Under a proposed "computer crime bill," if you use a computer in the commission of an offense that damages "national security, human welfare, the economy or the environment" you could face a life sentence.
The proposal only vaguely defines the offenses in question, and also what "using a computer" means -- in the 21st century, it's hard to imagine any activity that doesn't make use of a computer in some way. A broadly worded bill that provides for terrible penalties who fall afoul of it is a gift to bullying governments and prosecutors, who can use it to go after whistleblowers and leakers, to extract plea bargains from defendants who might choose to risk a trial if the stakes were lower, and to chill dissent and protest.
It seems unlikely that the bill would be used to prosecute bankers who use computers to crash the whole economy.
The government says the legislation was needed to deal with catastrophic cyber attacks “which result in loss of life, serious illness or injury or serious damage to national security, or a significant risk thereof”.
It says that as well as targeting cyber terrorists, the new offence in the proposed update to the Computer Misuse Act 1990 would also hand harsher sentences to those hackers carrying out industrial espionage, believed to be a growing menace affecting UK business.
Computer users who damage national security could face jail [Matthew Taylor/The Guardian]
(Image: Hanging Cadge & Gibbet, The Clink Prison Museum, Southwark, London, Sheri, CC-BY-SA)
“Appflash” will come pre-installed on all Verizon Android handsets; it’s a Google search-bar replacement, but instead of feeding telemetry about your searches, handset, apps and activities to Google, it will send them to Verizon.
A new Transparency International report ranks the world’s most superheated urban property markets to find the most corrupt and finds that Australia is a playground for offshore criminals looking to launder their money, because “real estate agents are not subject to the provisions of the Anti-Money Laundering and CounterTerrorism Financing Act 2006,” thus, “70 per […]
Yesterday, Congress voted to bar the FCC from ever making a rule that limits how your ISP can spy on you and sell your data, without your permission.
Thread count isn’t like one of those deceiving metrics like camera megapixels or Facebook friends—more threads are always better if you can afford them. If price was no object, we would all be snoozing soundly bundled up in 1.8 kilo-thread sheets every single night. Guess what? Price doesn’t have to be an object with this […]
Maybe it’s entirely because of podcast ads, but drag-and-drop tools like Squarespace have gotten immensely popular in recent years. While it’s definitely a great tool for any non-coders who want to get a small website up and running quickly, managing content with a primarily visual interface can become a pain once you have more than […]
When you can’t wait for the world’s longest meeting to end, the mindless leg bouncing makes your boredom obvious and just annoys everybody else. Everyone knows the TPS reports need the damn cover sheet, but some sadistic colleague keeps forgetting, probably on purpose just to eat into your lunch hour. Enough is enough!While serving a […]