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America's Draconian Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

By       Message Stephen Lendman     Permalink
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Part 1 calls for "no prison time for violating terms of service." CFAA's greatest flaw criminalizes accessing computer systems "without authorization" or in ways that "exceeds authorization."

Undefined terminology "gives the government tons of leeway to be creative in bringing charges." Overzealous prosecutors take full advantage. Innocent people suffer.

"Vague laws are dangerous precisely because they give prosecutors and courts too much discretion to arbitrarily penalize normal, everyday behavior."

Innocuous activities become crimes. Misstating age on Facebook can be criminalized. The website's Rights and Responsibilities make users promise not to "provide any false personal information."

Innocent misstatements can be criminalized. Inaccurately calling yourself tall, dark and handsome on Craigslist can bring long prison terms.

Its Terms of Service say users can't post "false or fraudulent content."

Buying a lotto ticket with Square invites trouble. Its Wallet User Agreement prohibits many types of transactions. 

They include purchases "in connection with" membership clubs, identity theft protection services, lotto tickets, or "occult materials."

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Letting a friend log into your Pandora account violates its terms of service. Users must "agree (not to) allow others to use any aspect of your Account Information."

Prosecution can follow posting impolite comments on The New York Times web site. Its Terms of Service demand courtesy, "respectful language," and "debate (without) attack."

Using Hootsuite to update your Google Plus page risks trouble. It lets users manage their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

It promotes Google Plus integration. Be wary, warns EFF. Google's Terms of Service warns against "misuse (of) Services."

It cautions users not to "try to access them using a method other than the interface and the instructions (it) provide(s)." Doing so risks criminal liability.

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Don't try sending sexy messages on eHarmony. Its Terms of Service prohibit using it for "sexually oriented" content. "Off-topic" or "meaningless" material is banned. Searching for love the wrong way invites trouble.

EFF is clear and unequivocal saying:

Abusive legislation may "land you in the Big House." 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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