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Sweden to Make Denial of Service Attacks Illegal 108

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the play-nicer dept.
paulraps writes "Sweden is to pass legislation making Denial of Service attacks illegal. The offense will carry a maximum jail term of two years, and is thought to be a direct response to the attack which crashed the Swedish police's web site last summer. Nobody was charged for that, but the fact that it came shortly after a raid on the Pirate Bay's servers was thought by many to be not entirely coincidental. Sweden's move follows the UK, which is even tougher on web attackers — there the sentence can be over five years in prison."
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Sweden to Make Denial of Service Attacks Illegal

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  • Not going to work (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Kaleo (1041478) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:39PM (#18073868)
    It damn well SHOULD be illegal, but unfortunately making it illegal isn't going to accomplish anything. Look at marijuana, it's illegal but everyone does it anyways. It will be unenforceable.
  • Pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by forgoil (104808) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:39PM (#18073874) Homepage
    Take a quick look at everything that is illegal in Sweden, take a look at all the laws (seriously, do), and I can tell you that this doesn't really make a difference. Just because you make something illegal doesn't mean it will go away, something they refuse to realize in this country of mine...
  • Good! (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:40PM (#18073890)
    DOS attacks are not funny. They should be treated a serious crime. Two years max sounds about right to me. It's a sufficient penalty to not be a "slap on the wrist", but neither is it a draconian "lock 'em up and throw away the key" response.
  • Tracking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by HomelessInLaJolla (1026842) * <lajollahomeless@hotmail.com> on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:41PM (#18073926) Homepage Journal
    How do you suppose they'll handle compromised systems, proxies, or VPNs? If I root someone else's system and am knowledgeable enough to cover my tracks how do they propose to track me down? The FP also mentioned the Slashdot effect. How do you think they could handle a network of web pages which, when visited, all make requests from the targetted server (similar to pay-per-click scamming)?
  • Too bad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by cdrguru (88047) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:44PM (#18073968) Homepage
    Too bad they don't understand that the Internet is a consequences-free zone.

    You can do just about anything on the Internet and are safe from prosecution. Why? Because the Internet crosses international borders and we all know that international law enforcement is just about impossible. No two countries have the same laws, the same penalties or even agree that the same things are criminal acts.

    So, Sweden can pass all the laws they want to, but it will have no effect unless every country on the planet agrees that DDOS attacks are a criminal act with at least two years in jail being an appropriate penalty this will have no effect.

    What is likely to happen is they will track some stupid show-off bragging script kiddie to Canada where it will be declared that they aren't going to extradite because it would bruise the delinquents ego. Or, the perp will be tracked to Romania where the response will be "So?"

    Under the right circumstances, the US would probably even shield a perpetrator.

    No, unfortunately for many people the Internet is destined to remain consequences-free for a long time to come.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:02PM (#18074272)
    Umm, you know, the swedish prison system is run by the national government, so there is no money to be made by the prison industry there.
  • by rTough (316345) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:13PM (#18074410)
    Intent is the keyword in Swedish law. As I assume it is in most countries.

    Blowing up mailboxes is of course illegal and has been since long before there were mailboxes.
  • Re:Tracking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by suffe (72090) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:36PM (#18074724) Homepage Journal
    They are politicians, why should this bother them? They'll just leave the problem solving to someone else. And as everyone knows, the legal system will only use the new powers to do good when it is evident that the found person is in fact the culprit. No one ever interpreted a law by its words rather then by its intention, did they?
  • Re:Pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by susano_otter (123650) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:56PM (#18075018) Homepage
    I don't think laws are about preventing crime, so much as they are about setting up a "payback" system for crime.

    I think of it this way: You take something from society, you should give up something of your own in exchange. Ideally, you should give up something that pays society back in exchange for what you took, but in practice this is difficult to manage. (However, in America at least, we do have civil courts for people who want to try to get paid back in this way.) Instead, societies over the years have settled on conventions of what is "just" for a person to give up, in exchange for the privilege of taking something away from society.

    In this case, the Swedish people, as represented by their government, have determined that two years of freedom is a just thing to give up, in exchange for attempting a denial of service attack.

    Imprisonment might seem like a strange thing to exchange for many crimes (including DDOS attacks), but over thousands of years, imprisonment is what most societies have come up with, as the best (or least bad, if you prefer) exchange for most crimes. Other exchanges include fines, confiscation of property, exile, torture, maiming, and execution, as well as combinations of these things.

    It's obvious that many people will continue to commit crimes regardless of the deterrents put in their way. The justice system isn't called the "deterrence system", after all. But it's called the "justice system" precisely because it codifies these tradeoffs: take something from society, give up something of your own in return.
  • by romland (192158) on Monday February 19, 2007 @10:21PM (#18076950)
    what else kind of evidence could there be before an attack is actually committed?
    Oh, having a botnet of a few hundred zombies comes to mind...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @05:58AM (#18079756)
    They won't be arrested for anything, since they probably didn't do nothing.

    However, no one mentions the political change that occurred this autumn.
    After twelve years of social democrats (left) we (swedes) now have the so called "alliance" (right) since a few months back.
    Even though the social democrat's minister of justice (Tomas Bodström) was just the same kind of openly left and inner right kind of parrot that Blair is -- repeating whatever baloney the monkey in the white house spits out, there were never any successful arrests or trials for file sharing, torrent-sites, etc. However, it'll be interesting how much the new political power will bend over to thy mighty George Christ and arbitrary corporate organizations.
    I'm sure we'll see more laws (like this), since that's the easiest way of showing political will and competence.

    Personally I might move to Russia or China where you are a hell lot more free to use your hardware as you wish. Sure it has draw-backs, especially in China with the firewall and everything (and they kill their citizens, just like in the US), but what the hell... What country isn't completely fucked up today anyway? Either we have some dictators thinking they know best for everyone or we have the "democratic" corporate dictatorships (which some people refer to as "the free world")...

    I think what you get is what you give, and the authorities today, give an awful lot of shit to their citizens...

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