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Swartz suicide shines light on federal anti-hacking law

Jaikumar Vijayan | Jan. 16, 2013
The suicide of Internet activist and pioneer Aaron Swartz has focused attention on what some activists say is the overzealous use of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act anti-hacking statute.

The problem with the CFAA is that it could be used to prosecute relatively minor crimes, Goldman said.

"Anyone who misrepresents their name, age, location or other information when signing up for a web service is in a sense violating that site's terms of service and could theoretically at least be in violation of the CFAA," he said.

"We have this very broad federal anti-trespassing statue that is incredibly powerful," Goldman said.


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