Password sharing is a federal crime, rules a U.S. court. This means people who share their Netflix or HBO Go passwords are technically breaking the law ... say, what!?
Last Tuesday, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that found, in part, that sharing passwords can be grounds for prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).
The decision, according to a dissenting opinion on the case, risks making millions of people who share passwords into “unwitting federal criminals.” (via: Fortune)
According to Fortune, the decision came in the case of David Nosal, an employee at the executive search (or headhunter) firm Korn/Ferry International. Nosal left the firm in 2004 after being denied a promotion. Though he stayed on for a year as a contractor, he was simultaneously preparing to launch a competing search firm, along with several co-conspirators. Though all of their computer access was revoked, they continued to access a Korn/Ferry candidate database, known as Searcher, using the login credentials of Nosal’s former assistant, who was still with the firm.
Nosal was eventually charged with conspiracy, theft of trade secrets, and three computer fraud counts, and was sentenced to prison time, probation, and nearly $900,000 in restitution and fines.
Well, here's the good news for Netflix and HBO Go sharers...
According to MarketWatch, companies like Netflix Inc. and HBO are still all but shrugging off friends, family and significant others using each other’s accounts.
[Source: Fortune and MarketWatch]
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