Obama’s New Hacking Legislation Could Make Anyone a Criminal

In Obama’s State of the Union Address he outlined several new legislations that he intends to set into motion. One of those new policies is set to change federal hacking laws, which could potentially put a lot of computer-security researchers out of jobs.

The new policy could potentially make computers less safe, and even make the average citizen a criminal, who could end up in jail. Nate Cardozo, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told researchers and IT pros at ShmooCon 2015, a security conference held annually in Washington, D.C, that, “Under the new proposal, sharing your HBO GO password with a friend would be a felony.”

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, originally enacted in 1984, could make security-research practices and media reporting on those practices a federal crime. Even if you are not practicing these hacking techniques, if you are even assisting those who are you could face charges.

Robert Graham, CEO of Errata Security in Atlanta, wrote on an online blog that, “Even if you don’t do any of this, you can still be guilty if you hang around with people who do. Hanging out in an IRC chat room giving advice to people now makes you a member of a ‘criminal enterprise,’ allowing the FBI to sweep in and confiscate all your assets without charging you with a crime.”

Even “intercepting devices” in the same category as terrorist weapons training and chemical weapons. These types of devices are being considered as “spying devices,” and anything from a laptop to a cell phone could be considered as a terroristic weapon.

Even if somebody clicks on a link they should not have, they could potentially be traced and be accused on acting as a hacker. Our lives are essentially all online these days, with that being said many people are unaware of what constitutes as hacking, and the potential risks all those different sites out there could bring them.

Many have always been skeptical about hacking and their freedom online, but Joseph Lorenzo Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy & Technology states, “Believe what you’ve heard,” meaning Obama is serious about this upcoming legislation.

Photo: The White House


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