Monday, October 20, 2003

Dogs, Street Children and Hackers

Is that the name of the newest pop group? No, it's how Varujan Pambuccian, Romanian lawmaker and former programmer, describes his country in this article on Romanian hackers. I've tangled with these guys before, but it sounds like their country's officials are cracking down. From the story:

"Computer crime flourished in Romania because the country lacked a cybercrime law until earlier this year, when it enacted what may be the world's harshest. The new law punishes convicts with up to 15 years in prison — more than twice the maximum for rape.

Varujan Pambuccian, a lawmaker and former programmer, helped draft the new law after Romania's government realized the nation, which is racing to join the European Union by 2007, was getting a bad online reputation.

'We want a good name for our country,' he said. 'I'm very angry that Romania is so well-known for ugly things — for street dogs, street children and hackers.' Pambuccian said there was a noticeable decline in criminal activity in the first three months since the law took effect.

More than 60 Romanians have been arrested in recent joint operations involving the FBI, Secret Service, Scotland Yard, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and numerous European police agencies."

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