Printed from http://www.electronista.com

UK government plans life sentences for hackers causing deaths, injury

updated 06:48 am EDT, Thu June 5, 2014

Proposed Serious Crime Bill in Queens Speech includes harsher cyberattack sentences

Hackers in the United Kingdom could face tougher penalties in the future, as a part of government plans announced in the Queen's Speech yesterday. The proposed Serious Crime Bill, part of which updates the 1990 Computer Misuse Act, would see penalties up to and including life sentences for cyberattacks that cause death or serious injury, or is deemed a threat to national security.

The Serious Crime Bill proposal states hackers that perform "cyberattacks which result in loss of life, serious illness or injury, or serious damage to national security, or a significant frisk thereof" will potentially receive the full life sentence, reports The Guardian. A maximum 14-year sentence will apply to attacks deemed "a significant risk of severe economic or environmental damage or social disruption," increasing the existing Computer Misuse Act limit of a 10-year sentence.

Opponents of the bill have already spoken out, with Open Rights Group Executive Director Jim Killock claiming the bill would be hard to prove as a necessary law, as existing laws already offer punishments for computer crimes and terrorism. "If a supposed cyberterrorist endangers life or property, there are existing laws that can be used to prosecute them," said Killock.

It is also suggested by opponents that the bill does not fix an issue in current law, which can be used to punish security researchers and penetration testers using similar techniques to criminals. According to the report, researchers examining the Heartbleed bug could in theory be prosecuted under the UK's hacking laws, and it is unclear if the bill allows altruistic hackers any leverage.



By Electronista Staff
Post tools:

TAGS :

toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Patriot Supersonic Rage XT 128GB USB drive

USB thumb drives are getting larger by the day, their growth speeding along with the availability and expansion of memory chips. But h ...

Crucial MX100 256GB SATA-3 SSD

While the price-per-gigabyte ratio for magnetic platter-based hard drives can't be beat, the speed that a SSD brings to the table for ...

Narrative Clip

With the advent of social media technology, people have been searching for new ways to share the events of their daily lives -- be it ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News