RealNews

Hackers on the hop as new law threatens prison time

Whether they’re crashing websites or just perusing the net to find a stolen password for access to a porn site – South Africa’s data thieves can now land in prison. IT law specialist Reinhardt Buys says the new Electronic Communications and Transactions (ECT) Act criminalises the “unauthorised access to, interception of or interference with data”. These crimes carry penalties of between a year and five years in prison. The act also makes the crime of cyber extortion punishable by up to five years in prison. Buys said, however, that the prosecution of hackers was extremely difficult as they might be stationed in countries like Brazil, where website hacking is not outlawed. In the past three weeks more than 20 South African sites have been defaced by hackers. Full Story

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