One of the greatest threats to the world today is cyber-crime. Part of this is due to the extreme anonymity of the internet. Part of this is due to society failing to call things what they are and distribute retribution accordingly.
When a person hacks anything — a phone, a personal computer or a corporate network, they have committed an act of breaking and entering. There would be a lot fewer hackers if they were charged and punished accordingly for each count of breaking and entering that they commit.
When a person steals a credit card number, they should be charged with grand theft to the tune of the balance available on that card and one count of grand theft per credit card number that they steal.
When a person posts stolen credit card information on the dark web for sale, they should be charged with fencing to the tune of the combined balance of all stolen credit card numbers that they are found in possession of.
If a person is caught in possession of software or code used for the purposes of hacking, they should be charged and jailed for the possession of tools used for breaking and entering. There is no legitimate reason for having software designed to crack passwords or hack through firewalls.
Moreover, citizens and corporations should be allowed, if not encouraged, to defend themselves. In the US, people are allowed, if not encouraged, to bear firearms to protect their property. Why not have security systems built into home routers that would identify would be hackers and launch a barrage of malicious code into the system of the would be hacker? Or a piece of code that would act as a tag that police could identify later to use in counting how many times the hacker had attempted to break into unauthorized systems before they got caught?
And if a hacker were to shut down a major public system, such as the power grid, then charge them with destruction of property equivalent to the monetary cost of their activities.
In some cases, cyber-crime can and should be considered for capital punishment.
We live in an increasingly connected society and the value of this connection is growing daily for all parties involved, but we have to make cyber-crime a real crime and investigate it accordingly.
When a hacker destroyed five of my personal computers, I was told by authorities to go to Best Buy and buy a better firewall. There was no attempt to investigate, even though I knew the hackers name, phone number and email. When a person breaks into your home, do they direct you to Home Depot to buy a better lock??? I think not. The time has come for us to start getting tough on cyber-crime for the sake of the individual, the financial system and the sanctity of our nation as a whole.
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