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DOJ Wants to Outlaw Lying on the Internet

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It's a cornerstone of the Internet. The fake identity. And now CNET reports that the DOJ wants to make it illegal to use a false identity on Facebook or lie about your weight on You're kidding right?

CNET obtained a statement from the Department of Justice that's scheduled to be delivered tomorrow to Congress. The DOJ will tell Congress that it wants to make it a prosecutable offense to violate a site's terms of service. You know, that thing no one ever reads, but we all agree too.


DOJ computer crime chief Richard Downing will tell congress tomorrow that the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act should allow, "prosecutions based upon a violation of terms of service or similar contractual agreement with an employer or provider." The CFAA makes it illegal for anyone to intentionally accesses a computer without authorization. The DOJ wants to expand the "exceeds authorized access" portion of the act to include a site's TOS. If the DOJ has its way, violating a site's TOS could make you a felon. So a felony could be rape, murder, or telling someone your 150lbs when you're actually 175lbs. I'm glad the Department of Justice has its priorities in order.

As expected the ACLU, EFF, and other organization have already sent a letter (PDF) to the Senate to block the proposal. Just to be safe I'm going to change my birthdate on Facebook so that I'm not a 100-years old. I'd hate to end up in San Quentin because I'm too lazy to properly fill out an online profile. [CNET]