by Mike Masnick
Fri, Apr 11th 2008 7:36am
A few years back, after hearing about a few similar rulings, we wondered if it was reasonable (or even feasible) to ban someone from using computers or the internet if they were found guilty of committing crime online. It seemed pretty excessive, especially considering how integrated computers and the internet have become with every day life. Last summer, a judge came to the same conclusion overturning a ban while noting how excessive that is as punishment. Apparently, however, not all judges quite understand this. A woman accused of fraud in a tax preparation scam has been banned from using computers while she waits for trial. That seems excessively broad (especially for someone who hasn't been found guilty yet). And how do they define "computer" in this situation? Can she use a mobile phone? What about an ATM machine? Self-checkout computer? This seems like one of those things that sounds good to a judge who hasn't actually thought through the ramifications of such a broad ban in today's world.
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