How to hack without fear - a US congressman writes

Now here's an interesting story. It seems that, if you are a US congressman, you can't be prosecuted for hacking!

A row has broken out after Jim Cooper, a Senator for the State of Nashville, who has been accused of gaining unlawful access to a National Rural Electric Co-operative Association Web portal and downloading several documents for a presentation.

Bizarrely, it seems that Cooper obtained the login details from an undisclosed source, accessed the site database and downloaded several documents, all of which he later used in a House of Government Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing.

What's interesting about the case is that the documents allegedly contained legal advice provided by the trade group.

According to various newswire reports, although accessing such a private database constitutes a federal crime, Cooper will avoid prosecution because he did it as a Member of Congress.

The Democrat is quoted as refusing to answer any question regarding the identity of the person who provided him with the means to access the database.

According to Cooper, the trade group is and has been aware of these problems for quite some time now.

The electric company, meanwhile, says that Cooper's actions were illegal and should be prosecuted under current anti-hacking legislation...