Paris Hilton Hacker Banned From The Internet

from the where-will-he-get-his-Paris-Hilton-pics-and-news-now? dept

We were just discussing whether or not banning internet access for criminals involved in internet-based crimes made any sense (or was really viable), and along comes another story about just such a ban. It turns out that the kid who famously hacked Paris Hilton's T-Mobile Sidekick and revealed all of her contact info has now been barred from posessing or using anything that can access the internet for two years. Anything? That sounds a bit extreme. While the guy apparently was involved in a long string of hack attacks against a variety of different targets, with so much being internet enabled these days, it seems a bit silly to completely ban him from any device that can access the internet. It rules out an awful lot of mobile phones. Modern gaming consoles are pretty much out. Many DVR devices can access the internet. Increasingly, cars have some form of internet access as well. What about VoIP phones? They access the internet. What if the guy doesn't even realize he's using a VoIP phone? This isn't to say the guy doesn't deserve some punishment. But, the ban doesn't seem to take into account the realities of the world.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Bob3000, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 4:12am

    No Subject Given

    I have no problem with this restriction on his life.

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

  2. identicon
    Dr Justice, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 4:16am

    Re: No Subject Given

    He deserves it. Should have made it a longer ban and given the b@stard a few months in prison!

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

  3. identicon
    Whosawhat?, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 4:33am

    No Subject Given

    I don't see any problem with the ban. What I have a problem with is the effort put into finding this fellow just because of the owner of the phone.

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

  4. identicon
    brandon, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 5:09am

    Re: No Subject Given

    I agree. If it were my phone, no one would've done anything.

    Secondly, T-mobile is stupid, they should've hired the kid to help make their network better. T-mobile is to blame because they had the security hole.

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

  5. identicon
    mozetti, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 5:17am

    The ban

    Ban on anything that can access the internet.

    Well, a computer w/o an internet service plan can't access the internet. An Xbox w/o an xbox live account and the above-mentioned computer can't access the internet.

    There's no real way to enforce a ban keeping him from "accessing the internet" other than saying he can't own a device that can access the internet. As i mentioned above, most devices you mentioned can be made so they can't access the internet.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 5:38am

    Re: The ban

    if not slightly daft that the only reason action was taken was due to the owner of the phone, the ban seems fine by me (if anyone can actually enforce it that is) the kid should have thought of the consequences of his actions before he got involved in illegal activity and now he should pay the price.

    Good luck to those who are left trying to enforce this though and make sure he DOES pay for his actions because i dont see how it can be done !

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

  7. identicon
    g0es, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 6:06am

    Wish there was a....

    Better punishment. although i think banning access to the internet is the best that we can do at the moment but it would be nice to see something that will really be a deterent. I mean this guy could still profit from the press he is getting and could easly get a job after his two years. there should be a way to keep him from profiting from is experiences breaking the law

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

  8. identicon
    Oliver Wendell Jones, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 6:17am

    A Dumb Terminal?

    My brother was arrested and charged with fraud and theft for ordering items over the phone using other people's credit card information (this was back before the phrase "identity theft" was in use).

    He would open a phone book at random and look up the credit history of people, looking for people with high dollar credit card limits. He would look up the information on his Commodore-64 computer connected to a 12" color TV and a 2400 baud modem (if that gives you any idea how long ago this was).

    As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to not operate a computer, unless part of his job, for the length of his parole. That didn't stop him from buying a dumb terminal at a garage sale and using it to access various BBSs and CompuServe.

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

  9. identicon
    Tom, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 6:21am

    Impossible To Uphold

    What I don't understand is how they can expect to enforce this ban, you can't have someone watching his every move.

    What's to stop him going around to his friends house and accessing the internet on his computer.

    Sure, you can confiscate his PC and stop him accessing the internet from his own home, but it's impossible to stop him getting on the internet in other places.

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

  10. identicon
    jeb, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 6:40am


    When someone commits mail fraud, to they ban them from using the USPS?

    This is just silly. Same with DUIs and cars - you want the behaviour to change. Lots of folks with DUIs who've lost their license still end up driving drunk.

    If you take away people's means of earning a living (cars or computers) in cases of criminal behaviour, you make it more likely that they will behave criminally, because it is harder to earn an honest living.

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

  11. identicon
    sam, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 6:54am

    A Feel Good Ruling

    It seems that today some think that if a law is passed or a ruling like this comes down from a judge that folks will simply follow it; that is baloney! As others have said, there is no way to enforce this, other then locking the kid up, which the kid needs. It seems a feel good ruling similar to many laws that are on the books today: They feel good but are impossible to enforce!

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

  12. identicon
    Bogie, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 7:19am


    Maybe the judge is giving this guy a chance to do something positive with his life. They cannot watch the guy 24/7, but if he violates the judge ruling within two years and is caught doing something else illegal using a computer. The next judge would have no choice but to lock him up. It's about a pattern of behavoir. That's why we give people probation or the police issue warning tickets. "Stop the negative stuff or else" Think about it.

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

  13. identicon
    Eric, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 8:30am


    that sucks. no internet, why live? lol

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

  14. identicon
    John Craig, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 8:30am


    I guess that's why they invented prison.

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

  15. identicon
    DGK12, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 8:45am

    No Subject Given

    Quite a funny story. An internet ban is certainly depressing, but quite lenient. Although that includes computers. Remember the movie Hackers? But he didn't disrupt more than one persons life.
    I suppose their are too many angles to view to make me want to form an opinion.

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

  16. identicon
    Pete Austin, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 9:01am

    Let the Punishment fit the Crime

    My object all sublime
    I shall achieve in time--
    To let the punishment fit the crime--
    The punishment fit the crime;
    And make each prisoner pent
    Unwillingly represent
    A source of innocent merriment!
    Of innocent merriment!
    The Mikado, Gilbert and Sullivan, including song link

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

  17. identicon
    Tim, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 9:24am

    Stuid logic!

    Uh... ok so they are going to make it "against the law" for this person from using the internet? Wasn't it already "against the law" to hack other peoples devices? Do they really think that this has taken away the threat?.... Or do they really believe that this CAN stop him from breaking the law... this law... again? Unless you tie his hands around his back or throw him in a locked room for the next 2 years, is the only way to ensure that he can't/won't do this again. Like I said.... stupid reasoning.

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

  18. identicon
    Kevin Trumbull, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 9:38am


    From the article:
    As an adult, he will undergo two years of supervised release in which he will be barred from possessing or using any computer, cell phone or other electronic equipment capable of accessing the Internet.

    To deconstruct this:
    Barred from using any computer...
    The following things are now computers (in most cases): ATM machines, Onstar, Tivo, Self Checkout systems at the grocery store, Digital Camera Kiosks in Walmart, Cash Registers, Library card catalogs, Diagnostic systems in auto shops, college registration systems, nicer calculators, and the list goes on and on.
    So while he will be allowed to bag groceries, he won't be allowed to ring people up.

    Electronic equipment capable of accessing the Internet...
    Cars, ATMs, Onstar, Tivo, Cell phones, Satellite Dish control systems, some 'non-computer' cash registers, PDAs, Security Cameras, and recently several models of Refrigerator and Microwave.
    Recently there's been a rash of adding TCP/IP communication ability to many embedded appliances (TVs, VCRs, DVD Players, etc).

    It's like banning someone who went on a spree of knocking over convenience stores, from going to a gas station... It's stupid. Computers, whether you realize it or not, are pervasive in everyday life. In one way or another, he will have to break the letter of his sentencing. Whether he's prosecuted on it is another story. This is why many of these sentences are overturned these days. It's BS to ban someone from using any ATM machine. It's BS to ban him from getting a cashier job in retail. It's BS to ban him from using a Kiosk at Kinkos to print some pictures.

    However poetic or just a punishment it seems, it's just not practical in this day and age. Unfortunately many Judges are too old to realize this.

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

  19. identicon
    Mark, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 9:55am

    Internet ban

    The ban doesn't need to be enforceable. No police department is going to assign someone to follow this guy around and make sure he's not accessing a WiFi network at his local coffeeshop. The judge knows this. What the ban does is give authorities a device to prosecute him if he starts getting out of line again. If he's implicated in another hack, they won't need to prove his involvement -- they'll just be able to point at his use of the Net, in violation of his sentence. With that hanging over his head, the guy might be forced to walk the straight and narrow.

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

  20. identicon
    Ben Mc, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 10:01am


    It prevents him from working most jobs. If it inhibits his right to work, this could be a real problem for the guy.

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

  21. identicon
    Chopper, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 10:11am

    Re: No Subject Given

    You do realize that there have been many hacks on mom and pops, kids, friends and the likes none of them have been dealt with this extremety. All of a sudden because Paris doesn't like something you are following her like a lost pup.
    Shes not going to date you, acknowledge your existence or even send an autographed used napkin to this website in commemeration of your comment. So get some lube and pull your head out of your ass.
    Sorry to ruin your dreams but kids, teens and adults have been screwing around with tech for years. When you were in highschool did you ever try to sneak someone elses journal (maybe a girl even?) to see if she was writing about you? Now imagine you could do this from across the school, as a teen would you see this as cool or "uncool"??? Now imagine you could see a multi-billion dollar hot chick's boyfriend list from down the street?
    Most kids will do it. Does that mean we throw them in jail or maybe we should sue the parents!!! You could have the cops come to your door because your kid thought little Sally was cute (ewwww) and her brandnew camera/bluetooth/wifi/picture/mp3 ... phone had no password on it and wanted to check it out and have a laugh with his friends. Kids like that should just be jailed WITH their parents!!! After all they raised him!!!
    Well I know Paris will take a long time to recover from this, especially now that her secret number for ralph lauren has been exposed, but others have come before your courts and have been given little in terms of punishment. All it means now is more kids will do it but they wont let you know ;)

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

  22. identicon
    Matt, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 10:45am

    Re: No Subject Given

    Disagree: Just because they has the security hole, doesn't mean it is their fault that someone busted it. Car Tires can be shot out. Just because rubber can be shot doesn't mean that the issue is the tire manufacturer's fault. No one can say that any communications system is flawless. Just because it can be done does not mean it should. Let's use some common sense here, please.

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

  23. identicon
    Good, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 11:10am

    Ban for life

    I don't have any problem with them banning him. I think all convicted hackers should be banned from using any computer system for life. For a tech nerd to use his/her knowledge to hack into anothers computer system paints a bad picture for the rest of us.

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

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Internet ban

    Thank you Mark. I was going to say this.

    From the article:

    "...he will undergo two years of supervised release..."

    Isn't this usually called "parole"?

    I suppose the part that goes "barred from poessesing or using any" would be the conditions of his parole. Violate that and he gets to serve the two years in prison...

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

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 3:26pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    > I have no problem with this restriction on his life.< br>
    Yah, because it's HIS life, not yours.

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

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 3:28pm

    Think about the consequences

    So this guy could not use the phone to dial 911 if he found out that terrorists were going to nuke Washington, D.C. or New York city.

    Makes a lot of sense...

    O.K., maybe that's not probable. But he also couldn't call the police to stop some woman from being gang raped either. That's not quite as improbable, now is it?

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 3:38pm

    No Subject Given

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    If the guy can't post a critism of the government, including the judge, on a discussion board online, then his first amendment rights are being violated. PERIOD.

    The courts are not allowed to make laws or break them. If congress can't restrict a person's right to petition the government for a redress of grievances or to express those grievances to the public, then neither can the courts. He has a constitutional right to email his senator or publish a political website. He should sue the judge and the court for violating his civil rights.

    This would be true even if he committed a crime that actually caused harm. Quite frankly, reading some slut's email isn't like knowingly starting a war on the false premise of weapons of mass destructions or covering up atrocities and war crimes commited against prisioners of war. There are bigger criminals to worry about.

    America, get your priorities straight.

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Let the Punishment fit the Crime

    Does that mean we get to pile the Bush and Chaney families into gay pyramids?

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

  29. identicon
    mike-ish, Sep 14th, 2005 @ 6:05pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    due process of law, mi amigo. he was convicted by a jury of his peers. and he's not being deprived of his first amendment rights. he'll just have to use the post office.

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

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2005 @ 1:02pm

    Re: Ban for life

    And shoplifters should be banned from stores for life.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 15th, 2005 @ 1:04pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    "The courts are not allowed to make laws or break them."
    Get real. They do all the time.

    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
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Hide this ad »
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Chat
Hide this ad »
Recent Stories
Advertisement - Amazon Prime Music
Hide this ad »


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.