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Crime Your Rights Online

Aaron's Law: Violating a Site's ToS Should Not Land You in Jail 246

Freddybear writes "Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren proposes a change to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) which would remove the felony criminal penalty for violating the terms of service of a website and return it to the realm of contract law where it belongs. This would eliminate the potential for prosecutors to abuse the CFAA in pursuit of criminal convictions for simple violations of a website's terms of service."
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Aaron's Law: Violating a Site's ToS Should Not Land You in Jail

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  • While I think this is a good idea, I think that it's really too superficial. It very narrowly addresses a very specific problem with the law.

    There are two really great little tidbits I found online that talk about what the actual problems with the law are:

    The first link is actually a really great series that provides a very nice explanation for a lot of things about how criminal law works.

  • Re:Depends on... (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:43AM (#42623239)

    If something is illegal in it's own right, then it still remains illegal, even if it also happens to be a violation of the ToS.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @01:57AM (#42623291)

    I have a document in my backpack; my personal ToS. It states that everyone who shakes my hand must give me $20. By shaking, they agree.

    Fails. Firstly other party is unaware of the terms prior to the hand shake and as you will remember from 1st year law school, past consideration is no consideration. Even if they were it still fails for lack of consideration: the other party suffers a detriment both in paying $20 and in shaking your hand, so the consideration only flows in the same direction ... twice. :p

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 18, 2013 @04:32AM (#42623869)

    The system didn't do him in. PEOPLE caused his death. By taking away all other acceptable options.
    The powers that be decided he must be "MADE AN EXAMPLE OF". Because "minor maybe crime" on a "computer" (ooo scary! hackers! cyber! oh nos!).

    And he was smart enough to realize just how totally screwed he was. Now and in the decades coming of his future.
    He took the only option left to anyone who doesn't like rape and a ruined life plus being billed for it. Death.

    And the powers that be. Will never miss one night of sleep over it. Nothing will ever happen to them. And they will continue to do this to other people.

    The wheels of the american justice machinery grind exceedingly slow and very fine.
    Beware you don't get caught in them. Or else death is the only logical option open to you. Unless handcuffs, bars, rape and abuse is your thing.

  • Re:Depends on... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mitreya ( 579078 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [ayertim]> on Friday January 18, 2013 @06:05AM (#42624167)

    Why? I mean seriously why does everything in America have to involve jail. Do you really think that makes us safer? Eventually somebody will do the math

    Someone already has done the math

    Private prisons are a booming industry (instead of being an abomination that should not exist).
    Private prison contracts have clauses guaranteeing prison utilization (~90% or ~95%). Some states may be in danger of defaulting on their prison contract... so that's probably why.

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.