Society

Behind the numbers: 334 year sentence for Turkish hacker

Article published on Jan. 22, 2016
Article published on Jan. 22, 2016

You might think that a life sentence is the longest punishment available to the judicial system, but unless there have been some unprecedented Turkish medical advancements, one young hacker has been sentenced to considerably longer than life: 334 years to be precise.

Usually the prospect of "doing time" suggests that such time has its limits. Unless the Turkish government has discovered immortality, there's little chance of rehabilitation for one 26-year-old hacker, sentenced to a total of 334 years behind bars. Even if human's shared the powers of rejuvenation supposedly available to cats, he would still be using four of his available nine lives.

On Sunday the 10th of January, Onur Kopçak received the news that he would serve 135 years in prison for committing credit card fraud, after stealing 11 people's credit cards in order to sell the information to cyber hackers. By this point he had already clocked up 199 years, 7 months and 10 days worth of jail time for running similar bank phishing schemes.

This judicial decision has smashed all previous records for the harshest sentence ever handed town to a perpetrator of cybercrime. It sets a new precedent for giving stronger sentences to those accused of conducting online fraud, under the auspices of acting as a deterrent. It's questionable whether a punishment nearly 17 times larger than the former maximum threshold for cyber crime (2o years), isn't taking things a little too far.

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This article is part of our Behind the Numbers series, illustrating newsworthy stats with artistic design and a brief analysis.