back to article Computer Misuse Act changes are delayed further

Denial of service attacks will not be criminalised in England and Wales for another six months despite measures lying unused in existing laws since 2006. Changes to the Computer Misuse Act will not be activated until October. The Home Office confirmed to OUT-LAW.COM that the long-awaited changes will not happen now as planned …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Right, so if I'm in the Isle of Mann and I launch a DoS attack via a machine in England against a machine in Scotland using my ISP in Guernsey via a mobile phone connection to a network in Ireland.

    Can I be arrested?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Why ?

    Most of these things come from offshore countries that are going to stick two fingers up anyway so what is the point ?

    Another example of this VERY stupid labour government who have no idea how the Internet works.

    Government - Using YOUR money to tell YOU what to do

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    10 years?

    10 years for hitting a few keys on a keyboard? Wow. Given the sort of sentance somebody would get for, say, robbing my house, this seems a bit disproportionate.

  4. James Penketh

    Oh dear...

    "...make it an offence to distribute tools which are "likely" to be used for hacking computer networks."

    Right... and who gets to decide which tools are most likely to be used to 'hack' computer networks? Probably those who haven't the slightest clue how a computer works.

    Anyone else already imagining how bad it's gonna get?

    "ssh... that can be used to hack. that's banned..."

    I know I'm probably preaching to the choir, but this is pointless... How many tools do you use everyday for administrating networks, testing servers, etc. that will get banned under this pathetic attempt to 'protect' us.

    Sometimes, I wish the people who write these stupid additions to things actually knew what they were talking about... however, it would probably make it worse.

    Mine's the black one with the external HDD, full of network 'testing' tools, in the pocket...

  5. Silo Spen


    Ever been to the Isle of Man? The mobile connection is terrible there. If you're not vodaphone, the whole idea is down the pan. Or it's going to cost you a lot more ;)

  6. amanfromMars Silver badge

    A poor law is easily defeated and makes a complete ass of its makers/conspirators

    "This part of the law has been controversial because experts have warned that it could criminalise some research into hacking.

    Anyone found guilty of launching a denial of service attack could be imprisoned for up to ten years."

    And what of a denial of service attack from a Government department who would refuse/decline/ignore a request for information to allow for a determination of their requirements, such as was shared here on El Reg, [although I'll grant you, somewhat obliquely] I refer to this post ..... NIRobotIQs wants Matrix style virtual world for Perfumed Gardens of Eden .... Posted Wednesday 7th May 2008 16:25 GMT ....

    And it is an affliction which appears to be endemic/systemic, for it is practised across many such ....... well, one would have to say old boy networks/closed shops which make a mockery of there being any semblance of due democratic process and engagement with the electorate, although that is hardly a surprise to many.

    What is surprising, is the charade and cynical pretense that such honourable systems are employed and exist.

  7. David Haworth

    Running late, badly specified ...

    Just like any other IT project.

    Mine's the donkey jacket with Anders^H^H^H^H^H^HAccenture on the back.

  8. Michael

    @AC - 10 years

    It's just the same system in which illegally acquiring something through the internet is considered worse than stealing it from a physical location.

    Basically, include of the words "internet" or "computer" in the crime report, and the sentencing doubles.

  9. Steve
    Thumb Down

    10 years

    Completely proportionate then.

  10. Slaine

    maths for the over 30's

    DoS attack = 10 years

    Selling a spliff to a mate in the pub = 14 years

    Steal the life savings of every individual in the county = re-election time.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Hmmm fair point...

    OK Internet connection from Bermuda via SSB?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Write to your MP...

    "...make it an offence to distribute tools which are "likely" to be used for hacking computer networks."

    This is patently ridiculous.. so just do it ::

    Offending wording is here:

  13. michael

    10 years?

    they are going to need to build a LOT more priions then there is not enought space currently for the pepol we currently arrest

  14. michael

    MS in cort

    I am shure some of the tools in windows insatlls can be used for hacking purposes can we get MS arrested?

  15. Slaine

    hAcKiNg ToOLs

    Shirley, the most essential piece of software to the hacker is the Operating Shytsem itself. Quick, arrest M$.

  16. Graham Marsden
    Thumb Down

    10 years...?

    Don't forget that even if they can't get you for "hacking tools" I'm sure they'll be able to find something on your PC that they can call "extreme pornography" and lock you up for three years instead...

  17. Chris Branch

    @10 years

    Not for having hacking tools, maximum sentence on that is 12 months, or a fine.

    In any case the law says you have to intend to gain unauthorised access with it before you're guilty. Not as worrying as you may think, I'd be more worried if I was making programs specifically designed to break security though.

  18. Sara Peters

    @ Chris Branch

    You're right that the law says you have to intend to gain unauthorized access. So be awfully darn careful--don't do any little knocks on the door, any scanning to see if the site's got security. Even if you find vulnerabilities and responsibly disclose them to the site owner, you're still technically breaking the law and are at the mercy of the site owner. Check out more about the Daniel Cuthbert case from 2005 and you'll still be a bit worried about the CMA.

  19. Wize

    How long do you get for normal breaking and entering?

    I'm sure the average murderer gets off with less than 10 years with a good lawyer.

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