by Mike Masnick
Thu, May 7th 2009 7:40am
The ruling against Lori Drew was quite problematic, because it twisted a computer hacking law to convict a woman who had done something else, which was distasteful, but not illegal (at the time). It looks like others are doing the same thing... and succeeding. An appeals court has upheld a hacking conviction against a man whose "hacking" seems to have consisted of uploading a naked photo of himself to the website Adult Friendfinder from his work computer. How is that "unauthorized use" of a computer under the statute in question? Well, the court says that it's unauthorized use because he was using the computer to solicit prostitution -- and that's a crime, therefore, it's unauthorized. By this rather troubling reasoning, just about anyone who commits a crime on a computer can now also get hit with this law against hacking, because their use, by definition, would be "unauthorized." About the only good thing in the decision is that the court tossed out the lower court's ruling that the guy had "stolen" money from his employer by using the computer for non-work purposes.
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