How Do You Think Hackers Should Be Sentenced?

from the comment-now,-or-forever-hold-your-peace dept

As part of the new “get tough on cyberterrorism” campaign from the US government, they’ve asked the “US Sentencing Commission” (no, I had no idea this existed) to rethink its sentencing guidelines for computer crimes. The commission, not having any idea what to do exactly, has now turned to the public for comments on how they think computer criminals should be sentenced. I don’t know how much weight they’re putting on public opinion, but maybe this is an opportunity to educate the commission on why hacking crimes are often mislabeled (especially when it comes to damages – which play a large role in determining the sentence). Clearly, breaking into someone else’s system without their permission is a crime. However, too often, the “victims” of such crimes exaggerate the loss claims in order to inflict even greater punishment on the hackers. When you read stories about broadband users being told they cost companies hundreds of thousands of dollars just by uncapping their cable modems, you realize something is wrong with the system.

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