Hackers Face Life in Prison
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  1. #1

    Exclamation Hackers Face Life in Prison

    originally posted here.

    House OKs life sentences for hackers

    The House of Representatives on Monday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would allow for life prison sentences for malicious computer hackers. By a 385-3 vote, the House approved a computer crime bill that also expands police ability to conduct Internet or telephone eavesdropping without first obtaining a court order.

    The Bush administration had asked Congress to approve the Cyber Security Enhancement Act (CSEA) as a way of responding to electronic intrusions, denial of service attacks and the threat of "cyber-terrorism." The CSEA had been written before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks last year, but the events spurred legislators toward Monday evening's near-unanimous vote.


    CSEA, the most wide-ranging computer crime bill to make its way through Congress in years, now heads to the Senate. It's not expected to encounter any serious opposition, although there's not much time for senators to consider the measure because they take August off and are expected to head home for the year around Oct. 1st.

    "Until we secure our cyber infrastructure, a few keystrokes and an Internet connection is all one needs to disable the economy and endanger lives," sponsor Lamar Smith, R-Tex., said earlier this year. "A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb."

    Smith heads a subcommittee on crime, which held hearings that drew endorsements of CSEA from a top Justice Department official and executives from Microsoft and WorldCom. Citing privacy concerns, civil liberties groups have objected to portions of CSEA.

    At the urging of the Justice Department, Smith's subcommittee voted in February to rewrite CSEA. It now promises life terms for computer intrusions that "recklessly" put others' lives at risk.

    A committee report accompanying the legislation predicts: "A terrorist or criminal cyber attack could further harm our economy and critical infrastructure. It is imperative that the penalties and law enforcement capabilities are adequate to prevent and deter such attacks."

    By rewriting wiretap laws, CSEA would allow limited surveillance without a court order when there is an "ongoing attack" on an Internet-connected computer or "an immediate threat to a national security interest." That kind of surveillance would, however, be limited to obtaining a suspect's telephone number, IP address, URLs or e-mail header information--not the contents of online communications or telephone calls.

    Under federal law, such taps can take place when there's a threat of "serious bodily injury to any person" or activity involving organized crime.

    Another section of CSEA would permit Internet providers to disclose the contents of e-mail messages and other electronic records to police in cases involving serious crimes.

    Currently it's illegal for an Internet provider to "knowingly divulge" what users do except in some specific circumstances, such as when it's troubleshooting glitches, receiving a court order or tipping off police that a crime is in progress. CSEA expands that list to include when "an emergency involving danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires disclosure of the information without delay."

    Clint Smith, the president of the U.S. Internet Service Providers Association, endorsed the concept earlier this year.

    Smith testified that CSEA builds on the controversial USA Patriot act, which Congress enacted last fall. He said that this portion of CSEA "will reduce impediments to ISP cooperation with law enforcement."

    The Free Congress Foundation, which opposes CSEA, criticized Monday evening's vote.

    "Congress should stop chipping away at our civil liberties," said Brad Jansen, an analyst at the conservative group. "A good place to start would be to substantially revise (CSEA) to increase, not diminish, oversight and accountability by the government."

    If the Senate also approves CSEA, the new law would also:

    Require the U.S. Sentencing Commission to revise sentencing guidelines for computer crimes. The commission would consider whether the offense involved a government computer, the "level of sophistication" shown and whether the person acted maliciously.

    Formalize the existence of the National Infrastructure Protection Center. The center, which investigates and responds to both physical and virtual threats and attacks on America's critical infrastructure, was created in 1998 by the Department of Justice, but has not been authorized by an act of Congress. The original version of CSEA set aside $57.5 million for the NIPC; the final version increases the NIPC's funding to $125 million for the 2003 fiscal year.

    Specify that an existing ban on the "advertisement" of any device that is used primarily for surreptitious electronic surveillance applies to online ads. The prohibition now covers only a "newspaper, magazine, handbill or other publication."

    Most industry associations, including the Business Software Alliance, the Association for Competitive Technology, the Information Technology Association of America, and the Information Technology Industry Council, have endorsed most portions of CSEA.

  2. #2
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    This is... absurd. While I don't agree that people should do malicious hacking and DoS and all, it's not worth a life penalty. Most that do it are just kids, anyway, from my experience. Oh well, law's law.

  3. #3
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    Here is the wording of the bill http://thomas.loc.gov funny thing is what make a crime by computer different from any other crime? Laws in place already just more extending by Gov into an area that these people have no understand of. Computer is a tool like any toll some people use it for theft, blackmail and fraud seems there are plenty of laws already for these things. Lets not even talk keeping books and corp greed.
    I believe that one of the characteristics of the human race - possibly the one that is primarily responsible for its course of evolution - is that it has grown by creatively responding to failure.- Glen Seaborg

  4. #4
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    >"A mouse can be just as dangerous as a bullet or a bomb."
    this is like a catch phrase or something. how is a damn mouse as dangerous as a bomb!?the only way i can see that you could harm someone with a mouse, is if you beat them over the head with it.

    >"Until we secure our cyber infrastructure, a few keystrokes and an Internet connection is all one needs to disable the economy and endanger lives,"
    im sorry to quote this but im having real trouble with the mouse - bomb similey. endanger lives?

    >"A terrorist or criminal cyber attack could further harm our economy and critical infrastructure."
    i suppose this is true, only in the most extreme of cases, and i definately saw $128 million up there.

    >such taps can take place when there's a threat of "serious bodily injury to any person" or >activity involving organized crime.
    so who, and how, will they asess this threat? someone is definately going to have to explain the "serious bodily injury" part to me. are they still talking about a mouse? suppose you could use a computer as a fancy remote detonation device, and it was your mouse button that, indirectly, caused the signal to be sent and the bomb to explode. is it not the just bomb thats doing the "serious bodily harm"?

    "would permit Internet providers to disclose the contents of e-mail messages and other electronic records"
    i think a law was passed here recently that made it illegal for teleco's and isp's to keep record of anything that was not to do with billing. but im not sure. i think i should go check that out now...

    max
    Hmm...theres something a little peculiar here. Oh i see what it is! the sentence is talking about itself! do you see that? what do you mean? sentences can\'t talk! No, but they REFER to things, and this one refers directly-unambigeously-unmistakably-to the very sentence which it is!

  5. #5
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    Only in America law makers need stuff to be re-elected have a few million laying around run for public office. Me I have the power of one vote and use it punch cards aside I will place my vote to protect rights not saber rattling.
    I believe that one of the characteristics of the human race - possibly the one that is primarily responsible for its course of evolution - is that it has grown by creatively responding to failure.- Glen Seaborg

  6. #6
    While I understand the need for upping the ante on crackers and script kiddies, should we be more worried about real violent criminals like rapers, murderers and drug lords? Oh well, it politics, and if it means another vote and another dollar, then we all know it's gonna be pushed down the pike.

    >The shadow of big brother is here...

  7. #7
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    well i dont like teh idea of the cops being able to just login and see what anyone is doing without a court order i mean whats going to stop them from checking what their daughters boyfriend is looking up on the net or how much stuff some regular old grannie gets off ebay?
    --=::[ LeNc}{ ]::=-- stealing your time for pathetic web sites since 1998

  8. #8
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    The sad thing about this is....That any 14 year old kid that comes home from school, sits down in front of his mommy and daddys computer and downloads a " Nuke " Program is considered a Maltious hacker. I can't even see the life sentance as a reasonable penalty to a "true" hacker. But these courprate morons that are paid to sign papers and smile at cameras and who dont use a computer for anything other than e-mailing all there little but-buddies. These people make it so that every moron who goes to a so-called Hacking website, is now concidered a Dangerous hacker and they can be Imprisoned for life!.........One word people......PATHETIC

  9. #9
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    i agree Jinx
    --=::[ LeNc}{ ]::=-- stealing your time for pathetic web sites since 1998

  10. #10
    well i dont like teh idea of the cops being able to just login and see what anyone is doing without a court order i mean whats going to stop them from checking what their daughters boyfriend is looking up on the net or how much stuff some regular old grannie gets off ebay?
    I cannot help but to agree with you on this one... While I also understand it will take considerable time and money to check everybody and everything on the net, it opens the door to wiretaps without the red tape. It's gonna suck...

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