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[] Argentinisches Gericht: Hacken nicht strafbar,

Argentine judge rules in favour of hackers

Reuters News Agency
Monday, April 15

Buenos Aires, Argentina - Computer hackers may be the scourge of the
digital age, hunted down by police across borders, but in Argentina
they have found an unlikely ally ? the very justice system they

Warning of a "dangerous legal void" making digital crimes hard to
prosecute, a judge has ruled that hacking is legal by default in
Argentina. The decision came in the case of cyberpirates who defaced
the Supreme Court's Web page.

Arguing that the law only covered crimes on "people, things and
animals" and not digital attacks, a federal court declared several
Argentines known as "X-Team" innocent of charges they broke into the
high court's Web page to accuse judges of covering up a human rights

"The judge ruled that hacking didn't harm things, people or animals
and thus was not covered in the law," Antonio Mille, a lawyer for
Microsoft in Argentina, said Monday.

The ruling was first published April 11. The sentence was not
appealed, lawyers said.

"This [ruling] allows us to warn that there is a serious legal void
that these days does not allow us to repress these [crimes]," the
judge said in the ruling.

In Argentine courts rulings do not set legal precedents and another
judge could rule differently on the legality of hackers in a new case.

The "X-Team" was accused of illegally entering the Supreme Court Web
page in 1998 and replacing it with photos of murdered magazine
journalist Jose Luis Cabezas as well as statements blaming the judges
for covering up his death.

Mr. Cabezas was found dead and his body charred into blackened bones
during a 1997 probe into Alfredo Yabran, a business tycoon with links
to then-President Carlos Menem. Mr. Yabran later committed suicide
after a judge ordered his arrest.

The dead journalist's case has been a cause celebre among groups
protesting what they said was a covering up of human rights abuses by
top government officials.

Polls show that courts are some of the most unpopular institutions in
Argentina and Supreme Court judges have become a focus of public anger
and a rallying cry for street protests against alleged corruption in
the state.

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