Senate Committee Recognizes That Violating Terms of Service Shouldn't Be A Crime

from the now-let's-get-this-through dept

As we recently noted in our coverage of the various attempts to amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), with some plans to make it worse, there was one bright spot: Senators Grassley and Franken had introduced an amendment that would make it clear that merely violating a website's terms of service did not constitute exceeding authorized access, as some law enforcement (and courts) had interpreted the law to read. Thankfully, this amendment was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee. That's no guarantee that it will become a part of the law -- and there's no guarantee that other changes might not make the CFAA even worse, but it's at least a step in the right direction. It's good to finally see Congress at least push back on the expansive interpretation of the CFAA that law enforcement has been using for too long.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 3:17pm

    We've learned to distrust anything ending in AA. This is no different.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 3:26pm

    Wow, the Senate Judiciary Committee? Isn't that the same committee that passed the Protect IP Act?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 4:16pm

    I'm glad to see that Franken can do more than draw doodles like he did during Supreme Court Nominee hearings for Sotomayer.

     

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    Ken, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 7:20pm

    TOS are unenforceable.

    I question these terms of service postings that simply state by viewing this website you agree to their TOS.

    This is ridiculous and should not have any kind of force of law. Simply viewing something does not imply agreement. I could just as well create a website that states by reading this notice you agree to send me all your worldly possessions.

     

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      anonymous coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 7:42am

      Re: TOS are unenforceable.

      i don't remember ever seeing a tos that stated that. what websites are u referring to?

       

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    G Thompson (profile), Sep 27th, 2011 @ 10:02pm

    Damnation

    I give up,

    I was in the process of discussions with the Evil League of Evil of changing by nefarious means, *evil laugh* Ma Ha HA, every USA website's TOS so that all US Citizens would be felons if they ever used the internet ever again.


    Drats. Foiled again.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 28th, 2011 @ 7:39am

    You do understand that all this will do is take it from being a crime under the CFAA and move it over to being a more direct criminal trespass?

     

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