Do Grade Changing Hackers Deserve 20 Years In Jail?

from the seems-a-bit-extreme dept

Over the years, we've had numerous stories of kids caught changing their grades by hacking into school computer systems. However, is it worth a $250,000 fine and 20 years in jail? That's apparently what two men face after hacking into California State University's computer system and changing their grades. The guys have been charged with "unauthorized computer access, identity theft, conspiracy, and wire fraud." Obviously, these guys did a bad thing, but it's hard to see how the possible sentence matches with the crime. Of course, it seems unlikely that any judge would give them the maximum sentence, but even hearing that it's possible just for changing your grades seems ridiculous.

Filed Under: grade changing, hackers, identity theft


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  1. identicon
    Duh, 5 Nov 2007 @ 10:07am

    Not getting 20 years

    So IF they get indicted on all counts and IF the judge decides to exercise the maximum penalty and IF they behave poorly in jail, fail all parole hearings, don't appeal, and generally give up, THEN they get 20 years and a quarter million dollar fine.
    Funny, if you copy one single DVD the potential penalties are more severe. The maximum sentences are there for people who commit heinous and egregious acts that are covered under the laws. Take the same accusations (unauthorized computer access, identity theft, et. al) and apply them in the worst possible way (ID theft to intentionally ruin someone's life, framing them for several things, stealing all their money; unauthorized computer access to take down security networks to allow people to infiltrate places of high sensitivity (i.e. military bases)) and the penalties don't seem so severe. Remember that MAXIMUM sentence is not what you're always going to get. Just think of the murderers who get a good 8-10 years and go back into the world after that. Happens all the time.

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