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A senator from the Federation Council believes that the hacking attacks on the websites of the state authorities should be made equal to the attempt at a coup d’etat and therefore demand a tougher punishment. The experts name this initiative as one more folly.
The hacker attacks on the state-run websites should be taken as an attempt at the seizure of power, member of the Federation Council information policy committee Ruslan Gattarov said last Sunday. “The current Criminal Code is too lenient for the hackers,” Gattarov said with regret in an article in the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily. “The law envisages only five years in prison for such offenders,” he said. The senator wants to make the punishment for this crime equal to the article for the seizure of the state authorities that carries up to 15 years in prison. Gattarov stated that his initiative will be considered at a meeting of the upper house of Russian parliament at the beginning of the autumn session.
The hackers are frequently acting outside the country and are fulfilling an order, which has concrete criminal contractors, and these criminal contractors should be brought to justice, Gattarov hinted.
The newspaper recalled that last week unidentified hackers cracked the website of the Khamovniki District Court of Moscow, which sentenced on August 17 three members of the Pussy Riot punk band to two years in prison for a scandalous action at the Christ the Saviour Cathedral. The main text on the front page of the website was replaced with the slogan, “Freedom to Pussy Riot!” A video with the homosexual content was also posted there. Meanwhile, a Pussy Riot song was automatically downloaded, when a visitor entered the website.
The web users were puzzled over Gattarov’s initiative. Well-known blogger Oleg Kozyrev believes that the problem is “the hacking practice of the websites of the opponents is being spread by the pro-Kremlin forces.” “There are some cases of Dos-attacks on the personal pages of opposition politicians and the websites of the media outlets.” He believes that the cyber attacks are being spread with the support of the authorities to say the least, “We do not witness any proper investigation of any hacking crime. For instance, no one was punished for the recent cracking of Alexei Navalny’s webpage,” the blogger said. Kozyrev recommends Gattarov “to think more about this aspect of the issue and get down to elimination of the struggle against the dissenterism through the cracking of other webpages.”
Head of the foundation “Committee for the freedom of the access to information” Iosif Dzyaloshinsky called the initiative over a tougher punishment for the hacking of the websites as another silly idea in an article, which was published in the Novye Izvestia daily. “This is not a crime, which should be punished by the law enforcement agencies. This is a crime, which should be taken as an offence for “information stealing,” the expert explained to the newspaper.
This should be the scope of crimes, which are not described properly in the Russian legislation. This is a problem, which should be settled in view of information security, Dzyaloshinsky believes. He offers in the Novye Izvestia article to categorize such crimes as “the stealing of corporative information”, “the stealing of a patent” and “the stealing of information from classified sources.”
Meanwhile, the expert noted that punishments for such offences are envisaged in various laws in the Russian legislation. The human rights activists take Gattarov’s initiative just as another attempt to curb the activities of the opposition.