4. Computer offences at the University of Alberta

posted Sep 15, 2010, 8:08 PM by Jeff Ogden   [ updated Sep 29, 2010, 7:04 AM ]
From The Department of Computing Science: The First Twenty-Five Years,
by Keith Smillie, December 1990, Department of Computing Science,
The University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Page 29:
During the 1970s there occurred a series of computer offences at the University of Alberta which had their origins in the Department. The resulting trial and subsequent appeals caused nation-wide publicity in the daily and periodical press. In the spring of 1976 a student investigated the security of the MTS system as a project for a Computing Science course. Unfortunately, the resulting program which could reduce the charges for a computer run became available to other uses. The following year it became apparent to Computing Services staff that malicious users were tampering with the MTS system and causing malfunctions. After an extensive and lengthy investigation charges of theft and tampering were brought against a University student, a former University student and a high-school student. One person was convicted on both charges, another was convicted on the charge of theft and the third acquitted. Both of the convicted persons received suspended sentences, one of which was overturned by the Alberta Court of Appeal on the grounds that the computer could not be defined as a "telecommunication facility" and thus be covered by the Criminal Code. The Government of Alberta made an unsuccessful attempt to appeal this decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

So we have reported hacking or security incidents for WSU, UM, and UQV. Anyone from UBC, NUMAC, SFU, or RPI care to fess-up or explain how you manged to recruit a more honest or at least law abiding class of students?

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