Crime and punishment

If it is a given that cyber criminals are growing up from their juvenile delinquent phase into a new era as criminal masterminds, then its no surprise that the criminal justice system is slowly but surely coming down hard on cyber crime

Tags: Cyber crimeSocial networking
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By  Mark Sutton Published  December 3, 2008

If it is a given that cyber criminals are growing up from their juvenile delinquent phase into a new era as criminal masterminds, then its no surprise that the criminal justice system is slowly but surely coming down hard on cyber crime.

While hackers haven't always gotten away with lenient penalties - Kevin Mitnick spent over four years awaiting trial without bail, and UK hacker Gary McKinnon is still fighting extradition to the US in expectation of some Gitmo-enemy-of-the-state type treatment - the cops and the courts generally haven't known what to do with cyber criminals.

Now it seems though, that they are getting tough. Facebook has just been awarded $873m in damages from a Canadian spammer who plagued the social network, albeit through a civil case rather than a criminal one.

And it seems that Saudi Arabia has wasted no time at all in bringing its new cyber crime laws - introduced in January - to bear on miscreants. A Saudi man has been sentenced to 22 months in jail and 200 lashes, plus a SR 50,000 fine ($13,300) for hacking into a young woman's email account and stealing photos. The court in the Eastern region of the Kingdom found him guilty of stealing the photos, and attempting to use them to blackmail the young woman into an affair, and even marriage with him.

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