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EFF: Accessing Publicly Available Information On the Internet Is Not a Crime

An anonymous reader quotes a report from EFF: EFF is fighting another attempt by a giant corporation to take advantage of our poorly drafted federal computer crime statute for commercial advantage -- without any regard for the impact on the rest of us. This time the culprit is LinkedIn. The social networking giant wants violations of its corporate policy against using Automated Scripts to access public information on its website to count as felony "hacking" under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, a 1986 federal Law Meant to criminalize breaking into private computer systems to access non-public information. EFF, together with our friends DuckDuckGo and the Internet Archive, have urged the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reject LinkedIn's request to transform the CFAA from a law meant to target "hacking" into a tool for enforcing its computer use policies. Using automated scripts to access publicly available data is not "hacking," and neither is violating a website's terms of use. LinkedIn would have the court believe that all "bots" are bad, but they're actually a common and necessary part of the Internet. "Good bots" were responsible for 23 percent of Web traffic in 2016. Using them to access publicly available information on the open Internet should not be punishable by years in federal prison. LinkedIn's position would undermine open access to information online, a hallmark of today's Internet, and threaten socially valuable bots that journalists, researchers, and Internet users around the world rely on every day -- all in the name of preserving LinkedIn's advantage over a competing service. The Ninth Circuit should make sure that doesn't happen.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



This post first appeared on Werbung Austria - Slashdot, please read the originial post: here

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EFF: Accessing Publicly Available Information On the Internet Is Not a Crime

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