Judge Sentences Hacker to 6 Years Without Computers

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Judge Sentences Hacker to 6 Years Without Computers

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It's like that crappy 1990s Hackers movie was real.

You know the story: Zero Cool was a dastardly 11 year old kid who took down a bunch of computers and caused the New York Stock Exchange to drop in 1988. He's arrested and sentenced to stay away from computers until he's 18 years old. Wait, that's just the set up for Hackers.

Sorry, I was confused for a second there and that's because nearly the exact same scenario happened to a teenager from California last week, except he was sentenced to six years away from a keyboard. The kid hacker - known as Cosmo the God - formed a group called UG Nazi to ostensibly protest against the SOPA legislation proposed earlier this year. He organized takedowns of NASDAQ, CIA.gov, and UFC.com, and conceived new social engineering tricks to gain access to all kinds of information such as user accounts at Amazon and PayPal. Arrested in June, a judge forewent a prison sentence for Cosmo and instead ordered that he couldn't use a computer or the internet for six years without written permission. Cosmo will be 21 years old when his probation ends.

Of course, there are some who think the judgement was too severe. "Ostensibly they could have locked him up for three years straight and then released him on juvenile parole," said Jay Leiderman, a lawyer who has defended hackers like Cosmo in the past.

"To keep someone off the Internet for six years - that one term seems unduly harsh. You're talking about a really bright, gifted kid in terms of all things Internet. And at some point after getting on the right path he could do some really good things. I feel that monitored Internet access for six years is a bit on the hefty side. It could sideline his whole life-his career path, his art, his skills.

"At some level it's like taking away Mozart's piano," the lawyer said.

Now before you say that you need to use the internet or a computer to even function in most schools, part of Cosmo's judgement allows him to use sanctioned devices for purely educational purposes. He has to disclose every device he owns that's able to connect to a network, and must be supervised whenever he accesses the internet to make sure he is only using the information to write papers or research history.

I guess he won't be doing any hanky-panky on the internet with a parole officer looking over his shoulder. That's a good thing right?

Source: Wired

Permalink

Greg Tito:
Judge Sentences Hacker to 6 Years Without Computers

image

It's like that crappy 1990s Hackers movie was real.

You know the story: Zero Cool was a dastardly 11 year old kid who took down a bunch of computers and caused the New York Stock Exchange to drop in 1988. He's arrested and sentenced to stay away from computers until he's 18 years old. Wait, that's just the set up for Hackers.

Sorry, I was confused for a second there and that's because nearly the exact same scenario happened to a teenager from California last week, except he was sentenced to six years away from a keyboard. The kid hacker - known as Cosmo the God - formed a group called UG Nazi to ostensibly protest against the SOPA legislation proposed earlier this year. He organized takedowns of NASDAQ, CIA.gov, and UFC.com, and conceived new social engineering tricks to gain access to all kinds of information such as user accounts at Amazon and PayPal. Arrested in June, a judge forewent a prison sentence for Cosmo and instead ordered that he couldn't use a computer or the internet for six years without written permission. Cosmo will be 21 years old when his probation ends.

Of course, there are some who think the judgement was too sever. "Ostensibly they could have locked him up for three years straight and then released him on juvenile parole," said Jay Leiderman, a lawyer who has defended hackers like Cosmo in the past.

"To keep someone off the Internet for six years - that one term seems unduly harsh. You're talking about a really bright, gifted kid in terms of all things Internet. And at some point after getting on the right path he could do some really good things. I feel that monitored Internet access for six years is a bit on the hefty side. It could sideline his whole life-his career path, his art, his skills.

"At some level it's like taking away Mozart's piano," the lawyer said.

Now before you say that you need to use the internet or a computer to even function in most schools, part of Cosmo's judgement allows him to use sanctioned devices for purely educational purposes. He has to disclose every device he owns that's able to connect to a network, and must be supervised whenever he accesses the internet to make sure he only using the information to write papers or research history.

I guess he won't be doing any hanky-panky on the internet with a parole officer looking over his shoulder. That's a good thing right?

Source: Wired

Permalink

Wasn't it a few years ago that the Government was hiring people just like this kid to work for them?

Hm.

All I gotta say is: get dunked, nooblord.

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Being serious though, the punishment is mild compared to what he probably could have gotten. Being put in jail for three years is probably worse than not getting to do internet things - and quite frankly, the punishment fits the crime. It's not like this is a total ban either, he can still access the internet if he gets approval, so I doubt that this will inhibit him as much as his lawyer says.

I say hire him part time at $5.15/hr. There must be a little exemption for minimum wage with deliquents.

Seems a bit excessive to me, but then again I live in a country where the focus is on rehabilitation and not outright punishment.

I thought internet had turned into a human right over the years?
Apparently not

It's still a bit fascinating to me how there's nothing legal you can do to get more rights as a minor but there are a number of illegal things you can do as a minor to get you treated as having the recognizance an adult.

No display of maturity as a 17-year-old will make it legal for you to bone somebody, drink, smoke or vote; but if you kill enough people as a twelve year old you can get tried as an adult. Modern society is fun that way, isn't it?

Mozart couldn't steal personal information leading to theft of funds with a freakin' piano could he? This lawyer...

But...I liked Hackers.

A 15 year old kid is doing this? Shit man, why not just hire the kid to teach y'all a thing or two.

Taxes are paying to have this kid's internet usage monitored? That's quite a load right there.

How exactly is this to be enforced? Because unless someone is with him 24/7 this is a joke. If anything, I heard of these lovely places called internet cafes that offer anonymous access to the internet. Heck, screw that, if he doesn't do anything stupid he could use the internet to his heart's content with a laptop/netbook/tablet and some free wi-fi...

Don't get me wrong, I don't mind. Either punish the kid or don't, this is just silly.

Greg Tito:
It's like that crappy 1990s Hackers movie was real.

Greg, me and you are gonna have words.
Stern words, mostly involving your taste in movies.

Next thing you know we're gonna have a Plague on our hands, and this kid will be the only one who can save the day.

i would love to get a retro review of the movie hackers by movie bob.

ot: 6 years without internet.. are they insane.. it will just make him figure out how to hack into the internet itself from some unknown unlikely device. does that mean he cant play on xbox live? or the psn? or the wii? i mean wth man... 6 years is too hard =(

CardinalPiggles:
Mozart couldn't steal personal information leading to theft of funds with a freakin' piano could he? This lawyer...

2 words "ticket prices"

OT: really if this kid was smart enough to do all of that. then I don't see how he will be restricted for long.

captcha: Please enter "Get The Hopper Free", but I don't want one captcha especially with an inferior satellite system. Well if I must I will lie to post

Put his skinny ass in front of a computer, you nitwits, and have him help out to protect what he sought to destroy.

Captcha: Live life

A fitting punishment, that judge should be given a medal

Capitano Segnaposto:

Wasn't it a few years ago that the Government was hiring people just like this kid to work for them?

Hm.

Yeah didn't you hear that computer jobs are the most oversaturated in the United States at the moment? What, you didn't think that meant government jobs too?

I'd file this under Cruel and Unusual Punishment. Taking away one's ability to use a computer in the 21st century is utterly crippling.

wow...
Is it even possible to keep someone off the internet for 6 years?
I mean by 2015 (unless the world ends in 1.5 months) we will most likely have internet in every little thing we touch...
Gifted youngster thou, too bad he uses his talent in the wrong way according to society...

Dont most countries have a law against Cruel and Unusual punishments?

Wouldnt that fall under unusual punishments? You could probably make a case for cruel too, considering how much of peoples lives (especially if he goes to a standard school) revolves around computers and online research.

Just sayin...

How are they gunna do it? Make him use AT&T DSL?

Like taking away Mozart's Piano? This is more like taking away an assassin's favourite gun. Yes, they may be astoundingly talented with it, but that doesn't change the fact that he uses that gun to break the laws. That's exactly what this person did and deserves day of those six years that he gets.

It's not cruel or unusual to take away someone's means of crime. Next time he should think before he acts.

Uber Waddles:
Dont most countries have a law against Cruel and Unusual punishments?

Wouldnt that fall under unusual punishments? You could probably make a case for cruel too, considering how much of peoples lives (especially if he goes to a standard school) revolves around computers and online research.

Just sayin...

So you're telling me it's a cruel and unusual punishment to limit a 15 year old boy's access to the internet to strictly educational material? My oh my.
Seriously though look at what he did, he got let off easy if you ask me
http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2012/09/cosmo-the-god-who-fell-to-earth/all/

Uber Waddles:
Dont most countries have a law against Cruel and Unusual punishments?

Wouldnt that fall under unusual punishments? You could probably make a case for cruel too, considering how much of peoples lives (especially if he goes to a standard school) revolves around computers and online research.

Just sayin...

No, its Cruel And Unusual punishment. This is just unusual, but its not like he is being completely denied the internet. While there is a good deal of school work that reqiures internet usuage, they are allowing him, with supervision, to use it for school related activities, and also allowing him usage for personal use, so long as he has written consent and is being supervised.

I would think getting thrown into preson for a 15 year old to be significantly worse.

Also, how exactly are they going to enforce the restrictions of his internet usage?

Uber Waddles:
Dont most countries have a law against Cruel and Unusual punishments?

Wouldnt that fall under unusual punishments? You could probably make a case for cruel too, considering how much of peoples lives (especially if he goes to a standard school) revolves around computers and online research.

Just sayin...

On the flip side this is a punishment geared towards the crime, if this is too "cruel" I guess they could lock him up for the whole 6 years and accomplish the same thing.

Capitano Segnaposto:
Wasn't it a few years ago that the Government was hiring people just like this kid to work for them?

Hm.

Yup, but then they found that people who like to interfere with and damage infrastructure for their own amusement are not the most reliable sorts.

I think he's got away lightly. DDoS attacks on commercial websites is one thing, but the guy was developing ways to gain access to people's credit cards and computers, six years without internet is very light for aiding fraud.

TKretts3:
Like taking away Mozart's Piano? This is more like taking away an assassin's favourite gun. Yes, they may be astoundingly talented with it, but that doesn't change the fact that he uses that gun to break the laws. That's exactly what this person did and deserves day of those six years that he gets.

It's not cruel or unusual to take away someone's means of crime. Next time he should think before he acts.

Get the hell off my internet.

Next we'll be hearing about how it's ok to tell someone they can't read books anymore because they learned how to create makeshift weapons in some novel they read.

Cosmo The God hacked WoodysGamertag :/

After Woody gave his opinions on this I agree with him, Cosmo got too harsh of a punishment.

This is cruel and unusual punishment.

No man should be without internet access.

Sounds like he got off easy. No prison sentence. No fines or community service either? People have been locked up for hacking with less consequences for the victims before, and for good reason.

Uber Waddles:
Dont most countries have a law against Cruel and Unusual punishments?

You must've misunderstood what those are about. They generally ban punishments like torture, incarceration under inhumane conditions, revenge against family, debtor's prisons (where inmates had to pay for their upkeep), that sort of thing. Basically anything medieval.

Such laws say nothing about relevant forms of punishment, like for instance denying a convicted pedophile work at a kindergarten, taking away the driver's license of a convicted drunk driver, or denying a convicted hacker acces to computers.

Denying someone access to the greatest repository of human knowledge in existence is deplorable, and anyone who says otherwise should be ashamed of themselves.

Blablahb:
Sounds like he got off easy. No prison sentence. No fines or community service either? People have been locked up for hacking with less consequences for the victims before, and for good reason.

Uber Waddles:
Dont most countries have a law against Cruel and Unusual punishments?

You must've misunderstood what those are about. They generally ban punishments like torture, incarceration under inhumane conditions, revenge against family, debtor's prisons (where inmates had to pay for their upkeep), that sort of thing. Basically anything medieval.

Such laws say nothing about relevant forms of punishment, like for instance denying a convicted pedophile work at a kindergarten, or denying a convicted hacker acces to computers.

Actually it does. See, torture, debtor's prison, punishment of family, and unnecessary incarceration are cruel punishments, not particularly unusual ones. Making up a unique kind of punishment for a specific offender is what is implied by the 'unusual' part.

Besides, the kid is 15. Cut him some damn slack, they don't punish teenage drug dealers nearly that harshly. They really are wasting his talents.

renegade7:

Besides, the kid is 15. Cut him some damn slack, they don't punish teenage drug dealers nearly that harshly. They really are wasting his talents.

No, he doesn't deserve any slack. He's close enough to 'adult hood' that he should be held accountable as one. He knew he was breaking laws, more over, he very likely laughed about it while he was breaking them.

or would you rather he went back to swiping peoples personal information? This is no different then revoking some ones right to own a firearm after they shoot some one, so i don't see what the big deal is. The punishment hardly fits the crime though.

renegade7:

Blablahb:
Sounds like he got off easy. No prison sentence. No fines or community service either? People have been locked up for hacking with less consequences for the victims before, and for good reason.

Uber Waddles:
Dont most countries have a law against Cruel and Unusual punishments?

You must've misunderstood what those are about. They generally ban punishments like torture, incarceration under inhumane conditions, revenge against family, debtor's prisons (where inmates had to pay for their upkeep), that sort of thing. Basically anything medieval.

Such laws say nothing about relevant forms of punishment, like for instance denying a convicted pedophile work at a kindergarten, or denying a convicted hacker acces to computers.

Actually it does. See, torture, debtor's prison, punishment of family, and unnecessary incarceration are cruel punishments, not particularly unusual ones. Making up a unique kind of punishment for a specific offender is what is implied by the 'unusual' part.

Besides, the kid is 15. Cut him some damn slack, they don't punish teenage drug dealers nearly that harshly. They really are wasting his talents.

While I'm hardly a expert on the subject I would think that the punishment for teenage drug dealers would be some jail time/juvi, which I would imagine would do a lot worse things to his talents. IMO the fact he'll never spend a minute inside a cell for his crimes plus getting to go home/school like a normal kid is getting off very lightly. As for his age I remember enough about being 15 to know that I knew what was right/wrong and that doing something wrong, especially a crime resulted in severe punishments. And if this kid was smart enough to do this crime he most certainly was smart enough to know what would happen if he got caught.

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