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Crime United States

New CFAA Could Subject Teens To Jail For Reading Online News 230

Posted by timothy
from the literal-reading-for-literally-reading dept.
redletterdave writes "Anyone under 18 found reading the news online could hypothetically face jail time according to the latest draft of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which is said to be 'rushed' to Congress during its 'cyber week' in the middle of April. According to the new proposal floated by the House Judiciary Committee, the CFAA would be amended to treat any violation of a website's Terms of Service – or an employer's Terms of Use policy – as a criminal act. Applied to the world of online publications, this could be a dangerous notion: For example, many news websites' Terms of Use warn against any users under a certain age to use their site. In fact, NPR and the Hearst Corporation's entire family of publications, which includes Popular Mechanics, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Houston Chronicle, all disallow readers under 18 from using their 'services.' According to the DOJ, this would mean anyone under 18 found accessing these sites — even just to read or comment on a story — could face criminal charges."
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New CFAA Could Subject Teens To Jail For Reading Online News

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  • This reminds me... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iYk6 (1425255) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @01:47PM (#43359553)

    This reminds me of a female blogger several years ago after that tennager suicide case. She reported that she heard match.com didn't allow married people to use their site. She said that couldn't risk confirming this herself, since she was happily married.

    The point is, how are you supposed to know if you are allowed to use a site, if you can't even read the terms of service without risking violating the terms of service?

  • Ban Politicians (Score:4, Interesting)

    by james_van (2241758) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @01:49PM (#43359585)
    Start updating TOS to state that anyone who is in public office is banned from visiting or viewing a site. Then start sending the bastards to jail for violating... ok well, none of them would actually go to jail, but it may cause enough stir to get this whole stupid idea tossed out.
  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @02:25PM (#43360167)
    Well, it's expanding copyright by default and allowing private corporations to infringe on a person's rights, and making the government enforce it at tax payer expense.

    Welcome to the USSA, where you get all the justice you can afford.
  • Re:Alarmist much? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Garridan (597129) on Thursday April 04, 2013 @03:12PM (#43360827)

    If this law comes to pass, I fully intend to create a private website that has personal information about me. The TOS will state that various parts of the site are off-limits, and that it is forbidden to access those parts of the site.

    When the site is indexed by Google, I'll take them to court. They've got the clout to get this shit taken care of... and a good time will be had by all.

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