Imagine that President Obama could order the arrest of anyone who broke a promise on the Internet. So you could be jailed for lying about your age or weight on an Internet dating site. Or you could be sent to federal prison if your boss told you to work but you used the company’s computer to check sports scores online. Imagine that Eric Holder’s Justice Department urged Congress to raise penalties for violations, making them felonies allowing three years in jail for each broken promise. Fanciful, right?

Think again. Congress is now poised to grant the Obama administration’s wishes in the name of “cybersecurity.”

The little-known law at issue is called the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. It was enacted in 1986 to punish computer hacking. But Congress has broadened the law every few years, and today it extends far beyond hacking. The law now criminalizes computer use that “exceeds authorized access” to any computer. Today that violation is a misdemeanor, but the Senate Judiciary Committee is set to meet this morning to vote on making it a felony.

The problem is that a lot of routine computer use can exceed “authorized access.”

Some of those issues were headed off, but that’s only some and who knows if the amendments will survive. Here’s the latest.




  1. _jr_ says:

    Should be 0011 0011 above the bars.

    jr

  2. Dallas says:

    Quit your bitching and see if Michele Obama is abusing her vacation privileges.

  3. smartalix says:

    You anti-government types should at least make sense when you complain, otherwise it exposes your stupidity.


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