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(Yahoo)   Maybe it's time to take a new look at the 29-year-old U.S. computer security laws   (finance.yahoo.com) divider line 5
    More: Obvious, Internet activists, computer security, United States, internet, George Washington University Law School, Santa Clara University, Cory Doctorow, computer fraud  
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2932 clicks; posted to Geek » on 16 Jan 2013 at 8:19 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-01-16 09:37:22 AM  
3 votes:
Copyright violations and wire fraud.

Wrong on both counts, and you didn't identify the action he took. First of all, he only downloaded the data, so copyright doesn't even come into play here. Somewhere down the road he may have distributed it, at which point you could begin to think about copyright - but it's not applicable here, unless we're suddenly fond of the idea of precrime.

What he *literally* did was enter a public library (legal), access the library's intentional open network (also legal), and use it to access content that was intentionally made available to users of that network (still legal).

I can do that right now. I can walk into MIT's library with my laptop, jack into their network, and download articles from JSTOR and it's perfectly legal. He just did it faster than I could do it manually. The pace he did it at violated JTOR's terms of service, but since when have website terms of service been under the jurisdiction of our criminal justice apparatus? The only case that I know of where it has come up was the Lori Drew case, and it was tossed on appeal precisely because enforcing website terms of service is not a job for our government. If it were, it would mean that...

-Signing up for Facebook with an alias would be a criminal offense.
-Posting contact information on Fark would be a criminal offense.
-Cheating in online games would be a criminal offense.

To believe he did something illegal here requires you to also believe that a series of legal actions, performed at a frequency that is arbitrarily deemed to be too high
, magically becomes illegal.
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-01-16 07:44:47 AM  
2 votes:
Congress could add a clause clarifying that popular people and those who think their cause is just still have to obey the law.
2013-01-16 02:03:40 PM  
1 votes:

BarkingUnicorn: Ever since a law was passed to criminalize using a computer system in an unauthorized manner.

In his opinion, Wu examined each element of the misdemeanor offense, noting that a misdemeanor conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2)(C) requires that (1) the defendant intentionally have accessed a computer without authorization, or have exceeded authorized access of a computer; (2) the access of the computer involved an interstate or foreign communication; and (3) by engaging in this conduct, the defendant obtained information from a computer used in interstate or foreign commerce or communication.

Wu found that many courts have held that any computer that provides a web-based application accessible through the internet would satisfy the interstate communication requirement of the second element, and that the third element is met whenever a person using a computer contacts an internet website and reads any part of that website.

The only issue arose with respect to the first element, and the meaning of the undefined term "unauthorized access." Wu noted the government's concession that its only basis for claiming that Drew had intentionally accessed MySpace's computers without authorization was the creation of the false "Josh Evans" alias in violation of the MySpace Terms of Service. Wu reasoned that, if a conscious violation of the Terms of Service was not sufficient to satisfy the first element, Drew's motion for acquittal would have to be granted for that reason alone. Wu found that an intentional breach of the MySpace Terms of Service could possibly satisfy the definition of an unauthorized access or access exceeding authorization, but that rooting a CFAA misdemeanor violation in an individual's conscious violation of a website's Terms of Service would render the statute void for vagueness because there were insufficient guidelines to govern law enforcement as well as a lack of actual notice to the public.
2013-01-16 09:21:29 AM  
1 votes:

HindiDiscoMonster: Congress could add a clause clarifying that popular people and those who think their cause is just still have to obey the law.

even MIT didn't feel prosecution was warranted... and they were the "victim".

I kept asking people in yesterday's thread to specify which action that Swartz took that was illegal, and which law it broke. Zero people were able to do it, but that didn't stop them from dumbly repeating, "But he broke the law!" over and over and over again.
2013-01-16 08:31:43 AM  
1 votes:

ZAZ: Congress could add a clause clarifying that popular people and those who think their cause is just still have to obey the law.

Farkin Criminals!
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