The law on computer fraud and abuse may not be used as much in the future. The edge says the Supreme Court limited the scope of the CFAA in a 6-3 decision. The law does not cover cases where someone abuses a network they are allowed to access, according to the ruling. They could still face other charges in certain situations, but not a violation of the law.
The decision came in a case involving former Georgian police officer Nathan Van Buren. He had been accused of violating the CFAA by taking $ 5,000 to find a woman’s license plate in a database, but his lawyers maintained that he had not broken the law because he had permission to access this database.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, who delivered the court’s opinion, argued that allowing a broader definition would have serious repercussions. “Millions” of people could face CFAA charges simply for breaking or breaking the rules, as many do on a daily basis, the judge said.
The ruling could prevent prosecutors from using the CFAA as a catch-all for computer crime, let alone specifying what access someone has. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also called the move a victory for researchers, investigative journalists and others who may need to probe a network for security concerns or critical information. While the EFF argued that the court should have narrowed the law further to answer questions about the need to break “the technological barrier to access[s]”, he felt that the language was sufficient to provide protection for legitimate uses.
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