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Crime Your Rights Online

Hacktivism: Civil Disobedience Or Cyber Crime? 243

An anonymous reader writes "You don't necessarily have to a hacker to be viewed as one under federal law. ProPublica breaks down acts of 'hacktivism' to see what is considered criminal under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. It points out that both Aaron Swartz and Bradley Manning were charged under the CFAA. Quoting: 'A DDoS attack can be charged as a crime under the CFAA, as it “causes damage” and can violate a web site’s terms of service. The owner of the site could also file a civil suit citing the CFAA, if they can prove a temporary server overload resulted in monetary losses. ... The charges for doxing depend on how the information was accessed, and the nature of published information. Simply publishing publicly available information, such as phone numbers found in a Google search, would probably not be charged under the CFAA. But hacking into private computers, or even spreading the information from a hack, could lead to charges under the CFAA.'"
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Hacktivism: Civil Disobedience Or Cyber Crime?

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  • by mrsquid0 ( 1335303 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:07PM (#42628553) Homepage

    The original quote was "Information wants to be free. Information also wants to be expensive.", which itself is a summation of a longer quote. Just quoting the first part changes the meaning dramatically.

  • by s.petry ( 762400 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @05:35PM (#42629439)

    I agree, but will point out the logical issue that was supposed to be addressed by the system of Patents and Copyrights which were put in the books as Law.

    Without a basic understanding of a Steam Engine, a new form of Engine would not have been possible (at least within the timelines we have them invented). Patenting the Steam Engine is allowed, for only 7 years time. And in fact, it needed to be that exact apparatus to be patentable. Me watching the steam engine, came to a logical next step. Why not burn something else, like Gasoline or Kerosine and make an engine from that?

    So the nature of discovery, even according to great minds like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison (No intent to appeal to authority, but rather quoting people that have stated similar thoughts) is to piggy back on previous ideas to evolve better and better solutions.

    So in practice, the "Steam Engine" was not patentable as a generic concept. The "Hoover Model A. Steam Engine" was patentable. The concept of a steam engine was not copyrightable. However your wording to describe the engine would be copyrightable.

    Do you see the difference? The original intent was to protect people from plagiarism. Not so that someone "owned" ideas. In fact the wording of the laws and thoughts on the laws explicitly state that the laws can not be used to "own" ideas. The British allowed "ownership" of thoughts and ideas, and this was appalling to those that worked on the US Law.

  • by Obfuscant ( 592200 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @05:38PM (#42629465)

    Unless you're a banker.

    The bankers were operating under the rules as implemented by the Senate Banking Committee and Mssrs. Frank and Christopher, who were explicit in saying that the system was not broken and did not need fixing, right up to the point that it failed.

    When you demand that banks ignore all the risk indicators when making home loans, those risky loans have to go somewhere and they will, eventually, become a problem for everyone. The goal of everyone owning their own home was fine, but when the means was through relaxed credit requirements (like 0-down and low ARM and including income "credits" in the calculations) then the collapse was easily predictable.

    It wasn't rocket science for me to predict that an ARM I was offered for my home loan would result in default when the balloon came due; it shouldn't have been a mystery when the balloons for other ARMs came due and people defaulted.

  • by sjames ( 1099 ) on Friday January 18, 2013 @06:14PM (#42629789) Homepage Journal

    When you demand that banks ignore all the risk indicators when making home loans,

    Sounds nice but it's a DAMNED LIE

    Nobody ordered the banks to make bad loans on McMansions. They were ordered to stop a number of discriminatory practices like redlining and to find a way to make mortgage loans to first time buyers without requiring as large of a down payment. Those loans should have been modest in size, sufficient for a starter home, not for a McMansion. They most certainly were not ordered to build time bombs into those loans and offer bad advice as to the risks involved.

    Most assuredly nobody ordered them to make a bunch of huge hot-potato loans and fraudulantly re-package them as AAA rated investments.

    But the bankers who did all of that sure appreciate your gullibility.

God help those who do not help themselves. -- Wilson Mizner