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The likelihood of getting arrested for computer hacking has
increased to an unprecedented level. No matter how precautionary
or sage you are, you're bound to make mistakes. And the fact of
the matter is if you have trusted anyone else with the know ledge
of what you are involved in, you have made your first mistake.
For anyone active in hacking I cannot begin to stress the
importance of the information contained in this file. To those
who have just been arrested by the Feds, reading this file could
mean the difference between a three-year or a one-year sentence.
To those who have never been busted, reading this file will likely
change the way you hack, or stop you from hacking altogether.
I realize my previous statements are somewhat lofty, but in
the 35 months I spent incarcerated I've heard countless inmates
say it: "If I knew then what I know now." I doubt that
anyone would disagree: The criminal justice system is a game to
be played, both by prosecution and defense. And if you have to
be a player, you would be wise to learn the rules of engagement.
The writer and contributors of this file have learned the hard
way. As a result we turned our hacking skills during the times
of our incarceration towards the study of criminal law and, ultimately,
survival. Having filed our own motions, written our own briefs
and endured life in prison, we now pass this knowledge back to
the hacker community. Learn from our experiences... and our mistakes.
PART I - FEDERAL CRIMINAL LAW
A. THE BOTTOM LINE - RELEVANT CONDUCT
For those of you with a short G-phile attention span I'm going
to cover the single most important topic first. This is probably
the most substantial misunderstanding of the present criminal
justice system. The subject I am talking about is referred to
in legal circles as "relevant conduct." It's a bit complex
and I will get into this. However, I have to make his crystal
clear so that it will stick in your heads. It boils down to two
I. ONCE YOU ARE FOUND GUILTY OF EVEN ONE COUNT,
EVERY COUNT WILL BE USED
TO CALCULATE YOUR SENTENCE
Regardless of whether you plea bargain to one count or 100,
your sentence will be the same. This is assuming we are talking
about hacking, code abuse, carding, computer trespass, property
theft, etc. All of these are treated the same. Other crimes you
committed (but were not charged with) will also be used to calculate
your sentence. You do not have to be proven guilty of every act.
As long as it appears that you were responsible, or someone says
you were, then it can be used against you. I know this sounds
insane , but it's true; it's the preponderance of evidence standard
for relevant conduct. This practice includes using illegally seized
evidence and acquittals as information in increasing the length
of your sentence.
II. YOUR SENTENCE WILL BE BASED ON THE TOTAL
The Feds use a sentencing table to calculate your sentence.
It's simple; More Money = More Time. It doesn't matter if you
tried to break in 10 times or 10,000 times. Each one could be
a count but it's the loss that matters. And an unsuccessful attempt
is treated the same as a completed crime. It also doesn't matter
if you tried to break into one company's computer or 10. The government
will quite simply add all of the estimated loss figures up, and
then refer to the sentencing table.
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