Computer Crime and Punishment

Two recent cases, one in the United States and the other in Germany, point out the problem of how we determine the appropriate punishment for computer hackers.  To a great extent, we both over-punish and under-punish these crimes; sometimes both in the same case. Most crimes are fairly discrete events.  You rob a bank, you commit an assault, and…

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Worst Breach Ever; Why the Sony Breach May be the Most Significant Security Breach in US History

It all sounds like the plot of a major Hollywood blockbuster. Dave Skylark of the TV show “Skylark Tonight” and his producer Aaron Rapoport are recruited by the CIA to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in  the movie, “The Interview.” Haven’t seen it?  It’s no wonder. The film’s distributor, Sony Pictures, was supposed to release…

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I’m From the Government, I’m Here to Help- DOJ Announces New Cyber-Security Section

The Department of Justice is establishing a new unit within the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Criminal Division designed to actually help entities prevent cybercrime, instead of just prosecuting it after it happens, according to a speech at Georgetown University at the Cybercrime 2020 Symposium by Assistant Attorney General (AAG) Leslie R. Caldwell. The problem…

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Sen. Wyden’s Plan to Close Backdoors May Backfire

It has long been suspected that the U.S. government has consistently installed back door programs, remote access programs or other vulnerabilities in U.S. hardware, software, supply chain, telecommunications devices, and well, just about everything. Oh, and they are also beaming signals directly into your brain.  Except that one of these statements is a delusional fantasy.…

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State Secrets

I previously wrote about the government’s use of things like Dirt Box and Stingray – technologies that allow the government to surreptitiously intercept either the contents of communications, or the data about those communications (including cell phone locations) without the hassle and bother of actually having to ask the phone company for copies of their…

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