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Old 07-12-2005, 10:50 AM   #1
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Default Death Penalty For Hackers?

This is from Slashdot. I have a link to the full story but you need to register an account.


"The New York Times Op-Ed page has a piece entitled Worse Than Death (Obnoxious but free registration required) that calls for harsher 'hacker' penalties as a deterrent, quoting one academic as recommending even well, the death penalty - as a deterrent for the likes of Sasser author Sven Jaschan. Let's face it, businesses are becoming more dependent on their computers but they continue to be a point of failure, and subsequently, frustration through lost profits. Perpetrated breakdowns are now pushing that aggravation towards an edge. The author suggests commuting the idea of a death sentence into a lifetime of servitude doing viral cleanup. What role should enforcement play in such cases and is this too harsh, even considering the billions in damage that is sometimes caused?"
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Death Penalty For Hackers?

no they shouldn't that crime is not high on my worry list YET!
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Death Penalty For Hackers?

death penalty?

does it not occur to these supposably brilliant minds that hackers have been a massive cause for the pushing forward of boundries in terms of security, software stability, and technology...

do you really think that Biometric thumb scanners would be a possibility without hackers?

do you really think that we'd have the option or choice to use firefox if nobody had tried to break IE??


IMHO it should be the coders writting buggy software and charging the earth for it that should be put to death!

the windows NT core, has gone from server 3.51, through NT4 (with 6 service packs) through windows 2000 (with 4 service packs -and patches released after the last service pack that won't make it to a full SP level) windows XP (with a service pack)...

and yet the blaster worm still ripped accross the world...

IE is on version 6 now, (with service pack levels, and still has bugs...
Now, I know that it's practically impossibly to write a million lines of code without making perhaps one or two little mistakes, but it has to be said there is a lot of software out there that has been sloppily written from the start.

(microsoft were just easiest to pick on).
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Old 07-12-2005, 11:40 AM   #4
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Default Well...

That's too whacked out to put any serious faith in.
But if these guys get nailed, while serving their sentence out why not do some behavior modifications? Drug and chemical therapy along with phyciatric consoling could produce usefull behavor. Then on top of that have it so a corporate sponser would have to sponser them a job and living quarters in order to get out. And have them on parole for the rest of their life.
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Death Penalty For Hackers?

I don't know as to it being all that whached out. While I really do not like the idea of death being used to curtail criminal activity, there comes a time when it is really the only solution to certain crimes.
Not to be taken out of context here, I don't think that hacking in itself is a crime that would deserve the death penalty, But I do think that more than a slap on the wrist is what is needed.
I think that the crime of cyber theft or cyber burlary (if you will) should be treated to the same aspects of what the crime is.
Theft is theft reguardless of what is stolen or the amount taken and should be delt with accordinly.
A guy walks up to a business and robs them of only $2 is guilty of the same offense as though it was $2 million. Sorry, but there should be no distinction of monetary costs and I think that any mention of cost while in court proceedings should in itself be outlawed. The how and why questions are the only true aspects of the crime and not the costs. The costs SHOULD only be brought forth in the end of sentencing to determine restitution and only at that time.
At the same time, a hacker should be penalized for burglary and should be recognized as either commercial burglary or private burglary and given sentences favorable to that crime.
A person's home should be always reguarded as thier castle and protections should be instilled to reflect that. For a person to invade the privacy of a personal computer or the invasion of a home brings about the same feelings of loss and anxiety and anger. That it is caused by an actual break in of the home or from the use of electronic means from a person miles away only shows that the perpetrator was trying to mask their personal envolvement, and conseal their identity. It does not show that he would not have burglarized the place in person.
"A lock is used only to keep an honest person honest" This is exactly the point... The house is locked ..the business is locked...either by physical locks or cyber ones. It should make no difference at all in the treatment of these criminal offenses.
And to allocate that these type of criminal activities are lesser because a different medium was used so as to help hide them from prosecution is just plain nuts.
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Death Penalty For Hackers?

I think it depends on the impact of their virus or what they have done. For example if they hacked a hospital system and many died because computers failed then thats different.
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Old 07-12-2005, 02:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Death Penalty For Hackers?

Good comments David, although i think that a dealth penatly for sending someones computer a trojan, cus i wont kill them will it?
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Death Penalty For Hackers?

Paul Graham (Founder of Viaweb before they were bought out by Yahoo) is a very wise man. I suggest you read his book "Hackers and Painters" it's a great read anyway. He said that applications should be written in a hackable language just for the instance that that is how we advance. It isn't the men in blue (old saying for IBM employees) or the white collered professionals that bring about technological changes that affect the everyday American. It is the scrubs, the 20 year olds that live in their parent's basement.

Microsoft would have never been formed if there weren't hackers. That is what Bill Gates did. That is how he got into the mainstream computer society and how he was hired to write BASIC with Paul Allen.

Also there will never be software with no bugs because there is no fix for human stupidity.
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: Death Penalty For Hackers?

I dunno, I think there will always be hackers, people are attracted to it and they do help to advance technology. I think that the death penalty is far too harsh for such a crime, although I am in theory for the death penalty. It is too harsh, I think that the death penalty should only be for murders, rape and pedos.
I think that hackers highlight problems in the code, thus making people create ways to fix these problems, thus advancing technology.
Most technological advances are due to bad events, for example, the colossus supercomputers were developed during WW2, so I think hacking should almost be encouraged.
Despite that it does devistate companies and is a large problem, it certianly isnt difficult, I could crash the school network no probs, although I wouldn't. It creates problems for companies and many may lose information and time spent backing up or fixiing computers after hackers attack.

Overall I think that it should not be a death penalty offence, a lesser punishment is due, certainly not the death penalty
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Old 07-12-2005, 04:59 PM   #10
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Default Re: Death Penalty For Hackers?

there should not even be a death penalty for anything! let along computer hacking, do you get sentenced to death for embezzlement, fraud, money laudering no. This is insane, stupid, and completly idoitic.
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