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
    David, 6 Nov 2007 @ 1:55am

    Oh my god

    After having read through the first 20 or so comments, I'm astounded. How is putting people away for 20 years going to help anyone? Naturally these guys should be expelled from the school, and perhaps fined a small amount (a couple thousand at most), but I don't see how jail time is going to help. Keeping people locked up costs a *lot* of money and resources.

    I think that criminals in general need to be incorporated into society through some kind of program/procedure. After serving a decent amount of time, of course; decent for example being 10-20 years for murder and rape, 5-10 for planned robberies, and so on. I don't think that many crimes justify the use of lifetime imprisonment, and I don't support capital punishment at all (so many innocent people have been executed over the years).

    We're all capable of committing mistakes, and those mistakes shouldn't cost us our lives. Now, these guys need to pay the price for what they did, but not with their lives (which 20 years in prison at the age of 30 essentially is). We need to think about the purpose of prison. Do we keep people locked up simply to punish them, or to protect others from them? Just make the analogy to a child doing something wrong. We don't beat the crap out of the child for taking a cookie from the jar. We restrict their access to cookies for a couple of weeks, and then they won't steal cookies again. (Not the best analogy, I know, but it's just to illustrate the ideas. You can probably come up with better ones.)

    I really hope you think about this, and reconsider your views.

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