilty! Guilty! Crucify him! Crucify Him!

    Of course, I love how something that most computer savy people (and sometimes the not so savy) know and use is "sophisticated" to the completely ignorant judges and prosecutors.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Norm, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 6:02am

    But.....

    .....if you were a criminal you would use a PO Box, prepaid phone card and a proxy server....is that 3 strikes?!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 6:08am

    Uh huh...

    "...the Commission has rejected this concept for now"

    Sure, until they can dream up a way to call someone using VPN/Proxy as a "terrorist" and then it's all over. Again.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 6:22am

    A "proxy" server is as much a criminal tool as a radio is - it's just a means of relaying information. The idea of using them to bounce around to make tracking harder isn't going to go away, even if people who use "proxy" servers are "criminals".

    I could make a prank call by proxy too - I could call a friend, who calls a friend, who calls a friend - all inverting their phones, holding the speaker to the microphone and layer the call 4 or 5 times. Just another type of 'proxy' really.

    Perhaps we should take a lesson from Government here - and no longer call them "Proxy Servers" but now let's exercise our right to doublespeak and call them "broker servers" or maybe "intermediary servers" - would that make them ok?

    After all - waterboarding isn't torture - it's just waterboarding - at least that's what the last Oval office attendant said.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 6:54am

    proxies are sooooo sophisticated

    clicking that box and entering the ip and port in those text fields. that's super sophisticated.

    and using a firefox add-on like foxy proxy that handles proxies for you... that is beyond sophisticated.

    and going to a website and typing a URL into a blank and hitting the submit button, that's practically rocket science.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Judge Schmales, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 7:04am

    Re: proxies are sooooo sophisticated

    IP = Intellectual Property?
    Port = Port of call for some illegal shipment?
    Text Field = A magical glen where thoughts are grown like corn?
    Firefox = Call sign for a F-22 Raptor's missle array?
    Foxy Proxy = The call girl I ordered last night?
    URL = Unregistered Retarded Latino?

    Forget it, I'm going golfing

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    TX CHL Instructor (profile), Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 9:08am

    Re: Uh huh...

    In Missouri, you are considered a potential terrorist if you support and defend the US Constitution..
    --
    http://www.chl-tx.com I support the US Constitution. All of it, not just the convenient parts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 9:40am

    Two thoughts.

    If people would receive a harsher sentences for using a proxy during the commission of a crime, shouldn't the same hold true for wearing a ski-mask during a crime?

    A proxy is just a tool, like a crowbar. If person is
    caught with a crowbar after breaking into a house
    they'll be charged with possession of burglary tools.
    Why is this different?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 9:43am

    Re: Uh huh...

    someone using VPN/Proxy as a "terrorist" and then it's all over

    We don't use that t-word anymore, I'm told. They're now man-caused disaster technicians.

    ..or something like that. :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: proxies are sooooo sophisticated

    You should always register your retarded latinos.

    Always.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: Re: proxies are sooooo sophisticated

    I really wanted to post that comment under my usual name, simply because I thought it was funny, but picturing Judge Schmales saying it was even better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 9:58am

    Re: Re: Uh huh...

    Agreed, my bad. I was just thinking about all of the misdirection used to go to war after the "Religion-based economic venue deconstruction" that occured in NYC in 2001...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Yakko Warner, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: proxies are sooooo sophisticated

    You win. Lock the comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Slackr, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 3:58pm

    Anyone want to wager how much they spent coming to this ground-breaking conclusion? Best Use of Funds Award 2009?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This