Strange laws see hacker jailed only for one year for doxxing and swatting while hacking a website to expose a high school rapist gets a longer sentence
Strange are the laws of the United States of America. Its judicial system sentenced a former journalist and Anonymous member, Mathew Keys to two years in jail for defacing a website using a password given by a colleague. While in another instance, Kentucky Anonymous aka Deric Lostutter, the man who allegedly hacked a website to expose a high school girl’s rapists has been charged with violating federal computer laws, and if convicted, faces a sentence eight times as long as that of the rapists.
Now in another case, a serial doxxer and ‘swatter’ has been given ONLY one year in prison sentence. Mir Islam, who doxxed multiple celebrities and politicians, as well as called in fake threats that resulted in the swatting of at least nineteen people, including security researcher Brian Krebs, who uncovered Islam’s doxxing tactics.
For the uninitiated, doxxing is a practice of researching and broadcasting personally identifiable information about an individual in order to publically leak their otherwise unknown information. The methods employed to acquire this information include searching publicly available databases and social media websites (like Facebook), hacking, and social engineering. Doxxing is a crime in many countries including United States. Similarly, Swatting is fooling an emergency service (via such means as hoaxing an emergency services dispatcher) into dispatching an emergency response team based on the false report of a serious law enforcement emergency, such as a bomb threat, murder, hostage-taking etc. The term is derived from SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics), a specialized type of police unit in the United States carrying military-style equipment such as door breaching weapons, submachine guns and assault rifles.
Islam was found guilty of various crimes by Judge Moss, who sentenced him to two years in prison. Judge Moss in explaining his brief deliberation on arriving at Islam’s two-year (attenuated) sentence, said he hoped to send a message to others who would endeavor to engage in swatting attacks.
Federal prosecutors wanted to see Islam jailed for nearly four years — towards the upper reaches of the mandatory sentencing guidelines. Instead, the judge handed down a sentence of two years. Islam has been in federal custody since July 2015 and that time is being credited towards his sentence, meaning it will only be another year at the most before Islam is free again.
Again, strange are the laws of United States!