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Amendment: Violation of ToS Should Not Be a Crime 74

Posted by timothy
from the only-partway-to-bill-becomes-a-law dept.
Khyber writes "Three data and security breach notification bills have been approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, one of which includes an amendment that adds clarity with regards to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. These three bills would require businesses to develop data privacy and security plans, and it would set a federal standard for notifying individuals of breaches of very sensitive personally identifiable information, such as credit card information or medical records. This clarification is welcomed, making the statute more focused towards hackers and identity thieves, instead of consumers that run afoul of ToS or AUPs of websites and service providers."
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Amendment: Violation of ToS Should Not Be a Crime

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  • by KingBenny (1301797) on Saturday September 24, 2011 @02:48PM (#37503436) Homepage
    do you mean like , do EA and Sony have the right to oblige you not to sue them once you click the button ? in some cases massive corporations need to be held in line, doesnt that America have this great stuff about monopolies and such in place already ? If any company can just ask you to waver your basic rights once you click yes, something is wrong, you can't expect everyone to be (and here i'm afraid to use a word since words are ofthen the beginning of an explosive situation) enough to read the fine print of everything, especially between the lines. In a society based on consumption, consumers need protection. That's basic nature : the predator won't stop until its hunger is satisfied, now in nature this works, in human society , especially with money, it does not. If you want your source of income not to be depleted after a certain time, you should cultivate it with more than a whip and chains or it will get diseased or rise against you. (maybe thats also basic nature, but i dont know how much nature is left in the entity of society as a whole un-sentient, yet self-preserving being)
  • Re:bad analogy? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Miamicanes (730264) on Saturday September 24, 2011 @04:12PM (#37504010)

    > Q: should the students be liable for the crime of trespassing?

    Yes, because at that point you've explicitly and unambiguously revoked their permission to enter your garden and take vegetables.

    It would be another matter ENTIRELY if you never confronted the students, observed them giving vegetables to the homeless, then escalated immediately to calling the cops the next day by arguing that giving the vegetables to the homeless automatically terminated their permission to enter your garden and take vegetables.

    It sounds like splitting hairs, but it's the difference between making the individual absolutely, explicitly, and unambiguously aware that his permission to enter has been revoked, vs claiming guilt by automatic recursive fiat. The computer analogy would be if Facebook terminated your use due to TOS violations, and you proceeded to take advantage of a security exploit to resurrect your profile and continue using Facebook after they'd told you point blank you were no longer welcome.

    In metaphorical terms, American law isn't binary and digital -- it's analog and gray. Generally speaking, the more obvious you (or a government) makes the boundary between legal and illegal, the more enforceable a law becomes. It helps to have lots of legal resources behind you to back up your position, but at the end of the day, American common law frowns upon insidious illegality. You can have quite a few situations where the students could find themselves in a position where you'd prevail over them in a civil lawsuit, but nevertheless fail to get them convicted of committing a crime. For example, if instead of telling them that they were no longer allowed to enter your garden, you sent an email to the principal of the school and expected HIM to tell them. At that point, you'd have a fairly clear case to sue them (though they'd arguably have an equally clear case to cross-claim the principal for failing to tell them if he failed to do so), but would have a difficult case to make in a criminal trial for trespass (assuming the prosecutor even pursued it).

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