Lying online may soon be a crime

Lying online may soon be a crime

Summary: Ever knocked off a few years in your online profile? Fifteen years ago, I posted a profile picture which had me leaning on the bonnet of a BMW convertible (it was my friend's).

SHARE:
TOPICS: Browser
1

Ever knocked off a few years in your online profile? Fifteen years ago, I posted a profile picture which had me leaning on the bonnet of a BMW convertible (it was my friend's). Yes, I was young and impressionable then.

According to a report by ZDNet Asia's sister site, CNET, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) is looking to amend the current law to give prosecutors the ability to charge people "based upon a violation of terms of service or similar contractual agreement with an employer or provider". It added that limiting "prosecutions based upon a violation of terms of service...would make it difficult or impossible to deter and address serious insider threats through prosecution".

In other words, breaching a Web site's terms of use, which includes lying or providing false information, could lead to prosecution by the DoJ.

That's a chilling thought--one that would send a lot more people scrambling to review their Facebook and LinkedIn pages. After all, it is no longer the high-profile celebs and politicians that have to worry about online scrutiny.

Topic: Browser

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

1 comment
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Well sure, we all claim to agree to support the ideology of honesty, and a logical cyber-extension of this which is adhering to the terms of service. However the repercussions for violations as you've stated seem like over-kill, sorry for the pun!

    If the dog urinates in the house while you're away do you shoot it and toss it in the garbage? Do you starve it for a week in a small cage outside? Do you kick it? Or do you appropriately scold it and appropriately penalize it with withheld treats, affection, etc?

    That's the problem here. Going too far. Wrong solutions, won't they ever get it right?
    Zutronic-cccf7