Hackers face life imprisonment as "terrorists"
Jose G. Perez
jgperez at netzero.net
Wed Sep 26 01:13:33 MDT 2001
Hackers face life imprisonment under 'Anti-Terrorism' Act
Justice Department proposal classifies most computer crimes as acts of
By Kevin Poulsen
Sep 23 2001 11:00PM PT
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
The Justice Department is urging Congress to quickly approve its
Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), a twenty-five page proposal that would expand the
government's legal powers to conduct electronic surveillance, access
business records, and detain suspected terrorists.
The proposal defines a list of "Federal terrorism offenses" that are subject
to special treatment under law. The offenses include assassination of public
officials, violence at international airports, some bombings and homicides,
and politically-motivated manslaughter or torture.
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.
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