Hackers face life sentences under planned UK law

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To say the British government is cracking down on computer hackers is an understatement. The UK revealed plans, alluded to in Queen Elizabeth's speech before Parliament Wednesday, to confer life sentences on those committing the newly defined offense of “unauthorised access to a computer,” according to a report in the Daily Mail.

The severe punishment would be considered for hackers threatening national security and endangering lives through their actions. While British law currently imposes a maximum penalty of 10 years for impairing a computer, Ministers didn't feel the legislation went far enough, the report said.

Under a new Serious Crimes Bill, the government will “provide the National Crime Agency (NCA) and other law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to effectively tackle serious and organised crime, including cyber crime and the illegal drug trade,” according to notes accompanying the Queen's speech.

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