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Suspected hackers to be banned from web without evidence


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Suspected hackers to be banned from web

Without evidence

By Nick Farrell: Wednesday 19 July 2006, 06:55

THE HOME Office wants powers to ban people it suspects of being hackers from the World Wide Wibble.

Powers will be given to coppers and courts to give suspected hackers and spammers an anti-social behaviour order (Asbo).

The moves will be carried out under a proposed Serious Crime Prevention Order which aims to combat organised crime where the police do not have enough evidence. Civil courts to impose the orders on individuals, even if they had not been convicted.

The big idea is contained in a Home Office green paper called "New Powers Against Organised and Financial Crime". By dealing with the matter in a civil, rather than a criminal court, the standard of proof is much lower. In fact hearsay is admissible evidence, so what a friend heard about you from another person could result in a guilty finding.

A civil court 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".

Anyone suspected of being a cybercriminal could lose all their credit cards, bank accounts and be forbidden from carrying more than a certain amount of cash.

While few would cry out that hackers or spammers need to be protected, others are slightly worried about civil liberties, because it means that people can have their lives ruined without the police having to prove anything to a court.


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I was talking about this with a few people on IRC last night. If you follow the link in the inquirer article you go to ZDnet which has a link to the proposed document if you want to get ahead of the game.

Stealing wifi might become a bit more popular. Much better to have your neighbours banned from the internet than you.

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Well between this, Net Neutrality and 'anyone who does anything that might affect more than a single street must be a terrorist'-type paranoia, things are beginning to look a little bleak, are they not?

To summarise: Certain members of this community and of other communites around the UK and the world do not like/are unable to associate with persons in real life. Perhaps then one might watch some television? But there's nothing of any value on!

Fine, turn to the internet. Ahh, there's a thing called podcasting... hmm... there's a video version! Perfect! I can chat to likeminded individuals online, I can order practically anything I need over the internet and now I can entertain myself too!

Oh wait... what's this 'net neutrality' thing? Oh... well kinda... see, thing is, ISPs don't want me to see this stuff so they're gonna charge extra to use these ports or use the bandwidth... damn... well, at least I can still chat, right?

Well almost... See, someone I knew reported to someone that I discuss politics and hacking online with a bunch of likeminded souls... erm... now I have no internet access. Damn.

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At least we shouldn't have a net neutrality problem in the UK because of the number of ISPs that we have.

Also things keep getting better with TalkTalk, Orange and Sky offering free broadband which is good enough for at least 66% of the population (the TalkTalk service has a bandwidth limit of 40GB which I thought was very good, Orange has a limit of 2GB and I don't know about Sky).

The Sky offering should be interesting because I think a large proportion of their excisting customer base will be happy to get it from them. Orange has the problem of they only offer it to customers that have contracts of over £30 a month, but those clients are also likely to need something more than 2GB of bandwidth a month. TalkTalk should be good if you don't mind BT not suppling your phone service for you, but with that download limit it will persuade a large number of people.

This all means good things for people who would prefer to pay for their broadband, either for faster connection and/or more/unlimited bandwidth as ISPs are going to have to lower the price of these packages to try and persuade people that they don't want free broadband.

Also as there are so many ISPs, most are either small or not real (in the sense that they rent the service from a larger ISP), therefore its unlikely that they are going to be concerned over what they want us to see. If one does try something like this then I think they would find their customer base shrinking rapidly.

I just wish BT would get their act together in terms of broadband technology that they are using. I want ADSL2+ now dammit.

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Perhaps, but what of the free content we obtain from the USA? Surely we would have less available to us if more money is required to service it?

How do you mean 'service' it?

Are you talking about the money to produce it and host it by the producers or money to access this 'free' content paid to our ISP?

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Well if content providers wished for their content to be accessible to the masses at reasonable speeds and the ISPs got their way, then someone would have to pay for the 'distrobution'... not just the bandwidth either, the fact that they wish to distribute high volume/high bandwidth content to the people.

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