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United States Crime

Is Weev Still In Jail Because the Government Doesn't Understand What Hacking Is? 246

Posted by samzenpus
from the you-say-tomato-I-say-tomato dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes "Last March, weev, the notorious internet troll who seems to be equally celebrated and reviled, was convicted of accessing a computer without authorization and identity fraud, and sentenced to serve 41 months in prison.'He had to decrypt and decode, and do all of these things I don't even understand,' Assistant US Attorney Glenn Moramarco argued. Here, on a Wednesday morning in Philadelphia, before a packed courtroom, the federal prosecution argued that a hacker should spend three and a half years in prison for committing a crime it couldn't fully comprehend. Previously, Orin Kerr, a law professor at George Washington University and weev's defense attorney, had argued first and foremost that there was no criminal hacking to speak of. According to Kerr, what weev and Daniel Spitler (who pleaded guilty to avoid jail time) had done while working as an outfit called Goatse Security was entirely legal, even though it embarrassed public officials and some of the country's biggest corporations."
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Is Weev Still In Jail Because the Government Doesn't Understand What Hacking Is?

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  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:11PM (#46530413) Homepage

    They totally sound trustworthy.

  • by Burz (138833) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:17PM (#46530459) Journal

    ...particularly for punishing small fries who get in the way of large corporate interests and other big shots.

    Along the same lines, we can ask why 'Bidder 70' went to jail [billmoyers.com] for stopping the illegal sale of public land.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      and well..

      quite frankly due to the prosecutor not understanding what he had been doing it's just about punishing for joking around. it should be illegal to prosecute something you can't understand. "I don't know what he did but he sure looks guilty, right!? you must convict!".

      circa 1997 this happened to me, sort of. ran a traceroute on the wrong night to see where my emails were routed through(our school mandated the use of an internal email system where server wasn't internal and there was no encryption on

      • by Burz (138833)

        and well..

        quite frankly due to the prosecutor not understanding what he had been doing it's just about punishing for joking around. it should be illegal to prosecute something you can't understand. "I don't know what he did but he sure looks guilty, right!? you must convict!".

        circa 1997 this happened to me, sort of. ran a traceroute on the wrong night to see where my emails were routed through(our school mandated the use of an internal email system where server wasn't internal and there was no encryption on the email clients(email client was mandated to be a certain windows email reader). now of course I had my machine full of warez(games and early music warez), winnukes, jolt of the day etc(and had winnuked some people so not totally innocent really of everything).

        but what shocked me was the police interrogation, because they tried to make me sign something I had not said, because they did not understand the claims made by the "victim"(city) were impossible to have happened from my actions(and claiming shit like me crashing hospital internal network, hopping a supposed airgap and other stuff that I did not do, they just had some internal meltdown of the windows servers routing the traffic on the same day). the way the interrogation went was "you know what you did, tell us" and 16 year old me going "what the fuck dudes?".

        originally they wanted me to confess to something technically impossible and it took them nearly 2 years to figure out that they did not know what to charge me with(and for the prosecutor to deem the investigation incompetently done and drop it, and it cost the state quite a lot for nothing...). I mean, the

        posting anon but it's not too hard to figure out who this is for those who know.

        anyway, doesn't matter which western country you live in always check what the coppers want you to sign and ask the fuckers to rewrite it to match what you actually said. after that ordeal I was convinced 20-30% of "solved" crimes are just pinned on some druggies in withdrawal who don't read what they sign.

        Thanks for the advice.

        • Investigations cost time and money, and can potentially be embarassing. So prosecutors really want to skip all of that and just get a nice simply guilty plea. They have a few tricks to make that happen, the most obvious being the use of threats - they'll come up with a list of charges long enough to get you jailed for fifty years or more, but then generously agree to drop almost all of them if you back down then and there and agree to plead guilty to the most minor ones and just do a couple of years or pay

  • No idea about the legal aspects, but given the images that the name brings to mind I think I would pass on its services.

  • by MeNeXT (200840) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:48PM (#46530603)

    Can we please stop this foolishness. Now I'm off to reddit where I can enjoy my free time.

    Once more in plain English Beta is broken and the link to classic doesn't work. Stop wasting our time or there won't be anybody left here.

  • Donning CBR Gear (Score:5, Insightful)

    by IonOtter (629215) on Wednesday March 19, 2014 @09:53PM (#46530637) Homepage

    Weev is whale turds. He's the lowest of the low, he knows it, and he relishes it. He's like a wolverine, pissing and shitting on the carcass he found, so nobody else will try to eat it, even though he can't stand his own stench.

    Which is why it sucks so God Damned much to have to defend his useless ass!

    But then, if you can't defend the worst of the worst from clear injustice, then we don't even have the hope of having a republic.

    • by AudioEfex (637163)

      Idealism is noble and all, but sometimes in general when I read /. comments these days I feel like folks are missing that "ideal" is mostly an imaginative concept. Combined with the slippery slope fallacy, a spoonful of pseudo-anarchy idolatry, and a dollop of moral relativity, it would seem that we are in the face of impending doom with every little tiny ripple in the vast ocean of life.

      This guy is a complete, disgusting, repulsive, degenerate, piece of garbage that deserves what he is getting right no

      • by king neckbeard (1801738) on Thursday March 20, 2014 @02:09AM (#46531567)
        Actually, it is a big concern when the justice system is perverted against its fundamental ideals. We used the whole 'ends justify the means, so fuck the rules' crap to take down some mob bosses, and now we have all the RICO crap and civili forfeiture is commonplace. This allows unjust and impractical laws to stand unchallenged because the state can nail anybody if they really want to, and they have the leverage to make most people plea bargain out. We commit crimes on a regular basis because of our incredibly complex legal system, the NSA tracks every time we wipe our ass, and they drop information to locals for 'parallel construction.' That means that, absent sufficient public outcry and scrutiny, they can put anyone in jail whenever they want.

        Our justice system was set up the way it is for a very good reason, and it's incredibly naive of you to think that this is okay because weev is an asshole.
      • What you have here is an idiot prosecutor, who didn't know enough not to admit what he didn't know. Is the law often ignorant of technology? Yes, particularly this time, but the world self-corrected in this case (it tends to do that) and still stuck this little bastard in jail.

        Actually, what you have here is an idiot slashdot poster who didn't know enough not to admit what he didn't know. Is technology often ignorant of the law? Yes, particularly this time.

        Now according to what others posted here, this "weev" seems to be the kind of person that everybody should punch in the face wherever they see him.

      • In sortof agreement with what you said: this seems to be a simple case of jury nullficiation, but in the opposite direction /. seems to desire. People here like to advocate it as a way of getting someone who was arrested under an unjust law out of trouble. But the truth is, far more often it is used in a matter that results in convicting those who exhibit scummy behavior, regardless of the evidence.

    • Intent matters. He wasn't trying to help AT&T expose a security weakness, he wasn't trying to help the users whose data was exposed.

      You don't need to defend people who are only trying to hurt others.
  • If he raped, stole, did drugs, mugged someone, I bet he would get far less time. There are even whole groups of people that get arrested over 60+ times!!! [google.com]

    Don't hack. To do so might mean maximum prison in solitary confinement. You think I'm joking, but that's how afraid these clueless people are. They view hackers as some magic wizards that can open cell doors with thought alone.

  • ...for the name of his security company, clicked on the first link, and said "OK, asshole, now you're going down!"

    Now insert your own PMITA Prison/Goatse joke here...

  • Maybe they should have told the court that they had no authority to charge or even know any information about the case or the defendant's actions since national security and the safety of entire free world was at stake. That seems to scare every other court off, right?

  • We will look back on things like this and think, "Holy shit, we imprisoned people for that? Man, that was stupid. I'm sure glad I didn't live in that barbaric era of witch-huntery!"

  • What he did seems rather grey to me. I don't exactly buy the argument that this was legit access. Especially when he went and downloaded 140,000 some email addresses.

    41 months does seem like a ridiculous sentence for stealing some freaking email addresses though. Is it really supposed to be worse just because he got Michel Bloomberg's email address? Isn't punishment supposed to be based on harm done? For a crime, this sounds pretty penny-anty.

  • I started at the NYtimes link and it wore me out; it was supposedly about Weev, going from "a hero", to /b/, to Lulz and that was just the prep, I didn't care to read any more about it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08... [nytimes.com]

  • Defense Lawyer: I'd like to call the prosecutor to the witness stand.

    Prosecutor: Objection

    Judge: This is completely out of bounds.

    Defense Lawyer: Your honor, if you would just allow this for a minute...

    Judge: Agreed.

    (Prosecutor takes witness stand)

    Defense Lawyer: Exactly which law is my client accused of breaking?

    Prosecutor: The computer security and fraud act.

    Defense Lawyer: And exactly how did my client break this law?

    Prosecutor: He hacked into the NY Times and stole email addresses.

    Defense Lawyer: You mi

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