Is It Even Possible To Ban Someone From Using A Computer?

from the more-difficult-than-you-might-think dept

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.

Filed Under: computer ban


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  1. identicon
    Computer Consultant Secrets, 11 Apr 2008 @ 10:40am

    The many advances in technology have certainly both expanded the realm of possibilities and also blurred lines of the law in many cases, particularly when it comes to copyright issues with not only creative works (music files being the biggest of them all) but also software packages, etc. In the last 10 years, musicians and artists have worked to revise copyright law so it can better represent the possibilities for infringement that have been brought about by mp3's and file sharing, and many software companies are also starting to follow suit, at least in the form of penalizing those that use pirated copies. While technology has also given us the ability to very closely monitor everyone using the Internet and even in many cases watch everything anyone is doing at any given time, it's still impossible to imagine that a total ban on computers for a person could be enforced properly, if only because we haven't fully "defined" everything yet when it comes to the technological realm. It seems like it's probably going to take a long time before we revise all the rules of copyright and the law to keep up with the latest advances.

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