The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Oh boy, here’s a hot button topic for you. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)  was created with good intentions. When it was passed in the mid 1980’s it was intended to protect us from fraud by making it illegal to use someone else’s password for a social media site, a website or even their computer (even at their request).

What’s the big deal? Well, if you work for your clients on multiple accounts on social networks, websites or even log into their computer as a support person, you could be breaking the law right now.

The House Judiciary Committee wants to toughen the law as it stands instead of re-writing it into something that makes sense now. Oh, and the tougher bill may go up for a vote next week, even though it’s barely been discussed in public. Here’s a draft of the proposed bill.

So I and a whole lot of other Internet Defense League folks are joining Fight for the Future,  along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation,  Reddit, Boing Boing and others to encourage congress to take another look at  the CFAA and make some sane revisions for this decade.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m for finding ways to control mis-use and prevent abuse of our privacy but I think this bill needs to be updated to the way we really use the internet now, not from back in the ’80s. Let’s intelligently reform this bill instead of responding fearfully.

Please contact congress and tell them what you think.

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