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Hackers Face Life Imprisonment… Unless They’re Multibillion Dollar Corporations

Here's a pretty old legacy post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 22 years ago, in 2002, on the World Wide Web.

(I owe the first link to my friend Mark; the second link to Tom Tomorrow)

So it turns out that Congress doesn’t think that restitution through the civil courts is adequate to deal with malicious attacks on computer systems. Indeed, it wasn’t even harsh enough yet when the USA PATRIOT act classifies hacking, viruses, and other malicious computer damage as terrorist acts subject to its draconian measures. So, to remedy this dreadful situation, they’ve decided to put together the Cyber Security Enhancement Act (CSEA), under which police state powers would be greatly increased in computer crimes, and hackers could be thrown in a federal prison until they die.

Unless, of course, you’re a multibillion dollar entertainment corporation. You see, another bill being considered in Congress which would give recording companies and their representatives legal impunity to hack computers if they have a reasonable basis to believe that piracy is taking place, and to use malicious code to trash a publicly accessible peer-to-peer network on which piracy is occurring.

Oh, but don’t worry: if they wrongly destroy your computer… well, they won’t end up in prison for life. But you can sue them! That is, if the damages were over $250. And if the U.S. Attorney General grants you permission to file the lawsuit.

The hypocrisy and slavish appeasement of economic power is hovering somewhere between merely revolting, and physically nauseating.

Take action!

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Anticopyright. This was written in 2002 by Rad Geek. Feel free to reprint if you like it. This machine kills intellectual monopolists.