Scraping public data from a website doesn't constitute "hacking," according to a new Court ruling that could dramatically limit abuse of the United States' primary hacking law. From a report: The ruling comes after a lengthy battle between data analytics firm HiQ Labs and Microsoft owned LinkedIn, which have been at each other's throats for several years over HiQ Labs' practice of scraping the business social networking website's public-facing data, then selling it (fused with other datasets) to a laundry list of employers. In the ruling by The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court shot down LinkedIn's claim that access to this public data violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). In its declaration, the court ruled that to violate the CFAA, somebody would need to actually "circumvent [a] computer's generally applicable rules regarding access permissions, such as username and password requirements," meaning it's not really hacking if you're not bypassing some kind of meaningful authorization system.
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