Dec. 1st, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Gendo)
Lori Drew is found guilty of misdemeanor "unauthorized access," and this
presents a
problem
for the Internet at large. Before reading that article I hadn't
known that it was a California attourney who claimed authority over the case
on the loose basis that MySpace servers reside in California. He argued
that because use of MySpace is conditional on accepting the MySpace ToS
(which require "truthful and acurate" registration information,") using the
site in violation of the ToS is "unauthorized access" under the federal Computer
Fraud and Abuse Act
, which was meant to apply to hackers. The problem
here is applying CFAA to ToS, meaning violating a site's ToS is a crime (not
just grounds for account termination, as has generally been accepted) and
what's more, the misdemeanor can be 'upgraded' to a full felony charge if
it's done "in furtherance" of some other crime. (The intend was that
hacking into a bank's network is just a misdemeanor, but hacking into a
bank's network and stealing money is a felony, on top of the theft charge.)
So as the article notes, "So, for instance, upload a few minutes of
copyrighted video to YouTube, and you've violated the site's terms of
service while simultaneously committing copyright infringement.
Congratulations, you're a felon!"

Hopefully this won't stand, and either the judge will discard the jury's
verdict or the case will be overturned in appeal.

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jackofallgeeks: (Default)
John Noble

August 2012

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