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UK Hackers Face Antisocial Behaviour Orders 444

Posted by Zonk
from the we-have-everything-but-the-orders-here dept.
ukhackster writes "The UK government has proposed that suspected cybercriminals could be banned from the Internet or have their PCs seized, even if they've not been convicted. These so-called Asbos have typically been used against teenage hoodlums or small-time crooks, but now they're gunning for organised criminals." From the article: "Asbos give the courts almost unlimited powers when imposing conditions on the person receiving the order. Under the Home Office proposals, the courts would have almost unlimited discretion to impose the order if they believe it probable that a suspect had 'acted in a way which facilitated or was likely to facilitate the commissioning of serious crime.' In a civil court, hearsay is admissible evidence, and the burden of proof is lighter than criminal courts."
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UK Hackers Face Antisocial Behaviour Orders

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  • Unbelieveable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:32AM (#15736840)
    even if they've not been convicted.
  • not in the USA :-) (Score:4, Insightful)

    by networkBoy (774728) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:33AM (#15736850) Homepage Journal
    For the first time ever a new cyber law make me happy I'm in the US and not the UK!
    FTFA: This law would not be consitutional in the US.

    Still think all the geeks of the world need to unite and form a new country with fat pipes and takeout resteraunts every half mile.
    -nB
  • Tough call... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by gasmonso (929871) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:35AM (#15736865) Homepage

    The part about banning thmem from computers even if not convicted is just nuts. However, as with gun crimes, convicted felons can't legally buy/use guns. That makes sense because there is no real need to use one in the first place. However, computers are a different challenge... they are somewhat necessary in todays society, especially if that's your career field. How do you tell and convicted hacker, also a programmer, that he can't use a computer? This will only get more interesting as time passes.

    http://religiousfreaks.com/ [religiousfreaks.com]
  • WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darcling (987237) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:36AM (#15736878) Homepage
    Three words - W.T.F.?

    Here are the key phrases that tell you this is a HORRIBLE IDEA:

    1) "give the police and the courts sweeping new powers"
    2) "impose the orders on individuals, even if they had not been convicted"
    3) "proposals, if enforced, would give the police and courts "extensive powers" against --*suspected*-- hackers and spammers" (em by me)
    4) "give the courts almost unlimited powers"
    5) "the courts would have almost unlimited discretion to impose the order"
    6) "Those suspected ... could also have computer equipment taken away by the police"

    See all the uses of "sweeping" and "extensive" combined with power? Never a good thing.

    However, there is a glimmer of hope:
    "In the US, this legislation would not be constitutional," said Starnes.

    "If the Home Office can show it can use these powers in a reasonable and prudent manner, then I'm in favour," Starnes added.

    ---Yeah, that will obviously happen, when are they not reasonable and prudent??
  • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:37AM (#15736885) Homepage Journal

    I have a fundamental problem with this:

    The UK government has proposed that suspected cybercriminals could be banned from the Internet or have their PCs seized, even if they've not been convicted.

    So what they're saying is that even without being convicted of a crime, the state will exercise police powers to enforce punishments on its citizens?

    I don't care what country you're in, that's just wrong. Hopefully our mates across the sea will rise up and ensure that this proposal doesn't see the light of day. I'm sorry, but if someone's not convicted, they're sure as hell not a cybercriminal.

  • WTF!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:37AM (#15736892)
    Oh dear that's just horrid. I can't believe that people are that afraid of things they don't understand. I'm so happy I don't live in the UK.

    Does this say something about humans as a whole? Are we that afraid of someone hurting us that we want to impact the basic freedoms of people who have been proven guilty of no crime!? /cry
  • Re:Unbelieveable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MosesJones (55544) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:38AM (#15736898) Homepage
    Not to defend ASBOs, which are being used like candy rather than as a last ditch effort to restrain individuals (the worst bit is that if you violate the ASBO you can go to jail, which is very harsh). But are we really that suprised that a goverment has introduced legislation that enables "soft evidence" to be introduced and be used to curtail what someone is doing? The purpose of an ASBO is for the majority to be able to stop a minority doing something it doesn't like, not nice, not pretty.

    But hell over with Mr Blair's favourite friend in Washington people are being sent to a "camp" which is beyond the juristriction of all law and can come from much less evidential grounds than the ASBOs and people are trying to avoid basic decency provisions such as the Geneva convention.

    ASBOs... sad yes, unbelieveable? Certainly not.
  • Feeling guilty? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheOrangeMan (884380) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:39AM (#15736908) Journal
    Guilty untily proven guilty.
  • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:44AM (#15736945)
    This seems like one of those policies with unlimited potential for abuse.

    Potential? This law would criminalize the act of being suspected in a crime. There is no grey line being responsible use an abuse.
  • by 91degrees (207121) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:44AM (#15736949) Journal
    And there's the problem. ASBOs, while a total infringement of any sort of due pocess seem to have worked reasonably well They're only imposed on people where it's quite obvious that they are behaving anti-socially - This is usually things like vandalism, and harrasment - and at the moment, the people targetted are clearly acting anti-socially. As a result, they're really quite popular.

    There is the potential for abuse, but the general public seems fairly oblivious to this.
  • Re:Unbelieveable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:48AM (#15736997)
    But hell over with Mr Blair's favourite friend in Washington people are being sent to a "camp" which is beyond the juristriction of all law and can come from much less evidential grounds than the ASBOs and people are trying to avoid basic decency provisions such as the Geneva convention.

    To be perfectly blunt, people care differently about "those people" being opressed than when it begins happening to their own.
  • Re:Unbelieveable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:54AM (#15737045)
    Think of ASBOs as restraining orders on behalf of the community. They aren't great, but they aren't the catastrophe you immediately assume.

    The siezure of private property and imposing of arbitrary restrictions (that will lead to jail if violated) is not a catastrophe?

  • Re:Unbelieveable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Vexorian (959249) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:57AM (#15737082)
    Imagine if restraining orders prohibited the people from even using any form of transport that could eventually take them close to the person that asked for the order, instead of just not being able to get close to him/her
  • by voice_of_all_reason (926702) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @11:57AM (#15737084)
    So you're saying the majority if Britain has decided breaking the law (due process, or whatever its called there) is necessary to punish people who... are... breaking the law?

    If police and judges are not abiding by the rules of society, why do they expect criminals to?
  • Re:Tough call... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:01PM (#15737117) Journal
    However, computers are a different challenge... they are somewhat necessary in todays society

    For general purpose purpose computers, they are not necessary for a person private life.. They are only need for work, and many jobs don't require computers.

    How do you tell and convicted hacker, also a programmer, that he can't use a computer?

    The same way you tell a cab driver or truck driver that their license is being revoked. "Looks like you need a new career."

    It does not matter if one is a doctor, lawyer, banker, program, or truck driver. If one abuses or misuses the knowledge and skills needed for one's career there is no reason not to ban one from practicing said knowledge and skills regardless of one's career.
  • by BBlinkk (985908) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:03PM (#15737137)
    Even if they do pass this, remember who they are "banning" from computer... hackers. I'm pretty sure that these hackers will be able to use computers/internet anyways even if they are banned. If they are already committing cybercrimes, I doubt some legislation banning them from the internet (and any other blocks from an ISP) is going to keep them off.
  • Re:WTF? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tgd (2822) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:03PM (#15737143)
    I'm not sure "constitutional" really matters much here anymore.
  • by soft_guy (534437) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:07PM (#15737188)
    If police and judges are not abiding by the rules of society, why do they expect criminals to?

    They do the same thing in the US with drug cases. They can seize all kinds of property merely be saying it might have drugs on/in it. They can bypass due process. It has been that way since the 80s. It is the reason I have no respect for the US government.
  • That may be true of ASBOs, but these proposals go a long way beyond that. From TFA, they want to have the power to confiscate property (including people's homes and businesses), wide-ranging powers to acquire and analyse data from both private and public databases, and even limit the amount of cash one is allowed to carry while preventing one from using anything other than "approved" credit cards or bank accounts - and all of this is "where the police do not have enough evidence to bring a criminal prosecution".

    Basically, this would give the police arbitrary powers to drag anyone they want before the courts, say "We have no evidence whatsoever that they've done anything wrong but we happen to think they're a bit dodgy" and reduce them to homelessness and penury. You don't have to be a student of jurisprudence to see that this is very far from the concept of due process.

  • It's stunning (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MojoBox (985651) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:13PM (#15737246)
    Quite amazing how readily European nations give up there freedoms for a little creature comforts. Come on EU'ers, grow a pair! Take some chances in life.
  • by arachnoprobe (945081) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:15PM (#15737267)
    "You have the right not be harassed by police,
    True.
    I have the right not to get blown up."
    I'm sorry, but you are wrong. We all have the right of freedom, but no right for security. I'm not for terrorism or against the police, but freedom has to come first.
  • IP (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tenebrarum (887979) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:18PM (#15737301)
    Am I the only person who thinks this will be used against "piracy"?
  • Re:Unbelieveable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RexRhino (769423) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:19PM (#15737309)
    People go to jail for violating Anti-Social Behavior Orders. Anti-Social Behavior Orders aren't like throwing a person into jail without trial, they are like making a law without a democratic process that applies to only certain people.
  • by ajrs (186276) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:26PM (#15737387) Homepage
    'acted in a way which facilitated or was likely to facilitate the commissioning of serious crime'

    if a ddos attack is a serious crime, is using a computer with known remote security exploits 'acting in a way'?
  • by metamatic (202216) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:30PM (#15737433) Homepage Journal
    Where were you when the ASBO was introduced, before the last general election? And Blair still got voted in.
  • by loraksus (171574) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:41PM (#15737541) Homepage
    The USA has the exact same thing - even being arrested for a crime (not convicted, and even if your record is expunged) can/will prevent you from sitting as a juror.
    Being arrested will get you your very own FBI file.
    Being arrested for a felony will cause tons of problems if you decide to try and get secret or top secret clearance down the line.
    Seizures of "drug money" (cars, houses, etc) without trial are an everyday occurence.
  • by rs232 (849320) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:53PM (#15737661)
    "As financial transactions are completed ever more quickly .. this problem should be largely addressed by the ID cards [homeoffice.gov.uk] programme."

    "a person .. can be liable if he .. is capable of encouraging or assisting another person .. in relation to [an] offence he believes will be committed"

    "would be liable where his conduct has the capacity to provide ..encouragement .. and .. believes .. offences .. will be committed .. but he is unclear which offence it will be [and] he is indifferent as to whether it is committed"

    "we also need to ensure that those .. could not escape prosecution by arguing that they were not absolutely certain that the offence would take place."

    "The decision as to what level of belief should be required for this offence will need to be carefully thought through."

    "the powers provided by the .. Act, should .. lead to a greater number of convictions .. as .. those on the periphery should be persuaded to testify against their bosses in return for discounted sentences"
  • Re:Unbelieveable (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mOdQuArK! (87332) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @12:56PM (#15737688)
    They're still there, and will be for a while. I'll beleive that things have changed when these guys have gone through real court hearings & have been convicted or released.

    I can't think of _anyone_ in this Administration who has willingly paid more than lip service to the other two branches of the government (much less the public).
  • Re:Unbelieveable (Score:3, Insightful)

    by loraksus (171574) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @01:03PM (#15737749) Homepage
    But hell over with Mr Blair's favourite friend in Washington people are being sent to a "camp" which is beyond the juristriction of all law and can come from much less evidential grounds than the ASBOs and people are trying to avoid basic decency provisions such as the Geneva convention.

    Please, your government had internment without trial [wikipedia.org] for a number of years and they suspend the use of jury trials when they feel like it. [wikipedia.org]
  • by cr0sh (43134) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @01:19PM (#15737865) Homepage
    They can be fantastic at acting, pretending to be sorry, but see society as nothing more than a game to win, at any cost.


    Hell - this could be used to describe just about any corporation. It could easily be applied to describe the United States government. Quite a few politicians would also fit this definition.

    In short, when major elements of society act in a way to "get ahead", then punish others for doing the same, it is nothing more than hypocrisy (stemming from a need for self-preservation and greed, most likely), plain and simple.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RexRhino (769423) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @01:26PM (#15737914)
    The example you give is a perfect example of ASBOS abuse.

    There is lots of graffiti in the park... do they put a camera in the park and get real evidence of vandalism? Increase partrols and catch someone in the act?

    No! Instead, without a trial or any evidence, they deny law abiding citizens the right to use the public services that they pay for.

    "But, you don't understand... these were DRUNKS!!! Well we didn't give them blood tests and charge them with public intoxication... we don't have too, we know they were scum! SCUM! They were wearing old clothes like they were poor or something, they were laughing and smiling, AND SOME WERE NOT EVEN WHITE!!! We sure showed those dirty scummy people not to come around our neighborhood!"

    This is old fashion "run the gypsies out of town" style vigilante justice, wrapped in politically correct government-technocratic rhetoric.
  • Eh, what? Your freedom includes the right to blow me up? Your freedoms stop where my rights start.

    Rights are things which are granted as inherent to your existance as a human being. Laws are put in to place to determine those things which one cannot do, or to dictate the process of a particular action from beginning to completion.

    Laws exist that say that he cannot blow you up - murder is a crime. The law states that he cannot blow you up. However, there exists no law on record that grants you any right to security. Granting such a right would require that protection be given, and the protecting party be held responsible should you still be blown up.

    It may seem like a matter of word-play, but indeed the GP poster is correct - there is no law giving you any security.

    The Constitution and BoR are set up to outline what the founding fathers believed the inherent rights of humans are. The Consitution itself is not exactly "law", but a guide-book for managing and creating law based around what are considered your inherent rights as a human being. That's why "outlawing" anything via ammendment is a bad idea, because law is not the job of the Constitution. Prohibition was appealed, and since then, as far as I know, ammendments outline rights assumed.

    The SCOTUS uses the Constitution as a guideline when determining if laws passed indeed represent the rights assumed by the Constitution. You have a right to free speech, but you don't have a right to live for any specified period of time or to be free of danger. Actually, the draft indeed assumes that you - accepting the rights granted you under the Constitution, will be willing to place yourself in harm's way to protect those rights for everyone else.

    So it may scare you, but you have no right to be safe from being blown up.

    Boom.

  • by yali (209015) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @02:48PM (#15738640)
    Never being able to be a juror? where is the downside... I have never ever known anyone to say "hey, I would like to be on a jury"

    Maybe, but if you are on the other side of things, you might care. If you are from some segment of society that is disproportionately likely to be arrested unfairly -- say because of your race [aclu.org] or political activity [washingtonpost.com] -- that means that a jury is less likely to include people like you.

  • Re:Unbelieveable (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @03:32PM (#15738940)
    However, an Anti-Social Behavior Order, being almost limitless, has vast more potential for abuse. For example, people have gotten Anti-Social Behavior Orders against neighbors from letting their children play in the yard. For a kid, not being able to play outside is practicly a form of torture.


    Kids can allowed to scream all they want; inside a soundproof booth. The one single, basic, fundamental rule every child, and every citizen MUST learn is that you do NOT infringe the rights of others. Ever. Period. It's the only thing that makes society work.

    After that, do whatever you want. It's pretty much that simple. If you don't know if something is illegal, find out. If it's not, go ahead. If it is, don't do it. If you disagree with the law, change it. If you can't, in a democracy, it's because other people's rights outnumber yours. Deal with it.

    Kids everyone go outside, and they yell and scream and have fun, and you live in a sick society if kids playing in the back yard can be deemed "anti-social"

    You live in a sick society if you think children should be taught to violate the rights of their fellow citizens. They should be learning respect for society and others, not that their own desires matter more than those of the people around them. It's not "torture" to learn self-discipline: it's called "becoming a human being", and the reason youth crime rates are rising is because children aren't learning any respect, and aren't being punished when they break the rules.

    Children should only ever scream in exactly one kind of situation: a physical emergency in which an immediate response is required. I learned that when I was FIVE, in a rural community with distant neighbours. If I can manage that kind of "torture", kids in an urban environment can learn to be human, too. There's no wonder that kids get abducted with no one to help them: when they can scream all the time, all the false alarms drown out the real emergencies.

  • Re:A few points (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Budenny (888916) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @04:15PM (#15739273)
    The fundamental question you have to ask is simple. If something is so bad, why is it not a straightforward criminal offense, and why is it not prosecuted in the normal way?

    For hundreds of years now, Englishmen have had a defined set of things which were forbidden, and a defined set of penalties, together with defined procedures for proving violations. Now all of a sudden in the last 6 or 7 years, none of this seems fit for purpose. All of a sudden we have to give enormous discretionary powers to all kinds of bodies. We don't need juries. We don't need proof. We can predict who is going to commit offenses. We gesticulate favourably in the direction of 'peoples courts'.

    If anyone had introduced the body of legislation that this Government has enacted, as a whole, and if there had been a national debate on it, it would have been thrown out.

    Is it a coincidence, do you think, that the Cabinet that has introduced this legislation step by step is disporportionately composed of former members of the authoritarian left? Is it a coincidence that our former Home Secretary called Sheffield, when he was leader of local government there, the Peoples Republic of South Yorkshire, and twinned his city with Donetsk? Do you think he had their great human rights record in mind when he did that?

    What we have here is a legislative framework which permits Soviet style authoritarianism. Not implemented in practice, but all the legislative underpinnings are there. Think South Africa as it moved into ever more authoritarian forms of apartheid. We still think we are free. We still are free. But we are free in practice, not by right.
  • by Seraphim1982 (813899) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @04:24PM (#15739336)
    Call me an idealist, but if you're found innocent of a crime, that should be about it.

    Good for you. Now you just need to move to a place where people are found innocent of crimes and you'll be all set. I don't know about the rest of the world, but the US justice system does not decide innocence, it decides guilt. Being found "not guilty" just means is that there was insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone is guilty.
  • by sepharious (900148) on Tuesday July 18, 2006 @10:18PM (#15740977) Homepage
    Policeman:"Oy! You there! You come with me."
    Joe Average:"What's the meaning of this?"
    Policeman:"You aren't smiling enough. And under the Antisocial Management Law of 2006 the penalty is a 500 quid fine."
    Joe Average:"That's insane! I smile all the time! And when did a law get passed on smiling?"
    Policeman:"It was passed last week. You really should take more of an interest in these things. And I'm going to have to write you another ticket for defaming a police officer, lying, questioning a legislative act, and not taking an interest in public affairs, all antisocial."
    Joe Average:"WHAT? I wasn't lying! I do smile alot! Maybe not as much as some, but I do smile. And since when is questioning a legislative act a criminal offense?"
    Policeman:"Well that was outlawed in the Keep Your Nose Out of Government Programs Act. And by the way, terribly sorry, but I'm going to have to arrest you now."
    Joe Average:"Whatever for?!?"
    Policeman:"Continuing antisocial behavior by questioning a policeman's word, arguing in public, loitering with intent to harass, and continuing to not smile."
    Joe Average:"Well its pretty hard to smile when you're being fined and arrested!"
    Policeman:"Well I suppose that may be the case, but you'll have to take that up with the Magistrate. Come on now, off with you."

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