schwit1 writes: On Monday, the Ninth Circuit will hear arguments in United States v. Nosal on an interesting legal question: If a person shares access to a computer account with somebody else, under what circumstances can the second person engage in unauthorized access under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act? The case centers around the difference between having access to something and having permission to use it. In other words, if you give somebody a desktop password to your computer so they can watch Netflix, but they take advantage of that to read your email, how does the law look at it? What happens if they come back later and log in again without your explicit permission, but only watch Netflix? What happens if you give them your Netflix password to watch while at your house, but they go home and use it to watch Netflix at their house? Eugene Volokh has a forthcoming paper articulating the legal interpretations of computer trespass. It's a tricky set of rules, and one another court has already misapplied.
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