APLawrence.com -  Resources for Unix and Linux Systems, Bloggers and the self-employed

Crime and punishment

A writer at Ziff-Davis thinks that we should "Make the punishment fit the cybercrime" (link dead, sorry). He thinks that our cyber-crime laws are too tough and that since the two people caught propagating the SoBig virus were not the original authors, their punishment should be lighter.

I disagree, and I'm particularly tired of seeing "youth" and "young men" used as a ploy to gain sympathy. Both of these people are old enough to know better, and tecnically savvy enough to be quite aware of the damage they intended to cause. This isn't the very first Internet worm, where Robert Morris could quite legitimately claim that he had no idea the effects would be so dramatic. These people knew exactly what they were doing.

Here in the U.S., the punishment could theoretically be 10 years to life in prison. People concentrate on the "life" part, but there are good reasons for that being there: cyberattacks could be employed with the intent of shutting down hospitals, causing train wrecks, etc. and in those cases life imprisonment would be appropriate. In this case, the intent was business disruption, so the lighter end is more fitting. But that's why these laws are written with these broad ranges: exactly to "let the punishment fit the crime".

The SoBig worm continues to flood mailboxes today, weeks after its release. MSBLAST disrupted business and caused significant expense for untold numbers of businesses. The article I referenced says that "It's time to put cyber punishments in perspective". I agree, and my perspective is that these things cost a lot of money, a lot of time, and decrease quality of life for everyone. Let the punishment reflect that.



Got something to add? Send me email.





(OLDER)    <- More Stuff -> (NEWER)    (NEWEST)   

Printer Friendly Version

-> -> Crime and punishment




Increase ad revenue 50-250% with Ezoic


More Articles by

Find me on Google+

© Tony Lawrence



Kerio Samepage


Have you tried Searching this site?

Unix/Linux/Mac OS X support by phone, email or on-site: Support Rates

This is a Unix/Linux resource website. It contains technical articles about Unix, Linux and general computing related subjects, opinion, news, help files, how-to's, tutorials and more.

Contact us





We're terrible animals. I think that the Earth's immune system is trying to get rid of us, as well it should. (Kurt Vonnegut)

The difference between e-mail and regular mail is that computers handle e-mail, and computers never decide to come to work one day and shoot all the other computers. (Jamais Cascio)







This post tagged: