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Using Net Proxies Will Lead To Harsher Sentences 366

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-word-on-mask-and-cape-penalties dept.
Afforess writes "'Proxy servers are an everyday part of Internet surfing. But using one in a crime could soon lead to more time in the clink,' reports the Associated Press. The new federal rules would make the use of proxy servers count as 'sophistication' in a crime, leading to 25% longer jail sentences. Privacy advocates complain this will disincentivize privacy and anonymity online. '[The government is telling people] ... if you take normal steps to protect your privacy, we're going to view you as a more sophisticated criminal,' writes the Center for Democracy and Technology. Others fear this may lead to 'cruel and unusual punishments' as Internet and cell phone providers often use proxies without users' knowledge to reroute Internet traffic. This may also ultimately harm corporations when employees abuse VPN's, as they too are counted as a 'proxy' in the new legislation. TOR, a common Internet anonymizer, is also targeted in the new legislation. Some analysts believe this legislation is an effort to stop leaked US Government information from reaching outside sources, such as Wikileaks. The legislation (PDF, the proposed amendment is on pages 5-15) will be voted on by the United States Sentencing Commission on April 15, and is set to take effect on November 1st. The EFF has already urged the Commission to reject the amendment."
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Using Net Proxies Will Lead To Harsher Sentences

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  • Frorst (Score:4, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @07:39PM (#27579749) Homepage Journal

    They'll have to catch me firs&^&*(no carrier

    • We must flee this tyrannical legal system in our army of privately owned submarines! oh wait, they though of that: page 30, PROPOSED AMENDMENT: SUBMERSIBLE VESSELS The Act creates a new offense at 18 U.S.C. Â 2285 (Operation of Submersible Vessel or Semi-Submersible Vessel Without Nationality), which provides: âoeWhoever knowingly operates, or attempts or conspires to operate, by any means, or embarks in any submersible vessel or semi-submersible vessel that is without nationality and that is na
      • by Chyeld (713439)

        Drug running. That part I can actually understand.

        • by Jafafa Hots (580169) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @09:03PM (#27580741) Homepage Journal

          well, unless you actually think about the how much sense the "war on drugs" makes in the first place.

          • by MadnessASAP (1052274) <madnessasap@gmail.com> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @09:12PM (#27580839)

            I personally lead a hell of war agaisnt drugs. Why not last Saturday not only ground parts of the cannabis plant into very small pieces and proceeded to abuse them by packign them very tightly together, I lit them on fire. I take to ridding the world of all drugs quite often using similar techniques it's a wonder I haven't received more recognition for my truely valiant efforts.

          • by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @09:58PM (#27581337) Homepage

            Honeslty it only causes people to be more insidious. if I want to do something "illegal" online, I'm going to starbucks.

            Also this new "law" is only to criminalize the common citizen. Hackers, ones that are real not the ankle biter wanna-be's, have ALWAYS used not only a proxy but a different location, you dont hack from your home unless you are a complete moron. well you dont download your Mp3's and movies from home. build a nice high gain dish antenna and steal wifi to do your mp3 and movies. if you make it mobile and know what you are doing you can go to multiple locations and suck it up. Hotels are a great place to grab the free Wifi this way and sit and download that new album that the police will send you to jail for.

            Also, get yourself a "dirty" laptop. something that you can ditch and not have anything that can identify it as yours. Great idea is a laptop that has a easily removed hard drive. Think the heat is on? snatch the drive, dump the laptop (bonus points for having a decoy HDD to slap in it.) and now you can stash a 2.5" drive easily. cops dont have hard drive sniffing dogs yet.

            Because your government hates you, you need to adopt the tools and techniques of the past pioneers that figured it out before you. You gotta treat everything as suspect, be random in your open AP's that you use, and dont get lazy.

            They hate you and will be happy if you are rotting in jail. Dont give them the chance in capturing you, and be sure you can destroy your evidence if you are cornered.

            I'm not overblowing this, this kind of crap is only going to get worse. Many innocent people will be forced to become criminals because of more and more corrupt laws like this.

            • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:11PM (#27581457) Journal

              Also, get yourself a "dirty" laptop. something that you can ditch and not have anything that can identify it as yours. Great idea is a laptop that has a easily removed hard drive.

              Of course for the price of that laptop you just ditched you could probably have bought a lot of $0.99 tracks on iTunes and saved yourself the hassle ;)

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by EdIII (1114411) *

                Of course for the price of that laptop you just ditched you could probably have bought a lot of $0.99 tracks on iTunes and saved yourself the hassle ;)

                That's if you really think this is about software/media piracy in the first place. Truly, this has nothing to do with music at all. It's the equivalent of "think of the children", when 99.99999999% of the time that is said, they are thinking about EVERYTHING BUT THE CHILDREN.

                It's just an excuse. "Think of the MP3's!!!!"

                No. This is about control. Who has

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward

              I believe the FBI busted the stolen identity black market guy by setting up wi-fi honey pots by where he lived because they noticed all the IPs were near that location.

    • Tor, blimey, mate!

      They're a right bunch of wankers!

  • But (Score:5, Interesting)

    by EkriirkE (1075937) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @07:44PM (#27579803) Homepage
    What about forced proxy usage? Like using opera mini. Even in sockets mode, it seems to pipe through the Swedish proxy.
    • Re:But (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:00PM (#27580037)

      OT, but I twigged on the Opera Mini comment.

      Warning: Opera Mini fakes out the SSL connections - resulting in the Swedish proxy seeing all of the supposedly encrypted traffic.

      • Re:But (Score:5, Informative)

        by EkriirkE (1075937) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:18PM (#27580263) Homepage
        Wow, good to know. I'll rethink what I do on my phone now. After reading [wikipedia.org] about that, seems like it's Norway, not Sweden. Whatever.
    • Re:But (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Warhawke (1312723) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:11PM (#27580197)
      I think /. is missing the point. They are claiming that using a proxy implies sophistication. There's truth to that, as sophistication is a neutral term in a neutral environment. But 25% more of 0 time spent in jail is still 0. Don't do illegal sh** on your proxy and you'll be fine. If you do illegal sh** on your proxy, don't get caught, and you'll also be fine. But if you're using a proxy to prevent detection of your illegal activity, that is rationally a sign of sophistication and justifiably warrants increased jail-time.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        How is following what every single goddamned script kiddie hax0r guide tells you to do considered sophistication?? And is there a decent reference for each state and country on what is illegal and what is not? Is Port Scanning a crime?

        If anything we should be prosecuting the proxy owners for not keeping decent logs. And considering how the Sarah Palin email thing went most of the sane ones do, so we shouldn't even be doing that.
      • Re:But (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:33PM (#27580459)

        That's the issue: More and more stuff is being criminalized. Seen the ACTA treaty, the parts that were leaked? It allows private parties to initiate criminal (as in don't drop the soap) action against individuals in the US. In the UK, this is already done, but here in the US, private goons can't have someone arrested, then figure out how to prosecute a case later... yet.

        Add the fact that ISPs are ordered to keep logs indefinitely (and a number will happily hand them over to anyone), it creates an aura of surveillance. Thoughtcrime anyone? Right now, the solution is proxies. For example, the proxy I use does keep logs, but ditches them after a couple days if there isn't an obvious intrusion or case of abuse, which is reasonable. There have been claims that proxies that "don't keep logs" actually do, so I'd rather know the disposing time of an honest service.

        This attack on anonymity isn't going to catch the criminals (they are in countries with less Draconian laws, or are hijacking a legit connection), it is mainly a tool to go after dissidents and help keep more in depth profiles of Internet users.

        • Re:But (Score:4, Insightful)

          by SilverJets (131916) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:37PM (#27581973) Homepage

          You're reading conspiracy where there isn't any. It is not making the use of a proxy for your normal, every day, non-criminal activities illegal. It is when you actively use a proxy to attempt to hide your identity when committing a crime. If you are not committing a crime, you have nothing to get upset about and can happily continue to use your proxy. The article reads like it is attempting to spread FUD.

          • Re:But (Score:5, Interesting)

            by nabsltd (1313397) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @12:44AM (#27582399)

            It is not making the use of a proxy for your normal, every day, non-criminal activities illegal. It is when you actively use a proxy to attempt to hide your identity when committing a crime.

            By definition, a proxy helps to "attempt to hide your identity", whether or not that hiding is truly effective or intentional is a matter for debate.

            But, take things like libel, which in the US used to have truth as an iron-clad defense. That is no more (at least in one jurisdiction), so if you use a proxy to do something libelous, you are now on the hook for more than before.

            The point the GP was making (and that you missed completely) is that so many actions are illegal that sometimes even knowing is hard, and as things like copyright infringement become criminal in all cases (if the **AA has their way), then the act of posting a video to YouTube via a proxy isn't just a DMCA takedown issue, but becomes a crime with 25% more jail time than not using a proxy, regardless of any reason you might be using the proxy.

      • Re:But (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Jumperalex (185007) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:34PM (#27580469)

        Why is that? What does "sophistication" have to do with the underlying crime? You either did something illegal, with an actual victim or you did not. How good you are at doing it should have nothing to do with your punishment. Consider it from the other perspective: just because someone is too stupid to use a proxy to cover their illegal activity means they should get a LOWER sentence? WTF? And what exactly is the purpose? It won't be a deterrent to the real crime. The future criminal is just as likely to attempt ID theft, hack a system, attempt to launder money, extort, etc etc regardless if they know using a proxy to do it is also illegal?

        So what is the real intent ... to inflate sentences with false logic because they know increasing the penalty on the actual crime committed (you know the one that actually had the victim) would stretch the limits of legitimacy and seem in and of itself excessive. Well too bad. Either make the case that the current penalty isn't enough or move on; but stop inventing crimes.

        and of course none of this addressing the chilling effect such a law would have on 100% legal and legitimate uses ... but uses for which the government might not like and so now they can charge you with 1) the dubious charge for the act they didn't like but isn't REALLY illegal, and 2) the sophistication charge (or modifier, whatever the more legal term would be). So now you are in a deeper pickle and are more likely to plead out since the "lesser charge" of using a proxy just might stick vice the bogus charge of [insert tin foil hat worthy activity here].

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jafafa Hots (580169)

          And what exactly is the purpose?
          So what is the real intent ... ...the chilling effect such a law would have on 100% legal and legitimate uses ... but uses for which the government might not like

          you answered you own question.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Mal-2 (675116)

          I think the theory is that using a proxy reduces the likelihood of getting caught. Thus, when they DO catch someone, they must sentence more harshly for all the other people (and other offenses by the same person) that went undetected. Not that 25% is likely to be much of a deterrent, but that is probably the rationalization of the idea.

          Mal-2

      • Re:But (Score:5, Informative)

        by FSWKU (551325) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:50PM (#27581689)

        Don't do illegal sh** on your proxy and you'll be fine. If you do illegal sh** on your proxy, don't get caught, and you'll also be fine. But if you're using a proxy to prevent detection of your illegal activity, that is rationally a sign of sophistication and justifiably warrants increased jail-time.

        That line of thinking is all fine and good in a perfect world. Sadly, none of us live there. With the increases in domestic spying, dragnets to catch "pirates" and whatnot, this is a VERY bad thing. Sure, you're doing nothing illegal NOW. But whatabout when they change the definition of what is legal and what is not?

        Get caught using a proxy to write about why you hate Obama? Well, you just got five years instead of four, you dirty, hacking, unpatriotic racist! Post in a livejournal about your personal stance on abortion, AND do it while logged in through TOR? You must be planning to bomb a Planned Parenthood clinic. Go to Jail, do not pass Go.

        I'm not saying that you shouldn't be punished for doing something that's blatantly wrong. The problem lies in the fact that those in power can change the legality of certain things to pander to their target demographic. How long before unpopular political ideas are illegal in this country? Then, not only will sharing your ideas get you a prison sentence, attempting to mask your identity/location will get you MORE time behind bars. Think about that...

      • Re:But (Score:5, Insightful)

        by shoemilk (1008173) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:09PM (#27581823) Journal
        I think /. is missing the point. They are claiming that using a ski mask implies sophistication. There's truth to that, as sophistication is a neutral term in a neutral environment. But 25% more of 0 time spent in jail is still 0. Don't do illegal sh** with your ski mask and you'll be fine. If you do illegal sh** with your ski mask, don't get caught, and you'll also be fine. But if you're using a ski mask to prevent detection of your illegal activity by hiding your face, that is rationally a sign of sophistication and justifiably warrants increased jail-time.

        Where are the bills claiming this? Where are the ski mask bills? Everyone knows there's no other reason for ski masks but armed robbery!
  • s/disincentivize/disincent/g

  • I have to use a proxy since sometimes I can't get through directly connecting to Slashdot.org.

    I don't see how it is sophistication as it is just a bookmark to get to Slashdot.org.

    Silly law. I think most laws on the Internet are silly though.

    Like if someone is breaking into military computers, they're typically doing it via another government so our laws don't apply to them.
  • by certain death (947081) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @07:48PM (#27579871)
    We will rename Proxies to Application Firewalls once they get all the wording in their laws right and passed! :o)
    • by EkriirkE (1075937)
      Or "tunnel"
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by CarpetShark (865376)

      Pretty sure they'll define proxy somewhere in the law by its features, rather than relying on the commonly accepted (and fluid) meaning. In other words, it won't matter what YOU call it, if it fits their definition.

      Either use a properly secure (i.e., end-to-end encrypted, proxied, indirect, padded, anonymous, etc.) p2p network, or better, do it in the open, and stand up for yourself in court, so others can do the same and add their voices to yours.

      • by russotto (537200)

        or better, do it in the open, and stand up for yourself in court, so others can do the same and add their voices to yours.

        Standing up for yourself in court leads to nothing but an anonymous jail cell.

    • by trentblase (717954) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:22PM (#27580311)
      First, it's not a law, merely a guideline (they are amending a comment). Second, the comment does not say "proxy". It says: "In a scheme involving computers, using any technology or software to conceal the identity or geographic location of the perpetrator ordinarily indicates sophisticated means". Note the word "ordinarily." I am a privacy advocate, but this is not a particularly scary turn of events. It's basically saying that if you commit a crime and use technology to hide who you are, judges are encouraged to increase sentencing because you are likely to be a more sophisticated criminal than one who did not have the forethought to hide his identity. It sounds downright plausible to me.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        What about the principle of "equal time for equal crime". I know it is a far from perfect, but this seems to contradict the concept of "precedence" whereby other criminals can get fairer treatment by citing the punishments other people got. The system seems to be no longer punishing the crime but seems to be punishing people for legal actions which are irrelevant to the crime.

  • Great idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 77Punker (673758) <spencr04@nOsPAm.highpoint.edu> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @07:50PM (#27579887)

    Just what the country with the world's highest incarceration rates needs, longer sentences!

    Let's get tough on crime!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Just what the country with the world's highest incarceration rates needs, longer sentences!

      Let's get tough on crime!

      Convicting a large non-random sample of the population disenfranchises those who disagree with the establishment. I think that's pretty smart planning. No good for the country, of course, but that hardly matters.

    • Re:Great idea (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Renraku (518261) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @01:14AM (#27582543) Homepage

      Let's get tough on (non-violent) crime!

      We don't have enough pot-smokers or copyright breakers in federal prison, stored with the rapists, murderers, and kidnappers.

      Let's crowd them in there with some proxy-users, too.

      Note you'll never see a scamming CEO or embezzling CFO in jail with murderers, rapists, and kidnappers. They have a separate prison for them.

  • by Jason Pollock (45537) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @07:52PM (#27579909) Homepage

    Every telco that I know of uses a transparent proxy to improve performance.

    There are proxies on the receiving end too.

    Heck, proxies usually make things _easier_ for law enforcement, they tend to keep logs that they can get at without letting the target know.

    Oh, I get it, they're against private ownership of proxies.

    That's fine, ban the proxy!

    • by Firethorn (177587)

      Oh, I get it, they're against private ownership of proxies.

      I think that it's legislation written by/for legislatures who don't really know how the internet works.

      The law would be fine if it targeted specifically 'anonymizing' proxies, that the user deliberately sets up, as opposed to a transparent proxy you don't even know about, or the corporate proxy that you have to use because the firewall blocks 80 and 443 from anywhere else.

      • To be clear, this is not legislation.
      • The law would be fine if it targeted specifically 'anonymizing' proxies, that the user deliberately sets up,

        Um ... why would that be fine? That's even worse, from a privacy perspective, than banning ISP or corporate proxies. The government has a habit of assuming that a. they have an intrinsic right to know everything about a citizen (they don't) and b. that any citizen trying to hide anything is, by definition, a criminal (he isn't.)

        I understand that this is not being written into law just yet, but eventually it will be (out of ignorance if nothing else) and is just wrong on so many levels. Law enforcement in

  • Why not (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    just rename the US government to "Entertainment Industry Protection, Inc?". I mean, that's basically your government's only function now...
  • by subreality (157447) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @07:53PM (#27579915)

    Others fear this may lead to 'cruel and unusual punishments'

    No, it leads to excessive sentences. Those may be unreasonable and, unfortunately, quite usual, but there's nothing cruel and unusual about them, as that term is defined.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @07:56PM (#27579971)

    Why does the hell adding internet makes thing so different in law?

    If two guys both killed someone and robbed a bank where the only difference is one wore a ski mask and the other didn't, should the stupid one get less of a sentence because he was "easier to catch." I fail to see how being easier to harder to catch weight that much on the weight of the crime itself.

    Sure, they may mean it as a deterrent but shouldn't that be on the crime itself instead of any tools that has both legal and illegal uses. Of course, there are other issues related to more technical aspects especially when proxies are relatively common.

    • Look on the bright side - since it's a new application of law "on the internet," that means someone will probably patent it and then nobody can use it anyway.

  • by svnt (697929) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @07:57PM (#27579985)

    We spent millions on our warrantless wiretapping systems installed in telecoms across the nation. Unfortunately, it turns out you can avoid having your data collected by use of a fancy system called a 'proxy' that's been around since the dawn of the Internet. Who knew?

    Please fix this for us.

    Sincerely,
    The NSA

    P.S. We have sexting photos of your wives and daughters. They're not 'sophisticated' but they sure look like fun!

  • by staeiou (839695) * <staeiou@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:00PM (#27580041) Homepage
    If you wear a mask to rob a bank, you will get a harsher sentence than if you rob a bank without a mask. Now, masks aren't banned - you are totally free to wear one in public. Wearing a mask is neither a crime nor suspicious behavior that can be used as evidence of a crime by itself. The increased punishment only applies if you commit a crime wearing a mask.

    Now replace mask with proxy.
    • by Wingnut64 (446382) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:09PM (#27580145)

      Most people don't unknowingly wear a mask during their day to day activities. The same can't be said of network proxies.

    • by Todd Knarr (15451)

      What about the proxy you don't know you're using? Like say the caching proxy your ISP uses to minimize the amount of traffic they pass out of their network. You don't configure your browser to use it, you can't avoid it (the redirection's handled on your ISP's routers that you've no control over), you may be completely unaware that it's even being done, yet you'll be considered more sophisticated simply because you aren't the kind of techie who could spot this happening.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Xiozhiq (724986)

      However, if one of the fundamental conditions of accessing said 'public space' is that you have to wear that mask, or you can't go outside, should you still be penalized more for wearing the mask?

      Proxies are everywhere, and are even encouraged in many places. For example, my school encourages us to install a VPN client for use while connected to the unsecured school wireless network in order to protect sensitive data that may be transmitted (bank logins, e-mail logins, et cetera).

      Oh; and I believe the secti

      • by VargrX (104404)

        so sayeth Xiozhiq:

        That's just stupid.

        brother, you just summed the entirety of the technical knowledge of the our lovely socio-facist government

    • by Jumperalex (185007) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @09:36PM (#27581117)

      It might not be different (and that is a decent analogy IMO), but of course I don't accept your premise. I don't accept that wearing a mask during the commission of a crime should increase the penalty for committing that crime. There is no legitimate purpose to such laws / sentencing guidelines. It does not deter people from using a mas. What it does is allow for a way to increase penalties using false logic where otherwise increasing the penalty for the actual crime (robbing a bank) would seem excessive.

      Hell I could use my own logic to say that ALL Crimes should be commited with a mask on and ones without should be punished harsher. Not wearing one puts the innocent at risk because, by wearing a mask the victim doesn't know the perp's identity, and the perp is less likely to want to kill them to prevent identification. But I digress.

  • This just in.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:05PM (#27580105)

    Let's imagine you buy a gun, and take steps to do it anonymously. You go out of state to a place that lets you evade checks. What do you think the police are going to think?

    This is nothing new, and nothing exceptional.

    • by Calydor (739835) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:31PM (#27580433)
      WTF does it matter what the police thinks if I'm not doing anything illegal?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by DerekLyons (302214)

        That's the point that you and pretty much the rest of the commenters seem to miss... And the AC hits squarely on the head. They don't care if you are doing nothing illegal. They do care when you are doing something otherwise legal in the furtherance of committing a crime because it shows intent.

  • by immcintosh (1089551) <slashdot@ianmcint o s h .org> on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:09PM (#27580157) Homepage
    Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't really care about this, but as far as I'm concerned using a proxy (at least intentionally) IS sophistication. This is just the legal system realizing that pre-existing rules can be sensibly applied to internet crime as far as I'm concerned.
    • by ogdenk (712300) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @02:45AM (#27582975)

      That's like saying using a gun in an armed robbery constitutes sophistication. No, it's standard practice.

      Or sending cocaine in an opaque envelope with no return address instead of a clearly marked bag labeled Cocaine with the perp's social security number is "sophisticated".

      Using a proxy is much simpler than the crime itself, all you do is google "proxy", and type a URL.

      Using it to proxy your SSH connection to your employer when you wipe the servers takes a little sophistication so that might apply.

      Using a web proxy to post anonymous information on a forum or web site is NOT sophisticated. It's standard practice and should be protected as such. Just because governments are abusing their citizens and are being caught, doesn't mean I deserve 25% more time for using a proxy to post it.

      We already have computer trespassing laws. If they want tougher sentences, why not just amend those with harsher sentences? We already have laws against releasing sensitive government data? Why not just amend those with harsher sentences?

      This is the kinda crap I'm getting tired of. We have so many laws that you have no idea if the cop is lying to you about your supposed "crime" when your arrested. Everything in some form or fashion is against the law somewhere in this country and it's getting stupid.

      Any time someone says "There should be a law!", chances are they are wrong and one already exists to punish that offender anyway.

      I have a bad feeling this exists solely for "selective enforcement".

  • Anybody who goes about screaming, "HEY! Look at me! I'm doing something you don't like!" on the net, with a camera broadcasting your face, name ,and address, will receive a letter of commendation and a gold star from the president.

  • blech (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:24PM (#27580347) Journal
    Just to restate this in blindingly simple terms -- if someone tries not to get caught when committing a crime, they should be subject to harsher punishment?

    Seriously?

    So if someone hides a body, he should have an increased jail time (not a decreased jail time for eventually disclosing the location of the body)?

    If I fudge my books to embezzle money, I should have an increased jail sentence over someone who just takes the cash and makes no effort to not get caught?

    Why are we rewarding stupidity?

    I think I know why...

    If [PUNISHMENT] times [RISK OF GETTING CAUGHT] is less than [BENEFIT OF CRIME] then [COMMIT CRIME].

    Since these criminals using proxies reduce their risk of getting caught, they need to have harsher punishments in order for the punishment to act as a deterrent.

    It's hardly fair, though, since the down side of all this is that the legit use of proxies is made to seem like a crime itself. Maybe they need to realize that this formula, while logical, doesn't actually work, since criminals tend to underestimate their risk of getting caught.
    • Why are we rewarding stupidity?

      I think you only have to look at Congress for an answer to your question.

  • Proxy use has become standard among international web surfers for a variety of reasons.

    Users in China who are commonly blocked by the so-called "Great Firewall of China" use proxies to circumvent it.

    US expats use proxies to watch their favorite shows on Hulu. (Because outside the US you can't access the streams).

    Etc.

    Making the argument that proxy use is somehow an effort to conceal identity for the purposes of committing a crime overlooks the many obvious (non criminal) uses of proxies.

    The argument would ne

  • can anyone explain why this is tagged "Obama" and "Obamerica"?

    Seriously, what's with all the anti-Obama-trolling on Slashdot lately?

    my town recently increased the fines for speeding! Is that what Obama meant by change?

    I thought electing a black man would mean I could commit whatever crimes I wanted without fear of repercussion! This isn't change I can believe in!

  • You can't stop the signal.

  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @08:35PM (#27580481) Homepage Journal
    Strange we don't see "stiffer sentences" being handed down for more "sophisticated" legal techniques to violate the immigration law or financial fraud.

    Perhaps it has something to do with this attitude [vg247.com]:

    'TV Judge Greg Mathis and filmmaker Matty Rich are teaming up to create game for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 called Mathis âoeDetroitâ Street Judge.'

    'The game is expected to be reminiscent of Grand Theft Auto - but with prison rape.'

    'Huh?'

    'Mathis says his goal as a judge, and as a gamer, is to introduce consequences todayâ(TM)s youth and the best way to do that is through videogames.'

    'âoeThe main difference between our game and Grand Theft Auto is that players will have to deal with the justice system and consequences for their actions,â said Mathis.'

    'âoeWhen you go to prison, you gain credibility when you come back on the streets. On the other hand, when you go to prison you can also be raped. So take your chances. We may see young people who make the wrong choice and go to prison and are assaulted repeatedly (in this game).â'

    I wonder how long before some "geek" responds with a video game where the judges, bureaucrats, politicians and fortune 1000 executives are being killed en masse by the "sophisticated technologists" who got prison raped?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by shermo (1284310)

      So prison rape is approved by judges as a part of sentencing?

      I guess we could have figured that one out, but it's nice to know for sure.

      • by Thing 1 (178996) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @10:42PM (#27581633) Journal

        So prison rape is approved by judges as a part of sentencing?

        Yeah, last time I was called for jury duty, the judge gave us all "his speech" and in it he mentioned something about PMITA prisons -- not using that acronym or referencing Office Space, but he definitely made us aware that he is aware that he is not only sentencing criminals to rehabilitation, he's also sentencing them to ... inappropriate widening.

        I was rather shocked. Not very surprised, since I've heard of this issue since high school if not earlier, and if "lowly me" has heard of it then I'm sure that judges have as well -- however, I was shocked at the way he conveyed his awareness of the issue to us.

  • that the government can spy on us but we can't spy on them....

    Wait a minute, government for the people by the people....

    Seems the government has gone arrogant...

    • that the government can spy on us but we can't spy on them....

      Wait a minute, government for the people by the people....

      Seems the government has gone arrogant...

      Welcome to America, circa post-9/11.

      This isn't really anything new, just a continuation of the erosion of our privacy that's been increasing at a faster rate since 9/11, that's all. I'm not even going to waste my time in attempting to put blame on any particular party either. We would likely be reading about this regardless of who is sitting in the White House.

      Oh, and you can forget about that "for the people, by the people" stuff. Seems like the last time that held any standing in Congress was when the

  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @09:24PM (#27580993) Journal

    A proxy serves to protect the initiator by acting on its behalf. It represents the initiator to the source being addressed.

    Lawyers are proxies for their clients.

    Being represented by a lawyer is a 'sophistication' and should lead to a harsher sentence.

    Lest one think that "in committing a crime" doesn't apply, consider that a person swears to tell "the whole truth", that not doing so is lying which is perjury, and that the lawyer representing the person attempts to promote one particular version of the truth, thus not "the whole truth". A lawyer perjures on behalf of their client, and the ubiquitous "or causes to" term can be applied, making the client responsible for the perjury committed by the lawyer.

  • NAT (Score:4, Insightful)

    by QuietLagoon (813062) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @09:44PM (#27581207)
    Does Network Address Translation (performed by most DSL and cable modems) count as being a proxy? NAT hides the true IP address of my PC. Do AOL's HTTP proxies count as a proxy? (I don't see a happy ending for this.)
  • by Jewfro_Macabbi (1000217) on Tuesday April 14, 2009 @11:05PM (#27581783) Homepage
    "So much of the initial challenge in an investigation is determining attribution - where are the transmissions coming from?" Michael DuBose, chief of the computer crime and intellectual property section of the Justice Department's criminal division, said in an interview..."

    You wouldn't steal a car, and you won't download a mp3 via proxy - as the prison sentence will be the same.
  • Classic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kenp2002 (545495) on Wednesday April 15, 2009 @08:45AM (#27584721) Homepage Journal

    Wow the Nazi's would be proud...

    "Those that are willing to trade security for freedom deservers neither..."

    Face it: we get the government we deserve. We keep electing the same two parties who's sole mission is to control our lives, one through business and one through government, and in the end both take away our freedoms.

    We have entered a new age of feudalism, with Goverment as King, Businesses as the Fiefs, the inbred executive kabal as the Lords, the lawyers have replaced the knights, and we now have become the new pesantry.

    RIP Freedom.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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