Computers: Cracking Down

Hackers face tough new laws

State and federal officials are trying to stem a rising tide of computer mischief. But they are finding it hard to make their punishments fit the crimes. Many of the best-publicized pranks have been committed by minors who are protected from the full force of the law. Moreover, the laws are often inadequate to deal with the complexities of the new technology. In March two members of Milwaukee's 414 Gang of computer whiz kids, which last summer broke into computers at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Los Alamos National Laboratory, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges...

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