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38 years in clink for hacking?

I nearly dropped my cup of coffee onto my keyboard over the weekend when I read about a Californian hacker who was facing up to 38 years in prison (opens in new tab) for hacking into his school's computer system.

Omar Khan, aged 18, is reported (opens in new tab)to have hacked into his school computer system to change his C, D and F grades into As and Bs.

Interestingly, the hack (opens in new tab) only came to light after the school office was asked for a new school transcript by Khan as he appealed a denial of admission to the University of California.

Talk about dumb for stirring the proverbial on his new grades -Ed.

Anyways up. Kahn now faces 69 felony counts against himself, including second degree burglary, identity theft, altering an falsifying a public record plus, of course, unauthorised computer access and fraud.

Kahn's classmate, Tanvir Singh, has also been accused of breaking into a classroom to steal the answers to an examination test paper. If he is convicted, he will get up to three years in clink.

Is the US court system mad or what?

If I (God forbid) rape and maim someone, it's highly debateable whether I'd get 38 years in prison, so this clearly is a case of the US legislation clearly being a bit of a donkey. Or am I being naive here...