UK lawmakers want to send computer hackers to prison for life

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Lawmakers in the United Kingdom are currently considering changes to the country’s criminal code that could result in hackers being locked up for longer than murderers or bank robbers. Various members of Parliament, human rights groups, and computer experts, however, are objecting to the amendments, arguing that they could be used to target whistleblowers.

Internet users who ‘threaten’ national security, by causing economic or environmental damage, could face a life sentence under new government plans to crack down on internet crime. Campaigners say the move will target whistleblowers. The government proposal claims the laws are needed to deal with “catastrophic” cyber-attacks that “result in loss of life, serious illness and injury, or serious damage to national security, or a significant risk thereof.” Proposals would update the existing Computer Misuse Act 1990, and would give judges the power to hand down harsher penalties on hackers. The laws would also incorporate internet users spying on the activities of UK businesses.

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