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Britain Plans to Give Hackers Life for National Security Threats

The British government has announced its legislative agenda for the year ahead, including a specific measure – introduced recently in the Queen's Speech – uncovering plans for punishment of "_life imprisonment_" for "_computer hackers who threaten British national security_, "according to an article published on the UK's Telegraph website. Cybercriminals who put human life at risk by "_attacking food, energy, and police computer networks_" and acts that trigger "_deadly civil unrest by cutting off food distribution, telephone networks or energy supplies_" will indeed be looking at "_life in prison_, "according to the report.

The article indicates that the "Computer Misuse Act_" includes an existing offense – noted as "_impairing a computer_" – which will be amended to note "_unauthorized access to a computer." According to the article, it "carries a maximum sentence of 10 years' imprisonment." Under further review, this offense was found not to "_reflect the potential damage to the economy and the risk to human life posed by a devastating attack by internet terrorists, or a lone hacker working from their bedroom_" – considering the current gravity of attacks in today's world, as the article indicates.

Regarding the new "Serious Crime Bill\, "Karen Bradley, Minister for Organized Crime, was quoted in the_ article to say, "_Our reliance on computer systems and the degree to which they are interlinked is ever-increasing, and a major cyberattack on our critical infrastructure would have grave consequences. This bill would ensure that those responsible would face the justice they deserve in the event of such a serious attack._" This change put forth by the British government now aligns that nation with the United States which, according to the article, introduced "_life sentences for malicious computer hackers in the wake of September 11."

Read more in the full article about this serious change in legislation and learn how the British government will approach punishment for cybercriminals in the future.

Written by Bryon Turcotte  /  June 5, 2014

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