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Sentencing Study Probes Hacker Motives
Since September 11 and the passing of the USA Patriot Act into law, hackers have been lumped into an homogeneous and enigmatic category of evildoers, along with terrorists, drug dealers, and arms smugglers. The act provides for a maximum of ten years in jail for first time computer criminals, and the definitions of these crimes are vague at best.
But the USA Patriot Act alone does not govern how judges sentence hackers. That job is left up to the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC), and the task of discerning the harmless intrusion from the harmful has fallen squarely on the shoulders of Michael Edmund O'Neill.
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