Use of Proxy Servers Could Increase Jail Time

Eternal privacy
Image by Nano Taboada via Flickr

The United States Sentencing Commission has voted but I haven’t found anything on what they’ve actually decided.

Basically, there was legislation put out there that was written in too broad of a format where it said that any sort of proxy server use could increase jail time up to 25%. Now, in essence, the way it’s worded would mean that proxy server use seems to be a secondary offense if you use it for means of hiding yourself to do illegal deeds. And knowing that there are things such as bouncers, and darknets, there’s definitely a reason for this from a law enforcement perspective. But on the flip side, if you strictly say that there is jail time in direct relationship with proxy server use, then that’s completely incorrect and then you render the that argument invalid since there are many uses of proxy servers including those of privacy concerns.

From my perspective, I believe that there’s more to it than meets the eye. It’s not just privacy that I would worry about for your average Net surfer but the fact that translation servers like the one used by Google, is technically a proxy server since it can translate websites and redirect. This means that as a proxy, the host website sees Google instead of your IP address and thus is in a “proxied” fashion. Would you jail those that use translations? What about other means of redirection that are legitimate? Thus, I believe that using the terminology as proxy servers by itself would be too broad. There has to be some sort of offense tied to the use to cover illegal means.

That being said, there are darknets and hosted vpns that you can use for privacy use. TOR is just one of the many. But I think that both sides have to be weighed and find the correct wording choice that doesn’t interfere with privacy, or legal use versus prevention of law enforcement to chase down those that use proxies for unethical behavior.

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