US DOJ Wants To Outlaw Lying On The Internet

It's a cornerstone of the internet. The fake identity. And now CNET reports that the US Department of Justice wants to make it illegal to use a false identity on Facebook or lie about your weight on dating sites. 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 offence 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 authorisation. The DOJ wants to expand the "exceeds authorised 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 70kg when you're actually 90kg. I'm glad the Department of Justice has its priorities in order.

As expected the ACLU, EFF and other organisation 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]

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