Magistrates give go-ahead to cybercrime updates

The Corte Suprema de Justicia has given a green light to changes in the penal code that will provide stiff sentences for cybercriminals, including those who take photos and steal identities from the social networks.

The proposed changes are being called the most advanced in Latin America.

The legislature asked the court to review the changes.

The changes also would penalize with prison certain violations of electronic correspondence and theft of personal data.

A person who buys or sells unauthorized images could be sentenced to from three to six years, and if the image is that of a minor, from four to eight years.

The legislation also contains penalties for those who do not use their real name on social networks, but it is presumed that this would only be prosecuted when the hidden identity is used in a crime. Many individuals adopt user names online. The penalty is from three to six years or from four to six years if the crime victim is a minor or disabled, according to a summary provided by the Poder Judicial.

The legislation also includes penalties for installing trojans or other malware on computers or illegally replacing Web pages.

Of course, one problem is that a lot of cybercrime is done from other countries, and officials here will find it difficult or impossible to prosecute.

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