"The Geek Defense"

This is a Recent Article about a hacker who was busted for hacking into the US Military computers in the wake of 9/11 to tell them their security was crap. He called himself “Solo”.

When he was busted, part of Solo’s defense was that he was diagnosed with Asperger’s, and therefore in some way not responsible for his actions. He’s not the first hacker to make this claim. “The Geek Defense”, as they refer to it, seems to be a growing excuse for hackers.

On the one hand it seems like brand viagra professional it may well be that people with Aspergers are less responsible for what they do than others, since sometimes it’s harder for them to censor their words and even actions. I know we’ve had a few moments I’d rather not talk about that may or may not have occurred had Zev not had Aspergers.

On the other hand, we would hate to see Aspergers being used to excuse obviously criminal behavior. There’s a big difference between not knowing when to censor yourself socially and not knowing when you’re breaking the law.

Where do you come down on this argument? Let us know.

Z & J

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10 Responses to “"The Geek Defense"”

  • Tara:

    This is a tricky one. Obviously, it was not a great idea to hack into hundreds of military computers, but i believe his defense is 100% truthful..that he meant no harm and was in pursuit of the truth.

    For most types of crimes, people with Asperger’s are far less likely to commit them than the general population, as they are very much rule-followers and logical. So they would easily be able to resist these types of crimes. I think the only enticing type of crime might be one where they think us neurtypicals are too stupid to see a certain point unless they connect the dots or us. In this particular case, if he had contacted heads of military, security etc and advised he coukd easiky hack them, he would probably be laughed at or ignored.

    The thing that scares me is the potential or people on the spectrum to be wrongfully convicted or give a false confession based on highly manipultive nature of investigators and lies they fabricate to get a confession. I think they should be given protection in this case, such as inability to be questioned without an attorney.

    In the case at hand, if he did no harm, and meant no harm, i would think probation would be good or a small slap on the wrist.

    • justinkanew:

      All good points here Tara. I agree in general Aspies are less inclined to break the rules uniess they think we’re missing something… in which case it would probably become almost impossible for them to stop themselves. Like something out of an Asimov novel.

  • John:

    I believe Solo was well aware that hacking is against the law. Whether he did a good thing exposing gaps in security, I don’t know. It wasn’t up to Solo to do that, haha. Fucking guy.

    Aspergians should be held responsible the same way us normies are.

    • justinkanew:

      Don’t disagree with holding them responsible… but I might feel a little differently than you about the “the same way” part. But I hear ya.

      • John:

        I don’t know man. I do know that they put people with mental retardation into prison. An Aspergian isn’t even mentally retarded, they’re wayyyy better off than a forrest gump. If an Aspergian like Dan Akyroyd commits a crime he should be punished the same way as a mentally retarded person, elderly, physically handicapped or a person of average intelligence.

  • I’m with John that I think he was aware he was breaking the law. At the same time, though, I’m also with Tara in that I think those on the spectrum should be protected in some way in court cases.

  • Tara:

    Of course he was aware he was breaking the law. However, I believe it was not done with malicious intent– maybe more a point he felt he had to illustrate “for the greater good”. Whether he should be punished as harshly as someone who hacks in with ill intentions is the debate.

    • John:

      Tara, it wasn’t his place to do so. An intrusion is an intrusion. I can’t break into people’s houses just to show how lax their security is. It’s still breaking and entering. He still hacked.

  • John:

    Been almost a month since the last update. Is this site now defunct? That would be a shame because it’s the only site with brand new Zev and Justin content. :(

  • John:

    Should we throw a funeral for ZevandJustin.com???