Kevin Mitnick, infamous as the nation's most notorious computer hacker, was incarcerated in 1995. The FBI incarcerated Mitnick after a two-year chase on the charge of breaking into the computer systems of companies such as Sun Microsystems, Motorola, Nokia, and Novell. Federal prosecutors also charged him with stealing software that was worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
After spending four and a half years in jail, Mitnick was released on January 21, 2000. His three-year probation prohibits him from using computers, wireless communication, or any other high-tech device. He is also prohibited from working in a place that has a computer on its premises.
This ban might seem excessive as Mitnick claims that he is only guilty of trespassing and copying without permission. However, he was long sought as "America's Most Wanted" computer hacker. His detention gained him the tremendous support of the hacker community, and his arrest has come to represent the hacker dilemma: While true hacker ideology supports the free access to information, they cannot be justly treated the same as true criminals who do commit crimes that harm humanity.
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Miller, G. (Jan. 21, 2000). Computer hacker Mitnick scheduled to be released today. Los Angeles Times, p. 2, sec. Business, part C.
Ward, M. (Jan. 27, 2000). Connected: Hacker Mitnick released. The Daily Telegraph (London), p. 2.
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Last revised April 16, 2000