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Full Version: What is Considered to be Stealing?
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Digital banking and digital currency are becoming more and more prevalent. Countries are making their own civil laws in regard to punishments for using computers to commit theft by electronic means (e.g., hacking of other people's digital accounts).

If a Gentile uses his computer to hack into the on-line digital-currency account of another person, and he transfers some of the digital currency from the balance of the other person's account to the balance of his own digital-currency account, of course that is a sin and it is forbidden. But would it be a capital sin within the Torah Law for Gentiles, since there was no movement of a physical object from the victim's physical domain to the thief's physical domain?

Or, is there something else that he would have to do in order to become guilty of a capital sin, such as using the stolen digital currency to buy a physical object?
If so, what he if only used the stolen digital currency to pay a debt by electronically transferring it into the digital account of a third party?

If we say that nothing physical is being moved, and it is just a transfer from the balance of one digital account to another digital account, does this have any comparison to theft of land, in which nothing is being physically moved, so the sin of stealing real-estate property is not a capital sin, as explained in The Divine Code, Part VII, Chapter 8?
Here is the answer from Rabbi Moshe Weiner:

Quote:I think that within Torah Law there is no liability to capital punishment when theft is done electronically in the ways you mentioned, because there is no physical action (on the entity that is stolen).

But it is not similar to usurping land, because in practice the stolen land is being acted upon (for example, by moving the boundary marker of a field, or making some use of the land, or blocking access to it, etc.). This is not the case with the sin of electronic theft, in which the theft happens through electronic banking instructions or the like, and there is no physical touching of money.
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