Lying online may soon be a crime

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).

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.