I think prosecutors need to look at the actual damage caused by each defendant. First, it would be unjust to hold fourteen people accountable for the actions of a thousand (or however many other people were part of the same attack). Each person should be accountable for the damage they personally caused.
Second, the law allows prosecutors to calculate damage in a way that seems overstated. An appropriate damage estimate includes the pay and overtime pay required for employees to respond to the attack. But the damage estimate apparently being used by prosecutors in this case includes the cost of upgrading equipment to better defend against similar future attacks.
To me, that doesn’t make sense. It’s akin to charging a protester who illegally and ill-advisedly throws a rock through a window with the cost of replacing the window with much more expensive rock-proof glass.
Wayne Freedman: Woman accused of hacking Paypal as part of ‘Anonymous’ speaks out, from September 2011.