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


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Freedom, 11 Apr 2008 @ 8:00am

    Wow!

    A quick look up on the definition of a 'computer' and this is what came up:

    An electronic, digital device that stores and processes information.

    So that pretty much means she's sc*ewed! Hell, with that definition if pushed you could argue that almost anything electric that stores state information couldn't be used.

    I often wonder in these cases what's the point. Can she by proxy have someone else use a computer for her. If so, isn't that dangerous.

    What amazes me is that we have a significant number of successful business owners as clients that don't use a computer at all and frankly wouldn't see a problem with this. Then again, they have enough money to pay someone else to deal with everyone else that does have to use them.

    Freedom

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
Special Affiliate Offer

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

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it
Close

Email This

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