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DOJ Defends Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

  • CNET, Tuesday, November 15, 2011 2:32 PM

The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly defending computer hacking laws that make it a crime to use a fake name on Facebook or lie about your weight in an online dating profile on a site like So reports CNet, citing a statement scheduled to be delivered this week by the Justice Department, in which it argues that it must be able to prosecute violations of Web sites' "terms of service" policies.

The law must allow "prosecutions based upon a violation of terms of service or similar contractual agreement with an employer or provider," Richard Downing, the Justice Department's deputy computer crime chief, will tell the U.S. Congress tomorrow, according to CNet. “The law in question, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, has been used by the Justice Department to prosecute a woman, Lori Drew, who used a fake MySpace account to verbally attack a 13-year old girl who then committed suicide,” CNet reports.

Scaling back that law, "would make it difficult or impossible to deter and address serious insider threats through prosecution," and jeopardize prosecutions involving identity theft, misuse of government databases, and privacy invasions, according to Downing.







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