PSA: Jail Time for handing out a password?


So, we all know how you’re not supposed to give out your passwords, right? ‘Cause people could use that to hurt you? Well, apparently there’s a law out there, CFAA, that they’re trying to expand so that you could get *jail time* for doing that. 0_o;

And that’s not the worst part- apparently it’s already vague enough that people are being sentenced jail time for things that they shouldn’t.

At least- that’s what I’ve been reading about it for the last few weeks. If you’re a US citizen, and are up for trying to tell Congress to not support such a silly law, click here.

Personally, I think it’s wrong to try to do things like this. It’s like the parable of a King who ruled that farming a certain type of crop was illegal, and his subordinates interpreted it as doing any farm work at all. Thus: the farmers were jailed or killed and this hypothetical kingdom was without food.

The expansive CFAA was first passed in the mid-1980s, before most households had computers, let alone Internet access. Yet law enforcement has interpreted it to criminalize even mundane Internet use, such as petty violations of websites’ fine-print terms of service agreements. Under this interpretation commonplace Internet use would technically be criminalized, including:

-Sharing passwords for Facebook or other social media sites with friends;

-Starting a social media profile under a pseudonym;

-Exaggerating your height on a dating site;

-Visiting a site if you’re under the stipulated age requirement (under 18 for many sites)

-Blocking cookies in a way that enables you to circumvent a news site’s paywall. (For instance, the New York Times website cannot block those who delete cookies from reading more than the allotted number of free articles each month.)

Among other things- if you haven’t clicked the above links to continue reading- they’re basically trying to turn standard internet usage into Racketeering. What the heck? We’re not mobsters!

Basically: if you can, fight against it.

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