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New Legislation Would Crack Down On Online Criminal Havens 208

Hugh Pickens writes "The Hill reports that Senators Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have introduced a bill that would penalize foreign countries that fail to crack down on cyber criminals operating within their borders. Under the bill the White House would have the responsibility of identifying countries that pose cyber threats and the president would have to present to Congress in an annual report. Countries identified as 'hacker havens' would then have to develop plans of action to combat cybercrimes or risk cuts to their US export dollars, foreign-direct investment funds and trade assistance grants. Numerous American employers, including Cisco, HP, Microsoft, Symantec, PayPal, eBay, McAfee, American Express, Mastercard and Visa, as well as Facebook, are supporting the Senators' legislation."
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New Legislation Would Crack Down On Online Criminal Havens

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 23, 2010 @11:48PM (#31593626)

    This legislation is just going to blow up in our face as soon as other countries start demanding that we rat out our citizens for "criminal" activity (e.g. dissent, political freedom, etc.)

    • "Gee, I feel safer already" A lot of huff and puff, and not much else.

    • by russ1337 ( 938915 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:45AM (#31594024)

      This legislation is just going to blow up in our face as soon as other countries start demanding that we rat out our citizens for "criminal" activity (e.g. dissent, political freedom, etc.)

      i'd guess it's more targeted at illegal activity such as 'piracy' and 'copyright infringement'. This smacks of RIAA/MPAA and leverage against countries such as Sweden for their lack of ability to close down The Pirate Bay.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by OldHawk777 ( 19923 ) *

        Yep, looks like, it could be another corporate-welfare fuckUS bill that protects bigbiz and ignores threats to the US Nation and People.

        The fiat sales pitch is usually flag, god, fear, homeland defense, evil, security... and indicates more [BigBrother] fuckUS bigbiz by biggov laws.

        Biggov (law) is all about bigbiz (economics), never about freedom from threat and welfare (QoL) for US People.

        GodBless the biggies from US buggies, and keep the biggies from controlling/oppressing our life any more.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I'd guess it's more targeted at illegal activity such as 'piracy' and 'copyright infringement'.

        And you'd probably be right, given that it's Orrin Hatch that's sponsoring the bill. Orrin has very strong RIAA ties and is a very strong supporter of them.

      • This smacks of RIAA/MPAA and leverage against countries such as Sweden for their lack of ability to close down The Pirate Bay.

        I doubt that the Scandinavian countries, which are self sufficient and reasonably wealthy by themselves, receive much foreign direct investment funds or trade assistance grants. I suppose that sanctions against their exports are possible (i.e. more expensive Ikea furniture or some such), but that would be counter-productive given the realities of the European Union and cross border European commerce and trade.

    • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

      Why do you think that they want something other than that to happen?

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by flyneye ( 84093 )

      I dunno about that, I can see penalties against Nigeria happening. It would be interesting to see how tough they get with China and Russia which seem to be the biggest cybercrime havens. I'm sooooo f*ckin sure man.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dachannien ( 617929 )

      And how is that supposed to happen? The US is by far the biggest exporter of money in the world. The reason this legislation would work is because the US can withhold that money to coerce other countries to comply. It doesn't work the other way around, because the other countries don't have leverage against the US.

      One could argue that China (and Japan, actually) has leverage in the form of all the US debt they hold. But if China leveraging that debt against the US was a good thing for them, they'd have

  • by tpstigers ( 1075021 ) on Tuesday March 23, 2010 @11:49PM (#31593630)
    Wow. "Obey our laws or else!" Imperialist America strikes again!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      TFA summarized: "If people from your country attack us, and you won't do anything about it, we won't trade with you so much."

      How horribly fascist.

      • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @08:27AM (#31596074)

        If some countries had the political and military leverage, the US would be in deep shit if that catches on...

        See it in whatever way you want, the US are (ab)using its dominant position in global politics to cram their laws down the throats of other nations. Imagine Iran having the upper military and economic hand and being able to force their views on decency on the rest of the globe and you see what the rest of the world thinks of this.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gandhi_2 ( 1108023 )

      Nations routinely "attack" each-other economically over trade-related issues in the form of tariffs, duties, quotas, et al. Has nothing to do imperialism or your hatred for America.

      • by tpstigers ( 1075021 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:33AM (#31593952)
        I started this thread and I'm tired of one assumption you all keep making: You all keep talking about my hatred of America. Well, let me spell this out for you - I LOVE AMERICA. I have done so my entire life. The fact that I disagree with you does not mean I don't love my country, neither does it mean I love my country less than you. Th truth is that I just hold my country to a higher standard than you do.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Rogerborg ( 306625 )
          I'm tired of the assumption that your sort keeps making that you can bash America and love it at the same time. How many times do you think America will keep crawling back to you, hoping that you'll change?
          • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

            I'm tired of the assumption that your sort keeps making that you can bash America and love it at the same time. How many times do you think America will keep crawling back to you, hoping that you'll change?

            Haha, America as a battered wife; I love it.

          • I'm tired of the assumption that your sort keeps making that you can bash America and love it at the same time. How many times do you think America will keep crawling back to you, hoping that you'll change?

            How does one crawl back to himself?

      • by copponex ( 13876 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:58AM (#31594124) Homepage []

        Main Entry: imperialism
        Function: noun
        Date: 1800

        1 : imperial government, authority, or system
        2 : the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas; broadly : the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence

        If you don't think forcing another country to obey our laws by violating their national sovereignty through political and military influence isn't imperialism, you're fucking stupid.

        • by tsotha ( 720379 )

          If making decisions about whether or not to trade with different countries is imperialism, then all countries are empires. I'm not thrilled about this legislation, but you're just crying wolf here.

        • So then every nation to ever raise a trade dispute is an empire. If you believe that, you're a fucking douchebag.

        • So all trade sanctions, even those related to human rights violations, are "imperialism" in your opinion?

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by copponex ( 13876 )

            So all trade sanctions, even those related to human rights violations, are "imperialism" in your opinion?

            In a pretend world, there could be sanctions related to human rights violations that were based on moral values. You're welcome to provide me with a real world example from the United States.

            Keep in mind we have supported governments of Iraq, Indonesia, Iran, Columbia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, China, and others while they violated human rights. We even supported apartheid South Africa and we still support apartheid in Israel/Palestine. Some su

            • So, again, all trade sanctions are "imperialism" in your opinion?

              • by copponex ( 13876 )

                Perhaps I should be more clear. I don't think there have been trade sanctions in the last sixty years by the United States based on moral grounds. You are welcome to provide me with a real world example, but it seems like you don't have any that you're willing to present. North Korea is probably the best case you could make. So, make a case, or you can reply with vague implications of begging the question in imaginary scenarios that do little to prove any point.

                All trade sanctions are out of self-interest,

                • I don't have to provide shit. I asked a question, you made the claim. That's how it works. Understand?

                  Here's something for you to read:


                  You cheapen the word "imperialism" by using it in the way you do.

                  Internet blowhard.

                  • by copponex ( 13876 )

                    In the 1980s, both the Reagan and Thatcher administrations, in the USA and UK respectively, followed a 'constructive engagement' policy with the apartheid government, vetoing the imposition of UN economic sanctions on South Africa, justified by a belief in free trade and a vision of South Africa as a bastion against Marxist forces in Southern Africa. Thatcher declared the ANC a terrorist organisation, and in 1987 her spokesman, Bernard Ingham, famously said that anyone who believed that the ANC would ever form the government of South Africa was "living in cloud cuckoo land".


                    Strike three. You're out.

    • Scads of cyber criminals and spies here in the good ole USA? Say it ain't so!

      • there are scads of cybercriminals right here on slashdot.

        How many posters in this thread are posting using a neighbors WiFi without permission?
        how many of us posted the illegal DeCSS code in posts?
        how many people here have downloaded a MP3?
        how many people here have discussed baseball without the express written consent....
        well, you get the point. We're all criminals.

        • What? I need written consent now from someone to post that Baseball is about the most boring sport in existance? Gee, talk 'bout free speech... or is that banned now too?

          Ok, snideness aside. When you look at laws, not only in the US, it's a general trend, you'll see a damn lot of laws that are essentially unenforcable and only detectable if something else already allows the feds to raid you. It's almost like they're trying to construct something that allows them to tack any crazy, arbitrary fine or punishme

      • by jabuzz ( 182671 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @05:25AM (#31595030) Homepage

        Screw that for years the USA harbored Irish terrorists. That is people convicted of blowing things up and murder. They did the same with north African terrorists that blew things up and murdered in France. Of course as soon as USA suffered a major foreign terrorist attack on it's own soil their tune changed.

        This double standard is why the USA has such a bad perception in most of the rest of the World.

    • Imperialist America strikes again!

      Aw, someone's mad because -their- empire's evil plans aren't making it onto slashdot...

    • by wizardforce ( 1005805 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:52AM (#31594078) Journal

      No. Take a look at the two pushing this bill: Hatch in particular has a history of supporting idiotic things like allowing copyright holders to destroy property of suspected infringers and Gillibrand has a hostory of taking large campaign contributions from parties directly related to legislation she was involved in. It therefore shouldn't be terribly surprising that these two were involved.

    • Imperialist America strikes again!

      We outsourced imperialism awhile ago. We're mostly consultants now for other countries. Didn't you get the memo? /not joking

      • It's still imperialism. We just noticed that it's cheaper and more profitable to install a local government instead of sending our troops and our bureaucracy there, which costs money and manpower. That has been outsourced. We allow countries now to govern themselves, but by virtue of WTO and other organisations that ensure these countries cannot act against our interests we keep them at the leash.

        Imperialism didn't end last century. It's still going on, we are just more subtle about it now. Instead of direc

    • Wow. "Obey our laws or else!" Imperialist America strikes again!

      You mean "Crack down on people ripping us off or we'll stop sending you shit"

      • Yeah, 'cause ripping off is something that's only allowed if we profit from it. Like, say, when we dictate the terms you may trade with us and you can't complain or we'll simply destroy that figment of imagination you call your economy.

  • Well (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CSFFlame ( 761318 ) on Tuesday March 23, 2010 @11:50PM (#31593636)
    And by Cyber-Threats, they mean that they fail to encforce the DMCA.
    • by Jenming ( 37265 )

      Oh? Are you sure they don't mean botnet command centers?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        This could be dicey.

        So what is an online criminal?

        What situations would involve reduced trade with, say, Canada...

        1) Botnet initiated in Canada, with participants all over the world
        2) Botnet initiated in another country or the US, with Canadian participants
        3) Someone who downloaded the latest Metallica song in Canada
        4) Someone who posted a copyrighted Fox News report on their Canadian blog
        5) Hackers! from Canada
        6) A website that is infected with malware, with the company or server residing in Canada

        A few ar

        • Re:Well (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Jenming ( 37265 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:44AM (#31594022)

          I doubt any of those things would result in less trade with Canada. I am sure NAFTA would over rule it for one.

          How about Botnet command centers that have been located, the IPs they are using have been found, the ISPs providing the internet connection have been found and asked to take them offline. However the ISPs and the country will not take them offline.

          • The U.S. doesn't obey NAFTA rulings or WTC rulings. I think it's been almost a decade now that since the U.S. decided to unilaterally disobey the terms of trade treaties it's signed whenever it was more convenient to not follow them.

            The treaties haven't been scrapped because it's worth more to keep it and to ignore the U.S. transgressions, for now.

            But we often get U.S. politicians up here threatening us over completely false and made up allegations that the Repbulican party seems to invent. In the waning

        • by Toze ( 1668155 )
          7) America includes Canada on a list of "pirate nations" because our laws permit private, non-commercial copying.
    • Well, I'm sure the UK will be on the right side of that law once our politicians completely ignore the Digital Economy Bill and end up accepting ACTA...

  • by Kitkoan ( 1719118 ) on Tuesday March 23, 2010 @11:56PM (#31593666)
    As shown with the Special 301 list which stated the Canada was needing to update copyright laws (which could label Canada a criminal haven since it doesn't have a DMCA). After it was issued about Canada being in the wrong, many companies publicly stated otherwise. []
  • Pointless (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Skarecrow77 ( 1714214 ) on Tuesday March 23, 2010 @11:56PM (#31593668)

    This is pointless legislation because they very country it's targeting (*coughpeople'srepubliccough*), we refuse to recognize for their already existing undeclared "warfare" against the US, such as their currency manipulation.

    "Cyber warfare" will just be one more thing we ignore for economic/political reasons.

  • Just like child porn, cybercrime is another excuse to go after their real goal: Dictate who does what on the web. Soon after, they'll say file sharing is cybercrime, and they will twist another country's arm to impose their ACTA crap.
  • by santax ( 1541065 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:00AM (#31593690)
    But as a non-american I really really really DO NOT want US laws. If I would, I would move to the US. The arrogance is striking. Btw, ca
    • by Jenming ( 37265 )

      I agree that you should not have to follow US laws.
      However it also seems fair that we (the US) should cut back on foreign aid to a country that say won't shut down the Botnet command centers operating in their borders.

      • by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @01:22AM (#31594242) Journal
        I'm fine if the legislation is only about shutting down botnet command centers, spammers and malware.

        Not fine if it includes stuff like "if you don't have DMCA laws, you're a criminal haven - since criminals (from the US POV) can reverse engineer and break DRM, even if your country says that is not a criminal act". Same if those countries just happen to have different copyright laws (e.g. Canada).

        A lot of legislation has very nice titles, e.g. "No Child Left Behind Act", but the details are what count.

        You pick a good name and enough people might believe what they want about it and thus support it without looking too closely at the details.

        Same like those "investment" funds - "High-Grade Structured Credit Fund" or "High-Grade Structured Credit Enhanced Leveraged Fund" ;).
    • exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DeadRat4life ( 1638391 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:50AM (#31594068)
      i bet all the people defending this, and the general foreign policy of acting like the cops of the world, would be outraged at the thought of having to follow canadian, french, russian, ect. law. They would probably call for a military strike of London if the shoe was on the other foot. Fucking hypocrites.
  • by Joe The Dragon ( 967727 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:08AM (#31593748)

    so will the WTO give Antigua even more free IP over this as the US may try to push the Online gambling ban?

  • by Col Bat Guano ( 633857 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:27AM (#31593904)

    Are we likely to see legislation against tax havens that allow people to secrete money away from legitimate taxation and policing enquiries?

    Oh silly me - that's where the politicians and their rich friends put their money...

  • by zondag ( 1114149 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:28AM (#31593916)
    Top 20 Countries Found to Have the Most Cybercrime []

    So apparently, if you add up all of Europe we'd match the US as the largest source of cybercrime. But the hypocrisy aside, Europe won't be the target of US sanctions.

    • Quoting from that chart....
      Each country lists 6 contributing factors, share of malicious computer activity, malicious code rank, spam zombies rank, phishing web site hosts rank, bot rank and attack origin, to substantiate its cybercrime ranking.
      So in otherwords being a victim-- having a hijacked computer-- gets you ranked up on that chart. Thats real clever. I thought the point of all this was C&C servers that the ISPs refused to disconnect, not mom and pop having a zombified computer that they are
  • by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:42AM (#31594012)

    This is a future backdoor for enforcing upcoming ACTA, and for cracking down on file sharing/other perceived piracy/copyright infringements. And ultimately for imposing global internet censorship (controls on perceived indecent or perceived dangerous content).

    This isn't about hacker havens or real bad guys. Lobbyists aren't handling billions of bucks wanting representatives to shut down 'hacker havens'.

    The big bucks are coming down from the **AA

    Not that stopping crime is a bad thing. But this sort of thing is going to be abused going forward.

    It's contrary to free trade. And while the current intent may be great, the future consequences could be dire, if some agreement can't be reached early to limit its scope.

    • by Jenming ( 37265 )

      If we (the earth) ever end up with global internet censorship its not going to be coming from the US and its not going to come until after someone pries our (Americans) First Amendment from our cold dead hands.

      • by santax ( 1541065 )
        I hope you are right, but as far as I can see the US has did a lot for censorship lately. Or do you know what the ACTA is about? Seen what is happening with viacom vs youtube? It's the DMCA that has shut down free speech in the USA and the usage of the most smallest part of a book is no longer considered fair use.... Buddy really, I hope you are right, but I am afraid you will be wrong.
      • You have more faith in the sheeple than I do.

  • like i knew orrin, you'd wonder if this is really his way of setting up draconian ip enforcement for his hollywood pals' he's never been able to do otherwise. is it a secret hatch to hollywood?
  • No Disney? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by fyoder ( 857358 ) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @01:02AM (#31594150) Homepage Journal

    Numerous American employers, including Cisco, HP, Microsoft, Symantec, PayPal, eBay, McAfee, American Express, Mastercard and Visa, as well as Facebook, are supporting the Senators' legislation."

    What, no Disney? No Sony? No RIAA and MPAA members? Did the others tell them to hide in the back and not to come out until the law is passed?

    I'm all for going after the spammers and shit, but I sure as hell don't trust the US Gov't to use a very narrow definition of "cyber criminal" when big media pull out their cheque books.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 )

      I sure as hell don't trust the US Gov't to use a very narrow definition of "cyber criminal"

      And this is exactly the problem, no one trusts the US government (more specifically, 76% of Americans only trust the government to do the right thing only some of the time, or never). Not just with defining cyber criminal, with anything.

      Unfortunately it is with good reason. After a decade of Bush (and not just Bush, the incompetent congress that was with him), followed up with bailouts for incompetent banks and Obama pushing a lousy healthcare bill, there isn't a lot to trust.

      There isn't a good solution

  • The USA has the right to not give aid and to not trade with certain countries. Either way, this is going to be used to force IP laws globally. The funny thing about cyber war, is that it is called a war. We have nuclear weapons and the potential to destroy each other. Does that mean we're at nuclear war? What we are seeing is cyber espionage and preparations for cyber warfare. The only way this can be fought is if the world largely stands against the American government. The American people need to also sta
  • I'd like to see "Don't click on that .exe attachment" PSA's on TV.

  • So, does that mean that we will not IMPORT from them? If so, Canada, Russia, North Korea, South Korea and AMERICA are the biggest.
  • When you point a finger at someone else, three are pointing back at you.

    US Federal Guvmint - ACTA, DMCA, NSA wiretaps, full laundry list available online.
    Cisco - Great Firewall of China [], 'nuff said.
    Visa/Mastercard/Amex - Insecure [] data practices [] while raping their customers with fees.
    Facebook - In bed with Zynga, whose CEO has admitted he's a scammer [] and that his games are rife with malware.
    Google - Censorship in China (until they got pwned).
    Microsoft - No comment needed (with a CEO that looks like Satan [], it

  • I expect an anti-Linux section to be hidden in the bill to be exploited after passing.

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.