SYDNEY, Australia--Computer hackers, vandals and fraudsters could face up to 10 years in jail under a cybercrime law introduced in the New South Wales Parliament. The Australian state government has proposed amendments to the Crimes Act to include provisions covering electronic offenses. "Unauthorized impairment of electronic communication to or from a computer" would carry a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
"People who believe causing damage by hacking or spreading viruses to be trivial or even amusing activities are wrong. These are serious crimes in the 21st century, and people can face up to 10 years in (jail) if convicted," State Attorney General Bob Debus said in a statement. He added that the most recent reports of serious hacking in Australia were in January, when Romanian hackers penetrated 15 federal government Web sites, as well as Western Australian, South Australian, and local council Web sites.
Staff writer Megan McAuliffe reported from Sydney.