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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Ix, 6 Nov 2007 @ 6:23am

    Deep breaths and calm rational thinking

    Seriously people, take some deep breaths and think before posting. It really does help.

    The main issue at hand is that these 2 guys are facing a punishment was too harsh to be appropriate for what they did. All these people who spout off crap like "I'm at one of the top 5 engineering school" whining about how hard it is to get there and people saying "If you can't do the time, don't do the crime" probably A, know nothing about computers beyond how to use a web browser and B, probably know nothing about law. C could be that Mr. top 5 probably isn't in a school good enough to even be ranked, much less a top 5.

    Seriously, think about it, a grade change affects your GPA and might mean you can qualify for a degree program you're not ready for if they limit entry by GPA, which means at most these people affected 2 other students lives temporarily. Maybe some faculty/staff now need to check the books and get everything put back in order, which would take all of about 5 man hours tops, and the other 2 students would be in the right program a semester later when the 2 jokers fail out. So at most affecting about 4-6 people for a 3 month period tops, yet for this inconvenience they face up to 20 years in jail. Anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together can figure out this is excessive and that the laws are broken.

    Proving my point, I was required to take some law classes for my major, including one that focused only on computer law. The punishments for even minor computer infractions often are harsher than murder, which means either someone hacking their credit card to be debt free is more harmful than someone taking a machete and putting it through someone else's head, or the laws are broken. Having shared in the grief of friends and family friends who were left to pick up the pieces of their lives after losing their relatives to murder I can say with certainty that the laws are broken.

    Yeah, a top 5 school might be hard for you, I was in a top 10 but it was a cake walk for me so quite whining and going on about how these people ruin everything for you and should be harshly punished, they shouldn't, and anyone who doesn't live in a self-centered bubble can see that.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here



Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter




Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Techdirt Logo Gear
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

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