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What is the CFFA?


The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (also known as CFFA) is a law that is frequently used to prosecute crimes done with computers. It has been amended a number of times but still is a draconian computer crime law in need of reform. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) - "After the tragic death of programmer and Internet activist Aaron Swartz, EFF calls to reform the infamously problematic Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)."


2016 Coalition Opposing Dangerous CFAA Bill

"EFF and over a dozen other organizations are urging U.S. lawmakers to oppose a dangerous bill proposed by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse and "Lindsey Graham that would make the already-flawed Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) worse. The joint letter sent Wednesday explains that the legislation fails to address any of the CFAA’s problems while simply creating more confusion. Although the proposal is ostensibly directed at stopping botnets, it includes various provisions that go far beyond protecting against such attacks. 

The senators proposed an almost identical bill last year. And just like last year, they may try to sneak their proposal through as an amendment to the Email Privacy Act. Last year, the tried this tactic with the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015, but they ultimately failed due to widespread opposition.


Since the death of activist and Internet pioneer Aaron Swartz three and a half years ago, people from across the political spectrum have urged Congress to reform the CFAA. It’s an outdated and draconian law, with harsh penalties for “crimes” that result in little or no economic harm. And the Justice Department has interpreted the statute’s vague language to criminalize violations of terms of use—an interpretation that turns virtually every Internet user into a criminal.


Sens. Whitehouse and Graham’s proposal will take things in the wrong direction. The CFAA should be reigned in, not expanded, to make sure it is used for the purpose originally intended by Congress: to target malicious criminals who break into computer systems and cause real harm and economic damage.


That’s why we joined our friends in asking the Senate to oppose the Whitehouse/Graham proposal—whether as a standalone bill or as an amendment to the Email Privacy Act."

Taken  from / read in full here:

The ACLU also is opposing the CFAA "ACLU Challenges Computer Crimes Law That is Thwarting Research on Discrimination Online"

How does this affect me, a non hacker?


Click here to read some examples of where normal users come into conflict with the law.


This law prevents hacks?


Nope! Read more here.


So what do I do?


Support the ACLU and EFF in combatting the CFAA.

We want to encourage your representitives to consider the proposed June 2013, "Aaron's Law", a bipartisan bill to make common sense changes to the CFAA was introduced by Reps. Lofgren and Sensenbrenner. Let's pass that instead of these new knee jerk proposals!




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