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CFAA 2013: Congress' new draft could incarcerate teenagers that read news online

Dave Smith
International Business Times
Thu, 04 Apr 2013 12:23 CDT

Minors could become "criminals" by misrepresenting their age to access news sites, according to proposed changes to an anti-hacking law.
Reading the news should be an essential habit, especially for students and children, yet anyone under 18 found browsing through the news online could hypothetically face jail time under the latest draft of proposed changes to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which is supposed to be "rushed" to Congress during its "cyber week" in the middle of April.

You can read these proposed alterations to the bill in its entirety here.

According to the new proposal floated by the House Judiciary Committee, the CFAA, which was originally passed in 1984 as a measure to thwart hacking, would be amended to treat any violation of a website's Terms of Service - or an employer's Terms of Use policy - as a criminal act. Under the proposed changes, users could be punished and possibly even prosecuted for accessing a website in a way it wasn't meant to be used.

read more http://www.ibtimes.com/cfaa-2013-congress-new-draft-could-in...

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Asclepius's picture

A tempest in a teapot?

There is no question that the PTB are determined to control the internet as well as the younger generation. However, because the info in this draft is outside my area of knowledge, I sent it to an advisor of mine who is a retired attorney and who among other things once worked at the Justice Dept. This is what he said about it:

"A tempest in a teapot. The reason for the 18 year old requirement in the terms of service agreement is that unless you are eighteen, you are not lawfully competent to agree to the terms of service agreement.

No one will ever be criminally prosecuted for claiming they are 18 so they can access the site, just as no one has ever been sued. The provision is put in to "estopp" those under 18 from claiming lack of consent in the event the web site owner wants to sue them. Estoppel in the law is a doctrine which says, in effect, you cannot take advantage of your own wrong doing, e.g. if you lie and say you are 18 and another person relies on it, you cannot then deny it. (The exception, of course is statutory rape, where all the laws are now loaded against males)."

Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds. - Bob Marley

Internet censorship is a reality for me.

Our local IP blocks several of the sites I try to visit. Liveleaks is the only site I visited regularly so far, but several links from my preferred sites lead to the "Sorry" screen.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.