Security Focus is running a disconcerting article on the anti-hacking provisions of the proposed Anti-Terrorism Act:
Hackers, virus-writers and web site defacers would face life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under legislation proposed by the Bush Administration that would classify most computer crimes as acts of terrorism.
The Justice Department is urging Congress to quickly approve its Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), a twenty-five page proposal that would expand the government\’s legal powers to conduct electronic surveillance, access business records, and detain suspected terrorists.
The proposal defines a list of \”Federal terrorism offenses\” that are subject to special treatment under law. The offenses include assassination of public officials, violence at international airports, some bombings and homicides, and politically-motivated manslaughter or torture.
Most of the terrorism offenses are violent crimes, or crimes involving chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. But the list also includes the provisions of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act that make it illegal to crack a computer for the purpose of obtaining anything of value, or to deliberately cause damage (emphasis added).
More. This legislation appears to dovetail nicely with the Digital Millenium Copyright Act and the Security Systems Standards and Certification Act.