Web Culture

From The Web To Jail: 6 Types of Computer Crimes You Can Get Arrested For

Chris Hoffman 09-07-2012

computer crimesGovernments across the world have tried to tame the Internet as a tempest of new technology threatens everything from strict government censorship and control over the media to entrenched media conglomerates The Entertainment Industry Giants Already Have Too Much Power [Opinion] In recent weeks, the Internet has been up in arms about the proposed SOPA/PIPA legislation. Many people see these measures as incredibly powerful and therefore dangerous to businesses and individuals online. While most people will... Read More and old concepts of acceptable speech. Like King Canute commanding the tide to turn back and not disturb him, governments have put up laws against everything from forwarding emails and commenting online in an attempt to stop the inevitable.


Many of us take for granted the freedoms we have online, but there are some people that could only dream they had the freedoms we have. Still, even those of us living in more developed countries are restricted online.

Skype & Voice-Chatting Online

Under a draft bill, Skype When Skype Isn't Working: 7 Key Settings You Must Check Skype won't connect or has no sound? These troubleshooting steps solve most common Skype problems. Read More and other voice-over-IP (VoIP) services How Does Skype Work? [Technology Explained] Read More would soon be illegal in Ethiopia. Initially, news organizations reported that anyone using Skype could end up with a 15 year jail sentence (Source). However, it appears that the reporting was sensationalist and the law appears designed primarily to prevent businesses from offering their own VoIP services. However, the law also includes this line:

Whosoever intentionally or by negligence obtains the [VoIP] service stipulated under sub-article (3) of this article commits an offence and shall be punishable with imprisonment from 3 months to 3 years…

In other words, it appears that using Skype to call a telephone through the Internet could land you 3 years in jail. Even worse, Ethiopia’s previous (current) law, passed in 2002, says:

The use or provision of voice communication or fax services through the Internet are prohibited. (Source)

It appears that Skype has already been illegal in Ethiopia for a decade. This law appears designed to crack down on competition to Ethiopia’s government-owned telephone company, as well as giving the government control over voice communications.

computer crimes


Blogging & Forwarding Emails

Some authoritarian governments crack down on any form of speech they dislike – generally political speech that portrays the government in a bad light. For example, according to Human Rights Watch’s 2005 False Freedom report,

The [Syrian] government has detained people for expressing their opinions or reporting information online, and even for forwarding political jokes by email. Syrian bloggers and human rights activists told Human Rights Watch that plainclothes security officers maintain a close watch over Internet cafés. (Source)

The next time you express your opinion online 7 Types Of Blogs You Can Write [Opinion] When you set out to write your personal blog, you'll realize that there are a variety of different writer's hats that you can wear. You may want to make a personal blog with your thoughts... Read More or forward a funny joke email, remember that you could be arrested for it if you had been born in a different country.

types of computer crimes

Commenting & Online Anonymity

Syria doesn’t just arrest people for blogging and forwarding emails, they also take action against people that leave comments the government doesn’t like. As Human Rights Watch reported in 2007,


Syrian authorities have held two men in incommunicado detention since June for expressing online views that are critical of the Syrian government. Authorities have refused to disclose the whereabouts of the detained men to their families. On September 23, the Supreme State Security Court sentenced a third man to two years in prison for posting online comments that displeased the authorities. (Source)

To ensure people can’t leave comments with anonymity How the Tor Project Can Help You Protect Your Own Online Privacy Privacy has been a constant issue with virtually all major sites that you visit today, especially those that handle personal information on a regular basis. However, while most security efforts are currently directed towards the... Read More and flout the authorities, Syria demands that websites clearly display the real names of their commenters, allowing them to be tracked down. Websites that refuse to do so are blocked How To Quickly Check If Your Site Is Visible Behind The Great Firewall Of China The Great Firewall of China, officially known as the Golden Shield project, uses a variety of methods to block foreign websites that the Chinese government doesn’t like. The Chinese government doesn’t publish a list of... Read More . They also passed a law that required Internet café owners to spy on customers that access certain, “sensitive” websites.

Disrespecting King Or Religion

While it may not be surprising that authoritarian governments will arrest people for criticizing the government, you may be surprised at the other types of speech people can get arrested for. In some countries, people can be arrested for criticizing the country’s king or religion.

In Thailand, an American citizen was arrested for translating Learn A Language And Translate For Practice With Duolingo (Now Open To All!) The internet has given us some fantastic tools for language learning, and Duolingo is the latest site to give it a go. It's just come out of closed beta and is now available for everyone... Read More an article that was “offensive to the monarchy” and posting it on his blog. (Source). Thailand has strict “lese-majesty” laws – insulting the monarchy can result in up to 15 years in prison. Lese-majesty is based on a French term, which translates to “injured majesty.”

types of computer crimes


In Indonesia, a man was recently jailed for two and a half years because he posted the comment “God does not exist” and similar content on Facebook The 10 Best Hidden Facebook Tricks You Should Make Use Of You might think you know everything there is to know about Facebook, especially if you’re a social media addict. Here are 10 tricks you probably don't know. Read More  (Source).

Gambling Online

While online gambling is legal in many countries worldwide, it’s most notably illegal in the United States Did You Know: 5 Illegal Website Ideas For The United States Read More , where American online gamblers often end up using offshore websites. So far, the American government has only arrested people for running online gambling websites – in one case, a UK citizen was arrested at an airport in Texas while transferring planes during a trip between the United Kingdom and Costa Rica because he ran a large online-gambling website that took bets from Americans (Source).

However, the government has also threatened the average person with arrest in the past – in 2008, March Madness The Best 9 Fantasy Sports Online Resources Read More sports betting pools started popping up on Facebook. The FBI warned people publically that they could be arrested for running an office-wide online gambling pool on Facebook (Source). All March Madness betting pools are illegal in the US, too – but the online ones allow the government to crack down more easily.

computer crimes


File Sharing

File sharing may not technically belong on this list, as people are technically sued in civil court and not arrested for downloading content without permission. However, file sharing is what most people will think of when they consider government restrictions on the Internet. From SOPA to ACTA, it’s a hot topic these days.

While it’s obvious to say that sharing unauthorized files can land many Internet users in hot water, file sharing for personal use is actually perfectly legal in some countries. For example, in the Netherlands, downloading files for personal use is legal – it’s considered “fair use.” (Source)

Do you know of any other common things Internet users can get arrested for? Leave a comment below and join the discussion.

Image Credit: Handcuffs on Laptop via Shutterstock, Victim With Mouth Related via Shutterstock, Prisoner in Old Jail Cell via Shutterstock, Traditional Thai Architecture via Shutterstock, Two Dice via Shutterstock

Related topics: Online Security, Politics.

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  1. Steven
    June 20, 2016 at 7:10 am

    So online shop hacking is not one of them? Weird.

  2. Nigga
    May 25, 2016 at 1:31 am

    Using adblock

  3. killie
    February 29, 2016 at 10:18 am

    are there web crimes for australia bechouse then i know what to do

  4. Anonymous
    April 16, 2015 at 4:15 pm

    Can you get arrested for sharing someone's number to someone when they haven't given permission?

    • DeepWeeb
      August 8, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Yes You can get arrested IF the Person, whose number you've shared finds out and goes to Take legal actions.

      Else, It wont matter if the owner of the number isn't bothered with it

  5. F'um
    November 4, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    don't let some rich atheist man tell you what to do.
    laws were made to break
    break a law everyday !!!! feel the power !!!!
    F'um and their laws !!!
    the people who make the laws are criminals in my book of laws
    i only follow GOD's law's,man can kiss my butt !!!!

    • One crying in the wilderness
      June 24, 2016 at 11:51 pm

      G-d's law also tells you to follows man's law... (unless such law goes against the laws of G-d) so you breaking the law of G-d by breaking the law of man. You are resisting G-d (by resisting man) and will incur the wrath of G-d. ("Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.." Romans 13: 1-7) You are not being submissive to G-d by not subjugating yourself to man's law which he ordered you. ("Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work." Titus 3:1) You are also being rebellious to G-d by being rebellious to man which is witchcraft in the sight of G-d. ("“For rebellion is as the sin of divination,
      And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry..." 1 Samuel 15:23) I implore you to rethink your stance on those in authority over you as they were put there by G-d himself to protect you and not to harm you. When you rebel against those in authority over you, you remove yourself from the umbrella of protection which G-d has over you... stay in His protection and grace by remaining in subjugation to those over you. If you don't like the laws or the lawmakers, vote them out of office and vote into office those whom you would rather ober and who will enact laws to which you would rather follow. Remain in peace and love in our Lord Jesus Christ!

  6. bonioloff
    September 27, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Wow, never heard about the Indonesian man before..
    BTW, the Filehosting is a big problem for many people.., exactly for me :D

  7. Rishabh Sharma
    August 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Can't understand skype restrictions...

  8. Kyle de Veas
    July 27, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    I understand hacking and some other crime commited through the use of internet but VOIP? This can't happen to the rest of the world especially in countries that have BPOs

    • Chris Hoffman
      August 1, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Like many laws, it may only be selectively enforced against dissidents.

      Or it may be enforced against everyone to make them use the state-owned telephony system (for monitoring and profit).

      Still, that's a good point -- even the Great Firewall of China doesn't block VPNs because that would interfere with businesses. This is a hole that allows people access to the full internet outside of the firewall.

      • Thomas
        August 5, 2012 at 3:45 pm

        Recently I was researching some add ons for Firefox and Anonymity plug ins, in addition VPN,VM and Virtual Box as people including businesses have been migrating in that direction for over three years. One of the more experienced comment poster rightfully added that a lot of anonymity and Proxy software does not work. As the IP Check software is designed to work around the software and the software is not genuine or developed to actually hide your IP. In addition the ISP are now using software to keep records and often render standard users attempts to remain hidden. USA News channel claims that face book has an agreement with CIA and that the CIA keeps records of the users D O B, names, pictures, comments, some Police and P I have been using this and many other sources as information gathering tools. In cases where there are genuine bad or criminal people I agree with this. However, the CIA is reportedly collecting information on all account users? That is a big data base. Moreover it is global. China apparently hacked into Google and got the stored data from Google and it ended up in court in the US. Information is power and money. It can be used for various reasons, commercial and other. With Skype, it may not be just a case of some Governments trying to keep users from communicating with others in the world and revealing things that the Governments want out of sight. It may also be corruption.
        If a Private or Government Telco bribes or sets rules the Authorities can make more money on the use of telephones. If the Internet is used to communicate with others it does not cost the user the extra for the calls apart from standard Internet charges. May not be a lot in individual costs but add it all up and it may be thousands of dollars per day or week, depending on the size of the population and the number of people using skype or voip.
        It always boils down to the money and control factor. How else would you earn a living or in minority selective cases get rich?
        Unfortunately it is the reality of the way the world works.

  9. Charlie Player
    July 27, 2012 at 10:42 am

    just for commenting..izz it illegal?

  10. Thomas
    July 17, 2012 at 6:33 am

    A return Viernam Vet once said there is no difference inbetween the Isms.
    Just a different approach and control methods.
    Communism is up front regarding cencorship, if you do something wrong or pee someone off higher up the Police will Knock your door down and arrest you.
    Socialism may issue a warning before they arrest you. Capitalism will use the hand in glove approach and try to destroy your reputation if attempts at preventing you from doing the deed that is seen as wrong fail. As a last rtesort they will try to arrest, sue or bankrupt you.
    Recent news regarding Google stated that over 40% of free democratic country governments have been asking google to remove content, report the web site and perps. Political comments on news and other comments that may be considered offensive, derogative, or may be in fact truth but the authorities do not want people to express their sentiments can land you into hot water. New Technology and ISP blocks are and have been in use for quite a few years. Certain web sites agr blocked and users may find error 403,404, 502 when they try to access web sites that have been blocked. ISP monitor as do web services and keep records and what was once used for advertising products can now be used for espionage or keeping an eye on Internet users. Oddly enough the child Internet protection legislations are used in a much greater scope in what is considered democratic countries. And you hardy ever find a porn site blocked? Yet Political and conspiracy sites are blocked? HMM, how come? Why block access to certain sites? And not the so called evil sex sites that corrupt us and our society? Yet Google was ordered to shut down over 1000 Christain websites? Terrorist threats?
    As seen by the US Congress. In GOD we trust. What God is that Please answer honestly.
    As a young man I was advised by an Government agent as I had links in that area of employment. There is no such thing as complete democracy, it can not exist.
    Some 30 years ago now and it was in Australia. Makes one wonder? how many believe that we have certain freedoms? Look at Assnge, the Australian Government is in the US Governments Pocket and they are not even going out of their way to assist an Australian Citizen. Oddly enough they try to help out in smaller drug type crimes as they should.
    However, make a Political enemy, and you are issued with a Burn Notice and left to your own means.

  11. ajay
    July 15, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    Why doesnt US law makers make gambling illegal in Las Vegas?

    • Saikat Basu
      July 16, 2012 at 11:22 am

      Because it is a huge money spinner for the domestic economy, and not only for gambling. Tourism is the earner.

    • Thomas
      July 17, 2012 at 10:02 am

      Vagas was started by the Mafia and is owned by the mob.
      Interesting History and even more Interesting is that they had to find a place where they could start their operations legally or without the Governments or Laws that could prevent and claim money from them. As I read, and remember that Vegas was originally part of some relegious group like the Mormons and it was owned by the group. And since it was mostly desert it was not attractive for a lot of development. There are documentaries about this.
      Certain Colourful persons introduced Strip and gambling venues in most major cities around the world and not without opposition.
      Now we see Casinos all owner the globe and some are major Money spinners and entertainment is in a class of its own. The shows are terrific. Take the good with the bad. It's all about the money. And money buys Political Influence and power, makes the laws that we have currently. Just look at the Drug business. Sad as it is and it costs millions of lives as if you stand up or betray the cartel you are disposed of if you can not be purchased. How many more lives does it ruin?
      Then the other day I see that some prescription drugs are worse than heroin. Yet still on the market. XANOX anti depressant, found in Michael Jackson's system, Whitney Houston was a user and ruined a lot of lives still on the market and no GOVERNMENT has ill-legalised it despite the evidence. As the big Pharmacy corporations are in charge. This is another example of a business that controls the Political powers that we elect to protect us.
      Does it end there?
      Look at some Cancer cure drugs that were stopped and with held by the people that are supposed to be looking after the public health. Including the FDA involvements and even after losing High Court and Supreme Court cases they still persisted until the people that were curing the sick were out of business and often used Threats and Intimidation as well as Utilising the Police and agents to raid and at times target the Individuals even with death threats. Also attempting to assassinate the people that they could not control. History is full of incidents like this and at times they do not even make the front page of the news. And if they do it is only until the media is reined back from running further stories.
      Why does the Government want to control the media? And how many other faceless people that control the media also control the Government?
      Wake up, we owe it to our selves to know the truth.
      Living a lie and being ignorant and apathetic is only going to cause bigger problems down the time line. And you or your children may have to deal with the problems as this type of thing usually snowballs.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 4:07 am

      Saikat has it right -- Vegas is big money. The online gambling ban in the US isn't about morals, it's about the government wanting their cut. They don't get cuts from online gambling, but they sure do from the physical casinos.

  12. TwooshVidisha
    July 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

    How some govt. law can just ban us for commenting on a blog? isn't it up to the blog owner to approve or disapprove a comment? Hideous!

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 4:06 am

      They could crack down on (or block) the site for not complying!

  13. D.J. Zebbie
    July 12, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    So-called piracy laws are often considered in place because the "old media" conglomerates refuse to catch up with the times. Example: Legally, on YouTube, if you post a cover song you cannot have ads on your website, but YouTube (Google) puts its own ads anyway, even if you're not in the Partners (affiliates) program. To do so legally would require a so-called "synch" license from the original publisher of the song, and for each song you want to cover, you have to seek a separate license. A "synch" license allows you to use the audio from the song along with video accompaniment, hence "synching" the audiovisual content to create one singular sensation (pardon the pun).

    Obviously this is tremendously cost prohibitive for anyone but major label artists who are already affiliated with the big-money publishers (EMI, Columbia, Arista, etc.), and even if it weren't, the "team" behind the song (under the umbrella of the label) wants to exercise full control over who can use the song and for what, so the answer 99.99999 percent of the time is going to be no. Which is why YouTube music artists often just put cover songs up for free hoping to be "discovered," and don't make any money from ad revenue.

    Problem is, the videos are taken down by an automated system known as Content ID, which automatically flags "infringing" material based on a media fingerprint, similar to the concept of synching in and of itself. Ex: if I put up a random series of cat pictures with a Lady Gaga song playing in the background, the video can be flagged even though they're pictures of my (hypothetical) cats -- and even if I am the one singing Paparazzi.

    So in doing this, the system that was *intended* to foster creativity and encourage inspiration are effectively blocking out new voices who might very well be discovered, but do so in the way that would be most beneficial to them as an artist. It's like when up-and-coming bands record a 5-song demo that contains 4 covers and one original. Imitation used to be the sincerest form of flattery but now it's become the most unspeakable crime.

    • Thomas
      July 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

      Here in Australia, inet was just cleared in a high Court after being sued for copyright breach by 7? major music label companies as they were alleged to be responsible for their Internet Customers downloading music. Also in a bid to promote the business I have seen offers of 1 week trial. In 1 week you can download a lot of music and just cancel the deal as it is not what you wanted.

      How did the Music Industry know inet was responsible and how do they control hundreds of downloads a day if not thousands. The option to buy such as Apple software offers must be there. Is it possible to restrict every Internet user from hacking the system and downloading without paying? Is the question really about illegal downloads or the fact that the Music Companies want more profits or both? I recently talked to an Asian Market stall holder that sells Videos and Music and she was supplying some major Retail outlets with Videos until they got their own supplier and I dare say it was from the same source she was using. China, legal DVDs are sold at shops for 5 to 25 yuen. That is $1.00 to $5.00 in US or Australian Money. Now she claims that the artists do not make the big money in a lot of cases as the retail and the Music Industry do. Most DVDs are sold for $19.99 to $29.99 in department stores. Yet go to the local shops they sell for $2.00 to $10.00 for older copies. One US Block buster makes more than the entire Chinese Movie market does per year. In Beijing there are very few Cinemas. Yet in Australia we still have them everywhere. However, they are out pricing themselves. Some of the major Cinemas charge over $20.00 per person for 1 Cinema seat, and there are the local small Cinemas that charge $6.00 per person. The Local one is always full. The Big complex is empty with under 20 people going to see a movie on Cheap Tuesdays and then the tickets cost $16.00 per person. The world has changed, we now have big screen TV sets with 3D Blue Ray players,
      And if you are in no rush you can wait for the Movie to be released on DVD and rent it or buy it.
      The Industry is self destructing, and the bigger monopolies are trying to control the market.
      As they employ more people the Governments want them to stay in business and often make laws to protect them. As more employees pay more Taxes. However, the Industry it self may actually be costing the Governments more as the Big Business often pay very little tax and write a lot off as a loss, so they may actually be detrimental for the tax system.
      On another point the employees get wages and have to spend the money. That keeps the money in circulation and keeps people of the unemployment benefits.

      Used items have restrictions for sales under the second hand dealers acts.
      Once again under the guise of consumer protection. And crime control or reselling of stolen goods. This is rare as some of the things just are not worth stealing to resell. However, the Shops want more business and the larger retail outlets complain to the Government in regards of the lost revenue due to the resale of used goods. So instead of selling it to someone whom can not afford a new one or wants to buy a good used item the Industry and Governments try to get the owner to throw it out. Take it to the local trash and treasure market or have more than six Garage sales per year then you are required to get an used dealers license.
      If this was just about reducing crime and safety I could agree with it. But research whom pushed for the legislation and you get the feeling it is another form of protection for the larger retail and wholesale outlets.
      And it may be detrimental for the economy. Why? If the people buying the used items can not afford a new one they may hold off and do without, however, if they buy the used item the money is put back into the system. More Tax more money circulated.
      Yet the system is designed to favour credit and debt creation. That way if you can not afford to purchase something with disposable or available cash you are encouraged to borrow money. Win Win situation? That's one way of looking at it. However, you have to repay the loan, and devaluation sets in the moment you purchase the item . As I see it it is problematic. However, it has to be done this way in times of need. If you lose your income source and are not covered by Insurance you may lose the item and more by having to return it or having it repossessed.

      And it is a vicious cycle. In addition, the person I spoke with was arrested and after the Police went through all her Videos she was charged for selling some Videos that had no advice on the age or viewer suitability. Such as M.G. MA as the laws were only just passed as I can recall.
      Now I ask, why is the western economy failing? They are trying to make huge profits while some other economies that have more relaxed laws with smaller profit margins are flourishing?
      Could our Western way of doing business and the greed of the corporate animal as it has to make huge profits to satisfy the share holders be the wrong way of doing this?
      The wealth and profit distribution is as I see it very unfair. In addition may be the cause of a lot of problems.
      Slapping more Laws and legislation on the Individuals is not going to be effective unless you can Police it.
      That would take huge resources. Is there another factor here? Lets look at the ethics and standards we teach our children and we are exposed to.
      The human factor.
      If I place information on the Internet I have placed it there for all to see free of charge.
      You may or may not agree with it but it is there.
      For a long time it was seen as something that was obtainable free or in some cases there was a fee. Now people are asking for donations rather than charging for certain software. Look at Mozilla, and the add ons that are developed to be used for security or download reasons. For example.
      Compare that with Microsoft Software and the prices and fines that can be imposed for breaches. Yet if I sell my old PC and lose the OS disk I have to reinstall something for the buyer to use.
      Offer the buyer the free alternative OS and they will, 8 out of 10 times ask for Windows and MS software. Why?
      We have been brain washed and accepted that it is safer more secure and better. We have been trained in the use of their Products and Education, Government and Business use it.
      Often people will ask for MS word format documents. Hang on. If I use Linux and some Open Source software I have the option of saving files in the Microsoft format so that the untrained receptionist can open and read my document.
      In this scenario you can see that the system has created a problem by making us lazy and preventing us from learning or using other options. Even at a portion of the price that we can get the MS products for, providing we feel or can donate a small amount to the software developer of the open Source products.
      So the marketing and education as well as the Governments were supporting the bigger Business and I have often heard ,I can not use, I can not trust, I am not willing to try to learn. I want the MS as I feel Comfortable with it and can not be bothered to spend time to learn how to use the other alternative.
      When asked if they want to pay extra for the software disks they often ask you to pre install it.
      After all shops that sell new computers do this.
      So we want it for free even if you have to spend time and money to obtain and install it.
      Is this a problem that the Movie, Music and Software Industry is facing?
      Recently I have read an news article about a popular TV show that has selected young unknown talent competing to win a chance for fame. The People that are selecting the Talents can ask for Millions in return. How long will it take the individuals competing to make millions of dollars?

      • Chris Hoffman
        July 18, 2012 at 4:06 am

        Provide good service at a reasonable price is key. A lot of people will pay for such things, just look at the success of Netflix and Steam.

        Profits may be less, but artists can now bypass the media company middlemen and pocket more of the profits themselves. The only people really losing out should be the big media companies, ideally -- and good riddance.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 4:04 am

      I believe in one case, Content ID flagged bird song as "copyrighted material." Quite ridiculous.

  14. Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo
    July 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    The dutch law actually DOES say that we can't download any file we want. It's been like that for years. To be more precise, according to law we can't download a file, unless:
    1. It's freeware or something alike.
    2. We purchased the file.
    3. We OWN the file.

    The second and third are alike for a reason. According to the law, we people in The Netherlands can make copies of everything we own(except money, false money is illegal), just to be safe(we wouldn't want to lose a file and be left empty handed). BUT, as a certain commercial has shown me(youtube link below), piracy itself remains theft. The copy we made can't be shared, traded nor sold to others.

    The thing is, everyone shares. It's seen as a good act in the entire world. If I have a DVD of a movie that you want to see, I'll have no problem in letting you borrow it. That's why even though the law says piracy is a crime, we dutch people don't consider it a crime. But that doesn't make it fully legal yet, it just makes it extremely unlikely that we'll get arrested for it.

    The commercial which is on pretty much every modern DVD I've seen:
    "You don't steal a car, you don't steal bags, you don't steal TV's, you don't steal movies. Sharing illegal movies is also stealing. Stealing is forbidden."

    • Aaron J
      July 14, 2012 at 12:22 pm

      I wouldn't steal a car... but I'd download one if I could!

      • Chris Hoffman
        July 18, 2012 at 3:44 am

        We'll see how the 3D printing revolution goes!

    • Thomas
      July 17, 2012 at 9:11 am

      Yes, proprietary laws are there to protest the rights of the owner, the legal owner and in some cases the legal owner is not always the rightful owner. As a gesture of good will I would and have lent some Videos and even more recently threw out over 49 VHS Movie s which were quickly picked up by someone else. In cost to buy these it would have been hundreds of Dollars combined. Yet, try selling VHS Videos, even at $1.00 No ONE will BUY them. Throw them out and someone will pick them up. I have lost money but I was entertained by them as was my Child as most were Children's Movie s. The Unknown person that took the Movie s actually committed a crime as they were left on Council Property or Public Property that the Council claims the right to ownership as it was in front of my yard. So if they were caught they could have been fined. As it is now illegal to pick up items that were thrown out for waste trucks to pick up. But have we really become that petty? I could have destroyed them. Is this a Christian way of doing things? What separates us from the evil ones and the ones that follow the God of Mammon?
      Charity, what is it now that there are laws to control that as well. What are our Constitutional rights and from where do they originate? If you as an living soul have been given certain rights by God why do the authorities constantly try and deprive you of your rights? So purchasing something is conditional and disposing or using it is also conditional. So do we in fact own anything we buy?

      • Chris Hoffman
        July 18, 2012 at 3:48 am

        To quote Rousseau, "Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 3:44 am

      Interesting, thanks for the clarification. It seems a lot of websites have got your country's law wrong! Certainly, though, there are some countries where it's legal -- and somewhere it isn't punished as harshly. For example, the three-strikes laws in France are pretty harsh.

      Can you imagine if we took away electricity access from people who used it to commit crimes? Yet some countries will take away internet access for a lifetime -- that's crazy. It's like taking away water in this day and age. Murderers are allowed to own kitchen knives after getting out of jail, but file downloaders can't use the Internet under these laws.

  15. RCBNeto
    July 11, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    I don't think any of the mentioned things are illegal here in Brazil. We know it is not correct to share copyrighted materials but it is very common to find websites with movies and music and other stuffs to download and no one is arrested because of that - at least for now. However, we've been wating for a reform of brazilian penal code and there are some projects on virtual crimes. But as far as know it deals with subjects like pedophilia and things alike. I guess it is to wait to see!

    • D.J. Zebbie
      July 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      Paedophilia is an unequivocally horrible thing, no question about that. The unfortunate fact is that the government, wary of the potentially liberating effects the internet can have on individuals and consumers, uses paedophilia as a strawman argument for why it should be regulated. Most of the antipiracy laws use paedophilia as a red herring to distract from their underlying intent, to put more of the internet in corporate/gov't hands. I remember the early days pre-Y2K when the gov't wanted to install filters on public libraries that filtered out the Seven Dirty Words and then some -- Carlin's law, I believe it was called. :-) They filtered out the word "sex" and blocked sites about Sussex, England; filtered out "breast" and blocked supermarkets that sold chicken breast; filtered out "d*ck" and blocked Charles Dickens, Emily Dickinson, and Herman Melville ;-), and the list goes on...

      • Chris Hoffman
        July 18, 2012 at 3:40 am

        Very true about that sort of material being used as an excuse.

        Just imagine if all the resources used to pursue song downloads were used against the really bad stuff.

    • Thomas
      July 17, 2012 at 8:39 am

      In response to RCB Neto.
      Good to know that about Brazil. World Influence in Corporate Law and US Influence will be pushing hard to try to stop the Internet freedom as is the case in a lot of Western Countries. The Internet has been somewhat of a revolutionary tool and as it can be used to transmit ideas, gossip and propaganda it may even surpass if it already has not the Hollywood Propaganda machine. Examples for this are the Movie s that have been made recently and for a long tome now. Ever notice that the Movie s are often copied from You tube or Google Conspiracy video clips or from Ideas originating in Scriptures and folklore. So what is original? Just because some one makes a movie and copy writes it does not mean it is an original idea or written from original concepts. These days the Intellectual and artistic part of the brain is destroyed by the education departments and very few actually come up with original material. Recent Movie s have originated from either Comic Books or other sources. "There is nothing new under the sun". is a phrase used in the Bible. Star Trek Gene Rodenberry, some 25 years ago I read that Mr Rodenberry in an Interviews had an Indian Friend and they used to discuss Religions when he was around 7 years old. Sanskrit Gods had Vimana, and the capability to make the Vimana Invisible, some 4,000 year old Scriptures have sparked Interest from NASA and the US Military. Why? The technology described there was written in some detail. Nikola Tesla was experimenting with Anti Gravity Engines using quick silver or Mercury, the Germans were Interested in the concept as were the Americans, VTO craft like Flying Saucers could be made. Moon Bases and other such Conspiracies were quickly adopted by Hollywood films and used in a mockery of the Conspiracy theorists. The last Film about Transformers, Iron Sky, In Time, Wrath of the Titans 2, The one about 2012, and the end of Days, are all based on some or have some materiel from Ancient and recent predictions, or conspiracy stories. So are they the writers or Hollywood property and have they the right to claim these just because they patent them? The laws are made to suit the mega rich and assist them in making money while preventing the general public from doing it. As the general public are the Milk or Money cows. Some time ago and recently I saw documentaries regarding some famous groups like the Beatles and other groups. And the writers and composes admitted they got their ideas from other people or songs. But re arranged them. Star Trek Music is actually Row Row Row your Boat gently down the stream. This is not typical for all and some material is genuine and original. Recently I read a comment regarding The Pirate Bay and although I do not use it I have examined the website. There was a Blog site that defended the use of downloaded and shared material as it claimed that the people that are copy writing it are stealing it and claiming it as their own? For the profits.
      Some software Licensing is in my opinion silly as it is like a lease and we pay for it but only get restricted rights. So, a bit like buying a car, and not getting the keys. So how do I drive it? Well you have to pay extra for the keys and then the registration and for safety reasons you have to be a licensed driver. I had a Garage clean out and found some old traffic rules from 1980'eis. There was a offence and demerit page for driving offences. 2 pages and something like 30 offences. Now there are over 30 pages and Hundreds of things you can be booked for. Makes one ask if life was so simple and the costs of living were so much cheaper. Now we have the Corporations, Governments and just about every one that can claim any rights to anything, and they can try and extract money from the citizen and if you do not have the funding or the legal skills or knowledge you are toast. In some cases it may be justified but where does this stop?

      • Chris Hoffman
        July 18, 2012 at 3:42 am

        Big corporations -- particularly the media ones -- want to turn the Internet into the new TV where you can only consume, not create. That's the point of SOPA and such -- very disturbing trend.

  16. srinivas
    July 11, 2012 at 2:55 am

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  17. Ashutosh Dave
    July 10, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    This is just too much!!! Its an act of cowardice!!!

  18. Ashutosh
    July 10, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    These laws are just too much...just because there is some flaw with the Govt. they take away essential rights from people!!! They are taking away Human Freedom!!!

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 3:39 am

      Authoritarian governments thrive on controlling information and keeping people in line, sadly.

      • dragonmouth
        December 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm

        You must be naive to think that only authoritarian governments control information or try to keep people in line. The is NO government in the world that does not do that to a lesser or a greater degree, even the governments of the "free and democratic" countries In many ways these governments are as oppressive as the authoritarian ones.

  19. Vipul Jain
    July 10, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    how some people can control what we view or want to do online is simply beyond my understanding.. :/
    many people must not be feeling this way but in a decade or so if this trend goes on, we might all be restricted by the govt and rich brats controlling it irrespective of our location..

    thats why, be it against the law, I support Anonymous!

    • Chris
      July 13, 2012 at 11:30 pm


    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 3:38 am

      Attempts to restrict the Internet are definitely very upsetting -- SOPA, ACTA, the great firewall of China, whatever you want to call it. The free Internet is definitely under attack these days.

  20. Ben
    July 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Authoritarian regimes are very weary of the Internet. I'm surprised that online gambling is illegal in, of all places, the US.

    • D.J. Zebbie
      July 12, 2012 at 9:00 pm

      It's on its way to becoming legal, due in part -- oddly enough -- to the economy. In Massachusetts, the governor wants to legalize it, ostensibly (as they all say) to create jobs. But most people are out of work and collecting unemployment checks or on welfare. What are they going to do, bet the foodstamps on the digital poker table? Anyone familiar with why gambling on a losing bet with tax dollars was just recently seen as (obviously) a big-time fail (Curt Schilling)?

      • Chris Hoffman
        July 18, 2012 at 3:37 am

        I'm not sure if it will help the economy much, but it's a hypocritical law when you consider that gambling is legal -- as long as you do it in person and the government gets a cut.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 3:37 am

      Bear in mind that in-person gambling _is_ legal in the US. So while online gambling bans are pushed as moral laws, the US still allows actual casinos.

      The government gets a cut from the physical casinos, but wouldn't from online gambling.

  21. Dany Bouffard
    July 10, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    Some country have pretty weird laws or some outdated laws that never been amended. Like lawsa about not placing your horses in the street in this age and day.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 3:35 am

      Yup, those laws are sure funny -- but they're more a curiosity. These laws are actually enforced!

  22. ACRFgbh`
    July 10, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Etiopia law crazy

    • one111
      July 11, 2012 at 10:25 pm

      they legislated this law cause skype voice calls cannot be traced or tracked by government agents , so they arrest people because they will be suspected...

      • Chris Hoffman
        July 18, 2012 at 3:34 am

        That's definitely part of it. But I'm sure profit figures into it too.

  23. Meidimi
    July 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    yea that Ethiopia law is just crazy

  24. jim cameron
    July 10, 2012 at 11:50 am

    do as I say or else?

  25. Osama Javaid
    July 10, 2012 at 10:50 am

    just because they can't compete skype, they are making it illegal.

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 18, 2012 at 3:34 am

      Yup, Skype is competition -- international calls are very profitable.