Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Orange You Glad?

Today, the Ninth Circuit issued an important en banc decision involving the scope and reach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (18 U.S.C. 1030), which makes it illegal to "exceed[] authorized access."  The government has been pushing the limits of this statute by essentially arguing that if you violate the terms of use of any site, then you're guilty of this crime, e.g., Lori Drew, who was charged with violating MySpace's terms of service by creating a fake page that her daughter used to bully a neighbor.  Today's ruling rejects that interpretation.  And if you're interested in substantive discussion of the ruling, see here.

What caught my eye was the Ninth Circuit's reasoning that a simple violation of a TOS, for example on Craigslist or eHarmony, cannot be a federal crime because such conduct is so prevalent: 
Under the government’s proposed interpretation of the CFAA, posting for sale an item prohibited by Craigslist’s policy, or describing yourself as 'tall, dark and handsome,' when you’re actually short and homely, will earn you a handsome orange jumpsuit.
This is near-perfect legal writing.  It is intelligent, but simple.  It resonates universally, from non-legal types to jurors, lawyers, judges, anyone.  And I say that while using my employer's computer for personal use as I type this very sentence--contrary to the my employer's policies.  Come and get me Federalis!

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

So do people not collect quotes from Boalt professors anymore?

4/12/2012 5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skl*nsky: "How many of you know how to make crack cocaine? Okay. Well, I'll tell you how...”

Skl*nsky: “You don’t smoke crack, you’re really inhaling the vapor…”

Skl*nsky: "By the time I left the federal prosecutor's office, my goal was to use my peremptory challenges get rid of anyone I’d be interested in having dinner with.”

Skl*nsky: “Justice Scalia is usually pretty good about explaining not only why he’s right, but why the fate of the republic is being threatened by the other side.”

4/19/2012 9:26 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

I'll create a dedicated thread for quotes. 9:26, I'll keep this here until you repost it in the new thread, then I'll delete. Danke.

4/19/2012 9:28 AM  

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