posted Sep 24, 2001

Hackers face life imprisonment under 'Anti-Terrorism' Act
'Hackers, virus-writers and web site defacers would face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under legislation proposed by the Bush Administration that would classify most computer crimes as acts of terrorism....'

'Most of the terrorism offenses are violent crimes, or crimes involving chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. But the list also includes the provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that make it illegal to crack a computer for the purpose of obtaining anything of value, or to deliberately cause damage. Likewise, launching a malicious program that harms a system, like a virus, or making an extortionate threat to damage a computer are included in the definition of terrorism.'

The best part is, you can probably do some of these things accidentally. Ignorance of the law is considered not to be an excuse under the law. Is ignorance of the violation?

'As a "Federal terrorism offense," the five year statute of limitations for hacking would be abolished retroactively -- allowing computer crimes committed decades ago to be prosecuted today -- and the maximum prison term for a single conviction would be upped to life imprisonment. There is no parole in the federal justice system.'

!!!. Words fail me. How the hell is this supposed to prevent terrorism? Wanting to abolish statutes of limitations really leads one to believe that terrorism prevention is not what the Justice Department wants. The only way this makes sense to me is assume that the Justice Department simply wants to jail as many people as possible. I mean, come on, what possible other use is there?!?!?



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