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    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Last HOPE conference (Hackers on Planet Earth) in NYC 2008 Part 6

    After a coffee and saying goodbye to friend Kaja, I went to Kevin Mitnick’s presentation. Federal prosecutor Kent Walker said in an interview with the New York Times that Kevin "…was arguably the most wanted computer hacker in the world…” However, that stereotype was mostly due to media hype. His trial didn’t go so well with many procedural issues, an overzealous prosecution, and a technically-illiterate Judge. The Judge believed that Kevin could whistle tones into the phone and launch a nuclear missile attack and, consequently, put him in solitary confinement for 8 months.

    In my opinion, Kevin’s punishment didn’t fit the crime. Hearing about Kevin and BernieS’s legal cases inspired me to go to law school. If more people with a background or interest in computers got involved in defense or prosecution of hacking crime cases, I think the system would be fairer for computer crimes and legal/law enforcement blunders like Kevin’s time in the hole and BernieS’ physical abuse in federal prison wouldn’t happen [as much] anymore. Also, finding technologically competent criminal defense attorneys and expert witnesses should be easier to do; hence, I hope to start a non-profit group to further that endeavor.

    I’ve also been curious about where a special international cyber crimes court could exist. Without fail, my computer science students and someone at a presentation will always ask if a special court exists, and subsequently, why it doesn’t. The only venue I can imagine where something that specialized could potentially exist is with the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague. It is only a court of the last resort (meaning the really bad stuff like genocide and other crimes against humanity) and the US won’t recognize that court, but perhaps they will in the future considering that many cyber crimes have international originations and target, some with serious implications.

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