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Where life is good for hackers: not in the USA!
A hacker is a highly qualified IT specialist.
A hacker who has used malicious software (i.e., a computer program or other computer information that is deliberately designed to—without authorization—destroy, block, modify, and/or copy computer information or neutralise computer information security) is a criminal and is criminally liable.
Worldwide, crimes committed in the IT field are punishable by law; only the level of punishment varies. With the development of digital technology, the penalties for such crimes have become considerably more stringent in recent years. For example, the US has one of the most advanced and rigorous systems for penalising cybercriminals. It was specifically in this country that the concept of "cyberterrorism" was first introduced.
Despite the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Cybercrime (Russia did not join due to the threat of damage to its sovereignty and national security), the US seeks to further toughen the penalties. For example, a prison term of up to 20 years has been proposed as a penalty for using information technology to steal the intellectual property of American companies, and a hacker who penetrates the computer networks of the US infrastructure—TV networks, power grids, transportation links, and the water supply management system—could be sentenced to 30 years of prison without parole.
In addition, when determining the length of a prison term, the US uses a system involving the straightforward arithmetical addition of sentences for multiple episodes occurring under the general criminal act.
Overall, a hacker can be imprisoned for up to several hundred years for committing cybercrime in the US! And the same is true for hackers who are non-US citizens...
What does all of this have to do with Russians? The point is that the US has its own way of interpreting its jurisdiction (i.e., the borders in which the American Court system can operate). And, guided by its "International strategy of the United States for cyberspace" (2011), where no other borders and sovereignties exist except for the US, the country is prepared to prosecute citizens of any country for cybercrimes by arresting them outside their countries while they are on holiday or on business trips—in any country of the world where the US has political leverage. Many precedents already exist.
If you possess a talent for programming—perhaps you even have a top-notch education in IT—and have set off on a path of cybercrime, look out because one fine day you’ll get arrested in a foreign resort and will most likely spend the rest of your life in an American prison, paying for your lawyer’s comfortable existence.
Cyber crime activity in Russia is also punishable by law. But the penalties are not so strict.