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The Mitnick Case And The Sixth Amendment

4263 words - 17 pages

The Kevin Mitnick case was a very interesting case from the late 1900’s. According to CNN, “Kevin David Mitnick -- the most wanted computer hacker in the world, the inspiration for two Hollywood movies and a cyberspace cult hero -- had been scheduled to stand trial April 20 in Los Angeles in one of the most celebrated computer-related cases in history” (Christensen, 1999). The big question in Mitnick’s case was does Mitnick really have a case? Or are his constitutional rights being violated?
Kevin Mitnick has led a life of crime since a very young age. At age 12, Mitnick figured out how to hack into and change the L.A. Bus System’s punch cards. While Mitnick was hacked into the L.A.’s bus system he reverse-engineered the system allowing him to cheat the bus system and ride for free (Brown). That wasn’t enough for the young Mitnick though. With the age of growing technology, computers started becoming more popular. At age 16 Mitnick started hanging out with a group of adolescences that were involved in tapping into different systems, rerouting numbers, and high tech phone pranks (Brown). One prank that Mitnick and his friends use to pull on a regular basis was hacking into the phone directory (411), and when people would call they would come up with a bogus or fake number to tell the callers. Although this was a “harmless” prank it was still illegal. “Mitnick continually worked on perfecting his hacking techniques. “Mitnick pioneered the art of "Social Engineering," a technique that involves using "manipulation, influence, and deception” to convince an insider to release information, allowing one to obtain restricted information or passwords from the people within the companies themselves” (Brown). This is where Kevin Mitnick’s life of crime started to grow beyond pranks. He and his “crew” decided to hack into a San Francisco computer time sharing company and destroy some of their files. This case went unsolved for over a year until one of the crew member’s girlfriends ratted them out to the police. Mitnick and his friends were arrested at the young age of 17. “Due to his age he was sentenced to a small time in the Juvenile Detention Center with a year of probation, but that was not going to stop Mitnick” (Kevin Mitnick). After being released from the detention center Mitnick just focused on short cuts on how to break in and hack computers. With this information Mitnick could gain access to other people’s lives. He could hack into other people’s credit card information, make calls under someone else’s name, or even gain access to corporate secrets that...

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