Real Prison Time in Italy for Facebook Virtual Games Burglar?

October 28th, 2010 - 12:13 am ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Oct 27 (THAINDIAN NEWS) The Italian police are searching for a new kind of burglar- the kind who “breaks in” to virtual homes on Facebook games, and “robs” the place of virtual decor. The potential punishment for such a crime? Up to five years…in a real prison.

Paola Letizia, a Facebook user, spent over a hundred and forty dollars to decorate her virtual cat’s home on the popular game ‘Pet Society’. Just as she had the place as luxurious as she deemed necessary for her virtual pet, someone broke into her Facebook account and took all of her virtual decor, leaving her with nothing but her cat.

Letizia shared her dismay with ‘MSNBC’, “I don’t think it matters that the flat only exists in Facebook. It is real to me and I have suffered a real loss.”

While there is not (yet) a law for the specific crime of “breaking and entering” or for “robbery” on a virtual level, Italian law does provide strict rules for breaking into a person’s private social network accounts. The potential punishment could be up to five years in prison on charges of “aggravated entry”.

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