Pro-WikiLeaks hacktivists may be hard for U.S. to pursue ..!!

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Legal hurdles could make it tough for U.S. prosecutors to go after
pro-WikiLeaks hackers who waged cyber attacks last week on Visa,
MasterCard, PayPal and other companies.

Attorney General Eric
Holder said last week he was “looking into” it but there are enormous
challenges finding, moving, investigating and finally convicting those
the United States might accuse.

Typically the federal government prosecutes hacking under the
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which prohibits the “transmission of a
program, information, code, or command” that “intentionally causes
damage without authorization, to a protected computer.” It’s a broad,
powerful statute that applies even to computer crime committed abroad,
and can carry prison sentences and heavy fines. But to use it,
authorities will first have to locate the elusive hackers and bring them
to the United States.

In this case, a group of Internet activists
working under the name Operation Payback claimed responsibility for the
attacks, which briefly shut down the websites of several companies that
had cut off services to WikiLeaks after the whistleblower organization
last month made public a massive trove of secret U.S. diplomatic cables.
Dutch police arrested two Dutch teenagers last week, and other hackers
around the globe are believed to be involved. If the U.S. seeks to
prosecute these or any other hackers who may be apprehended overseas, it
will have to rely on foreign counterparts to extradite them to the
United States. Extraditions often get caught up in politics.



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