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Submission + - Reporters threatened with CFAA suit, labeled hackers for finding security hole (networkworld.com) 1

colinneagle writes: Scripps News reporters discovered 170,000 records online of customers of Lifeline, a government program offering affordable phone service for low-income citizens, that contained everything needed for identity theft . Last year, the FCC "tightened" the rules for the program by requiring Lifeline phone carriers to document applicants' eligibility, which led to collecting more sensitive information from citizens. A Scripps News investigative team claims it "Googled" the phone companies TerraCom Inc. and YourTel America Inc. to discover all of the files.

A Scripps reporter asked (pdf) for an on-camera interview with the COO of TerraCom and YourTel after explaining the files were freely available online. That did not happen, but shortly thereafter the customer records disappeared from the internet. Then, the blame-the-messenger hacker accusations and mudslinging began. Although the Scripps reporters videotaped the process showing how they found the documents, attorney Jonathon Lee for both telecoms threatened the "Scripps Hackers" with violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

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Reporters threatened with CFAA suit, labeled hackers for finding security hole

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