[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
[infowar.de] USA wollen Cybercrime auch ausserhalb ihrer Staatsgrenzen verfolgen
Es musss lediglich ein _Teil_ der Straftat in den USA passieren - und
dazu reicht schon ein Routing über NYC.
U.S. can now prosecute hackers outside borders; Computer attacks needn't
occur here; critics cry foul
By D. Ian Hopper, Associated Press, 11/26/2001
WASHINGTON - The Justice Department, using the recently approved
anti-terrorism law, can now prosecute foreign hackers when they attack
computers in their own or other countries outside the United States.
Critics said this week that the change could make the United States the
world's Internet policeman and set a precedent that would apply American
values to the worldwide network.
Prosecutions can occur if any part of a crime takes place within U.S.
borders. A large part of the Internet's communications traffic goes
through the United States, even in messages that travel from one foreign
country to another.
The new powers, which have no parallel in other nations, troubled one
former Justice Department computer crimes prosecutor.
"It's a massive expansion of U.S. sovereignty," said Mark Rasch, now
with computer security firm Predictive Systems.
The change was highlighted last month by the Justice Department in its
field guidance to federal prosecutors.
"Individuals in foreign countries frequently route communications
through the United States, even as they hack from one foreign country to
another," the recommendations said. "The amendment creates the option,
where appropriate, of prosecuting such criminals in the United States."
The FBI referred questions to the Justice Department. A Justice
Department spokeswoman did not return calls for comment.
Just passing through
Much of the Internet's message traffic travels through the United
States, dependent on American hubs in Virginia and California.
Jessica Marantz of the Internet statistics firm Telegeography said more
than 80 percent of Internet access points in Asia, Africa, and South
America are connected through U.S. cities. Therefore, an e-mail sent
between two cities in China probably will travel through the United
States - putting its contents under American jurisdiction.
The Justice Department pushed for the legislation as a way to fight
terrorism, and American interests overseas could be protected by the
But the change in law creates a precedent that could be used to
prosecute any computer crime, Mr. Rasch said, from basic data theft to
sending pornographic pictures. Current law already allows pornography
prosecutions in any jurisdiction the pictures pass through, but this has
not yet been applied on an international scale to Internet
For example, an owner of a pornography Web site in Sweden might be
prosecuted for sending a racy picture to a friend in Norway if the
message happened to travel through a computer in Fairfax, Va. In that
case, a U.S. prosecutor could try to extradite the sender and prosecute
him for breaking Virginia law, using Virginia's standards for obscenity.
"We haven't done that yet, because it's an affront to the way the
Internet works," Mr. Rasch said. "But now [with the antiterror law]
we're criminalizing anything that happens over the Internet because
traffic passes through the United States."
Easing the task
FBI agents complain about the difficulty of computer crime
investigations that almost always venture overseas, requiring
time-consuming search warrants at every step and the cooperation of
foreign governments. They also are frustrated by offshore pornography
and gambling sites, accessed by Americans, that are legal in their own
"There are still a lot of countries out there without adequate [computer
crime] laws," said Bruce McConnell, who is conducting a survey on
international computer laws. "Extradition is slow and expensive, so I
would guess it wouldn't be used except in the worst cases."
Mail an infowar -
- infopeace -
de mit "unsubscribe" im Text.