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Anonymous1

@verizon.net
reply to red2

Re: Is it legal to give fake information on the Internet?

Breaking a TOS can be considered criminal in the US. The CFAA and other anti-hacking laws have been sometimes interpreted to include breaching TOS, e.g. providing false information.

That's why the EFF and ACLU have been trying to change the law such that a breach of contract cannot be considered criminal.



red2

@fastwebnet.it

said by Anonymous1 :

Breaking a TOS can be considered criminal in the US. The CFAA and other anti-hacking laws have been sometimes interpreted to include breaching TOS, e.g. providing false information.

That's why the EFF and ACLU have been trying to change the law such that a breach of contract cannot be considered criminal.

Breach of contract is NOT a crime. It is a violation of civil law.

If you try to circumvent what you AGREE to (e.g. to gain free access, you agree to watch advertising), this COULD be considered a breach of your agreement. Of course, the burden would be on them to prove it, so why would they go to such expense?

However, where are you agreeing to provide correct information? That would need to be specifically spelled out in the TOS.

You are quite right that corporations are TRYING to criminalize such things. However, if they want to INTERPET the CFAA this way, as this article points out, they could try to prosecute you for many things, including allowing your kid to access your account, being impolite in your comments on the New York Times website, or even saying you are tall, dark and handsome, when you are short, fair-skinned and ugly: »www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/01/re···-service

For the last one, no doubt your lawyer would argue that you've been punished enough already.


neochu

join:2008-12-12
Windsor, ON

1 recommendation

said by red2 :

If you try to circumvent what you AGREE to (e.g. to gain free access, you agree to watch advertising), this COULD be considered a breach of your agreement. Of course, the burden would be on them to prove it, so why would they go to such expense?

Most sites wont go through trying to prove it. If its too much of a risk or "trouble" they'll just pull your account with no reason or explanation.

US law allows that as well.


red2

@fastwebnet.it

said by neochu:

Most sites wont go through trying to prove it. If its too much of a risk or "trouble" they'll just pull your account with no reason or explanation.
US law allows that as well.

Precisely. That's why the question, why worry?

Unless you commit an actual crime, it is extremely unlikely that faking your name or anything else violates any law. And someone trying to construe it as such, and willing to go to court to see if they can get it interpreted that way, has to have a good reason for doing so.

So at worse, your account will be deleted.

The case that to me is more interesting is the actress that claims that imdb ruined her career. They determined her age by her credit card records and then added it to her profile. And because she is older than she looks, she claims that their "outing", ruined her career.


mackey
Premium
join:2007-08-20
kudos:12

1 recommendation

reply to red2

said by red2 :

said by Anonymous1 :

Breaking a TOS can be considered criminal in the US. The CFAA and other anti-hacking laws have been sometimes interpreted to include breaching TOS, e.g. providing false information.

That's why the EFF and ACLU have been trying to change the law such that a breach of contract cannot be considered criminal.

Breach of contract is NOT a crime. It is a violation of civil law.

Ahem, »www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/1···w-pla-5/
quote:
That’s when prosecutors in Los Angeles sought to indict Drew, charging her with unauthorized access to MySpace’s computers, using a federal anti-hacking statute known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Prosecutors charged that Drew was guilty of the crime by violating MySpace’s terms-of-service agreement when she and her co-conspirators allegedly provided false information to open the account and pose online as the 16-year-old boy.
/M


neochu

join:2008-12-12
Windsor, ON

1 recommendation

said by mackey:

Ahem, »www.wired.com/threatlevel/2008/1···w-pla-5/

quote:
That’s when prosecutors in Los Angeles sought to indict Drew, charging her with unauthorized access to MySpace’s computers, using a federal anti-hacking statute known as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Prosecutors charged that Drew was guilty of the crime by violating MySpace’s terms-of-service agreement when she and her co-conspirators allegedly provided false information to open the account and pose online as the 16-year-old boy.
/M

In that case the perpetrators created a false profile to harass and intimidate another person. If its the case I am thinking of then the victim was harassed to death. Which IMHO is criminal harassment--a crime.

It is controversial though.


red2

@fastwebnet.it
reply to mackey

Ahem. I remember this case well. There was outrage when cyberbullying led to a 13 year old's death. So they TRIED every way possible to charge her.

However, as I've already stated, unless they have a good REASON to go after you for faking your name (public outrage over a 13 year old's death is a good reason), merely faking a name is NOT a crime.

And what was the verdict?

"This case was heard by a jury, and the jury's verdict was announced on November 26, 2008.[1] The jury was deadlocked on Count One for Conspiracy, but unanimously found Drew not guilty of Counts Two through Four. The jury did, however, find Drew guilty of a misdemeanor violation of the CFAA.[4]

On November 23, 2008, Drew filed a motion for acquittal.[10] On Aug. 28, 2009, U.S. District Judge George H. Wu formally granted Drew's motion for acquittal, overturning the jury's guilty verdict.[10]" »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Sta···ori_Drew

So even when they tried to have the court INTERPRET that the violation of the TOS was a crime because of the cyberbullying of a 13 yr old, they could NOT make it stick.


Anonymous1

@verizon.net

You're right. The judge did acquit charges her of any CFAA misdemeanor, but the holding/reasoning is not binding in any way or fashion on any court (even the Central District of California). I'm pretty sure depending on the situation another district court would decide to hold differently.

Therefore legislation needs to make clear that a breach of contract (TOS) is not a violation of CFAA. In addition, as I have stated before there are STATE anti-hacking statutes as well as the federal anti-hacking statutes.

I seem to recall an Ohio case where a guy was using his work computer to solicit a dominatrix. If I remembered right no sex (or was it money) was involved, so they tried to charge him with hacking, basically by using the work computer to access craigslist, he was "overexceeding his authorization."

Found reference to the case. »www.geeksaresexy.net/2009/05/11/···hacking/



red2

@fastwebnet.it

said by Anonymous1 :

Therefore legislation needs to make clear that a breach of contract (TOS) is not a violation of CFAA. In addition, as I have stated before there are STATE anti-hacking statutes as well as the federal anti-hacking statutes.

There are two different issues at play here.

On the one hand, from a user and practical standpoint, faking your name, birthday, etc. to use a web service isn't inherently illegal. Just as you can decide to write a book under a pseudonym, I'd call this just a reasonable practice giving all the security risks that exist today.

On the other hand, if you do something that causes harm or damage to a government office, a large corporation or even a private individual, if it is worth their while, they will look at every possible statute and try to charge you with that crime, using any case that they find as a legal precedent. The "hacking" laws were not designed for this, and lets hope that these laws are clarified soon.

However, in many ways this is the same issue as what happens when you film a police officer not fulfilling his duties. In all likelihood he'll arrest you, and if there was audio recorded, depending on the state, he'll try to get the district attorney to charge you with violating the wiretapping law. Of course, that wasn't what that law was designed for.

The result is that nothing is 100% safe from prosecution, including many sexual acts between consenting adults in the privacy of their own home. That doesn't stop them from doing it or make me worry about them. Most of the laws just haven't caught up yet with the times we live in.