Computer Fraud and Abuse Act News

I migrated this from the news blog discussion because I thought it was a little tangential.

I thought the following news could potentially be of interest to preppers, especially if you take OpSec very seriously and don’t always like saying who you are.

The Department of Justice made revisions to its Computer Fraud and Abuse Act policy (see also here, though I want to clarify that I don’t consider myself a libertarian and I don’t necessarily agree with everything on the Reason Magazine Web site):

  • The DOJ will not prosecute “good faith security research” or “White Hat hacking.”
  • In most circumstances, companies won’t be able to arbitrarily make it a felony to violate terms of service.
  • In severe cases (maybe “stalking-like” behavior that doesn’t rise to the level of being illegal, like a guy writes about a woman without directly harassing her) the violator must discontinue the behavior after receiving and reading a cease and desist letter.

Of course, social media companies will know who you are if we end up with a left-wing dictatorship, right-wing dictatorship, or some other form of authoritarian government. Prep accordingly.


  • Comments (2)

    • 3

      I’d just point out that every site you click, even relatively primitive websites from many year past, automatically record the internet address of every person who logs on, they have to know your address to send stuff to your screen. In the dial-up past IP addresses were sometimes random within a range but nowadays with cable and dedicated service a person’s location is easily traceable, to your ISP for anyone with access and to the front door and even individual machine with the proper warrant. Even those with access to the logs on this site can easily narrow your location to your city or closer.

      Click on this page to see how much info is available to any website you click:

      As processing power and digital storage get cheaper and faster evermore of your details, habits and transactions will be recorded. License plate readers, facial recognition, and the ubiquitous pixel trackers are everywhere.

      If you are extremely paranoid and hoping to be anonymous you really need to burn your computer, then your phone  then head out to see if Ted Kaczynski’s old place is available, LOL.

    • 2

      That is good news that it gives some protection or at least reassurance of non-prosecution to good faith researchers. 

      This last year there was a news story about a person who looked at a website’s source code (anyone using Google Chrome can push CTRL+U to see this). And on that website’s source code was the social security numbers for some government employees or something. He did the right thing and brought it to the attention of the government and said how they might want to fix that to protect the info of those people. From what I remember, the mayor or governor didn’t understand what this person was doing and called him a hacker and said that he will be prosecuted. Even after the news and other security experts reassured the government leader that this was not hacking and was available to anyone, he wouldn’t back down and said he will still prosecute that person. Sorry for the poor explanation, but that’s what I remember off the top of my head. So it will be good to know that we can have some protection reporting things we stumble upon and not be scared of being thrown in prison.