Are criminal penalties for hacking excessive?
StillADotcommer 37 weeks ago
This week Andrew Auernheimer was sentence to 41 months (!) in prison for exposing an AT&T security flaw. I know that is a bit biased in how I stated it, but he found and exploited a weakness that AT&T should be hanging their head over, didn't use any of the information he was able to access to take anything, and turned it over the Gawker to publicize the issue. Aurenheimer may come off as a bit of a jerk at times, but 41 months in federal prison for THAT?!? It was only a month or so ago that Aaron Swartz committed suicide while facing 35 years in federal prison + a $1,000,000 fine for accessing a server and downloading a ton of academic articles. I know it sounds cliché, but people really do often get lesser sentences for killing people.
On the other hand, I've had a personal account compromised in the past, and I would love for whoever did it to spend some time in prison (but even then not decades). What do people think; Are the punishments for hacking under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act unfair, or is it what we need to dissuade people from committing cybercrimes?
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