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.

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

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18 Comments
Government Spy says:

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.

Overcast says:

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.

chris (profile) says:

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.

Judge Schmales says:

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

Anonymous of Course says:

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?

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