UK government wants to sentence major cyberattackers to life sentence

The Queen wants British law to change, punishing cybercriminals with significantly steeper prison sentences.

Published Fri, Jun 6 2014 1:48 AM CDT   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

The British government should severely punish cybercriminals responsible for "serious" cyber-based attacks, according to the Queen. Following a recent speech, it seems a recently proposed crime bill will ask for possible life sentences if hacking leads to "loss of life, serious illness or injury or serious damage to national security, or a significant risk thereof."

UK government wants to sentence major cyberattackers to life sentence |

The Computer Misuse Act of 1990 would also be modified, so criminals conducting industrial espionage operations would receive additional jail time. Instead of a 10-year sentence for attacks that lead to "a significant risk of severe economic or environmental damage or social disruption," the modification would call for a 14-year sentence.

"It's good to see government trying to be proactive to put specific law enforcement tools in place before they're needed, but they should be careful to not accidentally criminalize good faith efforts," said Beau Woods, I Am The Cavalry security expert.

Federal governments have struggled to combat major data breaches, and will typically respond only after a major breach occurs.


An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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