Re: Ya think?
"Will Blighty ever get in touch with proper punishment for digital crimes? So far they have just given hackers and pirates free reign. It's time the world apply a uniform mandatory minimum punishment as Japan has with 2 years in prison for pirates and 10 years for hackers along with high fines."
As you will have seen there are people here who deploy non sequitur arguments to draw attention away from the crimes under discussion, and appear to think that they are not crimes. It's partly a hangover from the old days when we really did police ourselves, when a UDP (Usenet death penalty) really did mean what it said, when the spam blackhole really was a black hole, and small furry creatures from alpha centauri really were small furry creatures from alpha centauri (I must play the MP3s again tonight).
There are still people who believe that digital stays digital ("starts online, stays online"), that crimes committed using a digital->terrestrial interface are in fact just jolly pranks for which no sentence should be applied. They probably have acne, BO, dream of losing their virginity, and have no conception of the massive heist that is being performed daily on artists' incomes by people who download MP3s, believing it to be their right. Certainly, St Jules believes that he should be interviewed online by the Swedish police, and there are other erroneous views on RL that he holds about, say, Afghan informants and the disclosure of their locations (via his publications) to the Taliban. I bet he'd shit himself if they were after him, but Assange's brain evidently does not do quid pro quo, witness his imbroglio with a publisher whose money he felt free to keep, revealing a lot about him and his view of the basis of rule following in human relationships.
That the online world has expanded beyond Usenet, Compuserve/AOL fora (spit), bulletin boards and the like has evidently either escaped the attention of some, or they perhaps don't understand what meat space means. These evidently do not philosophise in the world in which they draw their pay, and still think this is an electronic village that is entirely separate from RL. That said, I remember shuddering with displeasure when someone in a Usenet news group said that the Web was going to be turned into a business park. I didn't want the invasion... ...but now, well I bought my house through the web, have done a lot of research through the web, buy music, clothes, blue ray discs [...] almost everything I reckon. The net is now a place of transactions, commercial, military and social, just as with anywhere.
Thus the net is now unfortunately and irrevocably a part of RL; laws from the land of meat space apply, no matter how many spotty, juvenile delinquents argue otherwise and, yes, there will be punishments, there will be tears, no matter how many people have temper tantrums, pound their keyboards in petty rage, and it will continue until the selfish generation of net users that don't like rules and point to the bankers saying 'look at them I want to get away with it too', have been replaced by those who grew up from day 1 with the net, and manage to learn, internalise and apply the rules governing social behaviour supplied to them by teachers and responsible parents (from which St Jules apparently did not benefit during his formative years)... ...meanwhile that sub population that does not learn the rules governing other regarding conduct, those who like their off line contemporaries in offending do not (to quote Cleckley) 'profit from experience' due perhaps to frontal lobe deficits, they will develop criminal careers/offending profiles over which they will snigger with their contemporaries, expressing resentment at 'the man', whilst others look on failing to see anything funny at all, and nothing meriting resentment; this was not society's fault, but the fault of the offender.
It is a matter of sadness that career criminals do not seem to learn, that they lose so much of their freedom inside, that they make jokes out of it and play this silly game, while the immature look to them as 'role models'. To them, welcome to RL, where prison is not a matter of losing your interwebs access.