Suspected Of Spamming? No More Internet For You!

from the outcasts dept

Last year, following a series of stories where various computer criminals were banned from the internet, we wondered if that’s a viable punishment these days. After all, so much of what we do is connected to the internet. On the face of it, it makes sense to say that someone who abused the system should no longer be allowed to use it, but how does that work when so much of what we do these days is internet-based? Would being banned from the internet include VoIP phones or IPTV? These days, you can use those types of things and not even realize it. So, it’s interesting to find out that the UK is now proposing a more formal program for courts to ban various computer criminals from the internet. However, it seems to go even further, allowing the courts to even ban those who haven’t been convicted, but are suspected of such crimes. It seems like a pretty extreme solution — especially for people who haven’t actually been convicted of a crime.

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Comments on “Suspected Of Spamming? No More Internet For You!”

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Christopher says:

This has great potential for abuse...

While I can see the principle underlying the “No Internet” penalty, I feel it is too harsh for someone not yet convicted, mainly due to how ubiquitous the Internet has now become. It also opens up the door for abuse by the authorities. I have heard of such abuses in Canada already.

The case that springs to mind immediately is one where a person convicted of fraud was given a parole condition of “must not use the Internet”. It seems the police really wanted this guy in jail for some reason, so they caught him technically violating his parole. The violation? He viewed a weather forecast page on his mobile phone. Fortunately, the judge saw through the tactic and verbally spanked the police and prosecutor.

I am technically savvy, and even if I set out to not use Internet, I could likely be easily caught doing so unintentionally. The only way to ensure I did not would be to sit at home doing almost nothing. These days, even pressing the button at a crosswalk will sometimes be using an Internet client.

aghast says:

Re: Last time I checked

Dude, drunk driving costing you your license doesn’t compare. Spam doesn’t cost lives.

Besides, in the U.S. drunk driving laws are set by each individual state. Do they all suspend license on first offense? And when does the suspension take effect? When they haul your drunk ass to jail or when you go before the judge?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Last time I checked

when I got a DUI I kept my license for a full year untill my trial was over and even then I waited 3 months before turning it over.

This was back in 2002

BTW I was not actually driving but parked.

Seriously tho how could they even keep track if you used it or not. you could visit friends and get online without letting anyone know (except your friend) that you were surfing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Internet is too broad

I think that the term Internet in this case is a bit too broad. The punishment should fit the crime. If you are convicted of SPAMing then maybe you are banned from E-Mail. But child porn, well, you cut the wire completely.

I recently knew a young kid that fell into a bad thing, and was convited of a cyber crime. He was baned from the use of computers and computer like devices (this included everything from PCs to PDAs, Laptops, and yes Cell phones). He was also told he had to check in with his PO and the local Authorities every X number of days. This is where the fun begins as the Local PD he had to check in with was technically Savvy and wanted all parole check-ins to use a PC they set up at the station….

He was busted for following his parole requirements as set forth by a State judge but had to follow local policies. Things have turned out OK for him as the judge smacked the local PD for busting the poor kid and he ammended his parole restriction to allow him the use of that one PC.

Ponderer says:

Ban the Exploiters

Spam is annoying…and time consuming…OK and hogs resources too. It seems, however, that the people we really need to be going after are those exploiting vulnerabilities for fun or profit–like those a&&#@!es that put trojans on unsuspecting peoples computers and then offer to sell them SW to take it off. Three lashes and the internet ban I say!

Pope Ratzo says:

Now that the world is getting used to formerly “free” countries like the US holding prisoners without charging them with crimes, having secret prisons, torture, and all of the rest of what madmen call “the War on Terror”, this notion of punishing people who aren’t even convicted fits right in.

The only answer is: be prepared to fight, because in the last 5 years, we’ve lost more liberty than in the previous century, and we’ll only get it back when we’re ready to do what our Founders did: blow some shit up.

Adam says:


or run, and be prepared to fight when the US comes to haul you back to the “homeland” (or, motherland, fatherland… anything else that large, out-of-touch, tyrranical governments call their scope of control)

fleeing religious persecution by a country that is run by the extremist right. (read: extremist christian church)

sound f’ing familiar anyone?

i find it supremely ironic that this country is fast becoming the very thing it was founded to avoid.

Lay Person says:

Crime doesn't pay

People, you’re missing the point:

These are “Computer Criminals!” not spammers or hackers who just cause popups.

These are people who gain by means of deceipt, and thievery. People and companies lose tens of thousands of dollars to these crooks. Some of these victims were elderly, on fixed incomes, it may as well be their entire life’s savings.

Do you really think the pinishment is too severe?

Go ask Grandma!

They’re lucky we don’t castrate the perverts and pedofiles also!

Adam says:

Re: Crime doesn't pay


You’re the one missing the point…

no one has argued that criminals should be denied the use of the nets…

its the fact that the legislation, along with alot these days, allows for people NOT convicted of any crime to be detained, and in some cases punished, with no legal course for reaction.

this is absolutely unacceptable in any modern society, let alone one that terms itself free!

ZeroCool says:

Been there before

Haven’t we all seen the movie hackers? No one learns anything from a computer ban… they just wait until it’s over and then jump right back on.

For real though, with public libraries and coffee shops everywhere with internet access, how can you really prevent someone from finding a way to access the internet? Implanted computer chip in the brain that senses emf activity generated from an active ethernet port? No more public library and coffee shop visits.

And Pope, hopefully you read this before going to jail for the last sentence in your post, this is happening in the UK not the US.

Nick Leonard says:

Spaming the spammers

I got bumped off the internet by my ISP when AOL threatened to cut them off. Why, because of the number of emails AOL was getting from AOL spammers that were being sent to me. I was using an anti-spam utility that had a bounce-back feature. Each email they sent to me, I sent back to the originator. It seems that AOL didn’t like their own medicine but only saw the problem from one point of view. Go figure.

Corey says:

Re: Spaming the spammers

How does bouncing the messages back to the sender accomplish anything? First, most spam messages are sent from bogus email addresses. Second, because you received the message(s) a legitimate bounce can’t be produced, so in that sense you became a vigilante I for one applaud AOL for for not putting up with the fool hearty stunt you pulled.

Monarch says:

Remeber this is a country where the police can shoot an innocent man, via mistaken identity, 7 times, repeat, 7 times in the head. And.., NO ONE is accountable of any crime for shooting this innocent man, 7 TIMES in the head. No charges at all!

I mean, if the police in the UK can shoot an innocent man 7 times in the head, because they were mistaken on who he was, why not ban people from the internet for suspecting them of crimes. Well, they’ll probably ban completely innocent people first, due to mistaken identity.


SUSPECTED of Spamming.....for you

Sometimes reading blogs/comments dash my hope that things will get better. POINTS: Commit a crime – go to jail – go to trial – pay fines – go to chair in corner! (OPPS, sorry that’s Big Business punishment.) For us LOWER Class amend to – “go to prison.” (Definition: GOVERNMENT; Big Money linked to greedy small men.) The Net is a new world with few morals and even fewer laws. BUT it is controled by big money. Download a friends songs and the Feds will be knocking on your door. Post nude pictures and your server gets overloaded with hits. Turn your back on your children while they are on the Net and some sick-o lures them to their death. If we want to continue enjoying our freedoms – WE must control our governments by our votes. WE must control our enviroment by making wise decisions. WE need user tools to counter spammers. Maybe???a worldwide united front – send me spam and my friends tell not to do that. Know what I mean. The Net needs to be free, but if your return address is false then you are a organization/person with a motive that is not benificial. A fitting punishment would to re-institute DUNKING – 100 dips for each spam you send.

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