Have you ever entered (shudder!) a fake name into a Web site? Now that Interpol has helped arrest 25 alleged Anonymous hackers, you might be interested to learn that behaviors most netizens have practiced since the third grade qualifies as hacking under current US law.

“In the Justice Department’s view, the CFAA [Computer Fraud and Abuse Act] criminalizes conduct as innocuous as using a fake name on Facebook or lying about your weight in an online dating profile. That situation is intolerable,” says Orin Kerr, George Washington University law professor and a former federal prosecutor in the Justice Department’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section in the Criminal Division.

Currently, the law punishes anyone who “intentionally … exceeds authorized access, and thereby obtains information from any protected computer.”

Who’s going to rat out your nefarious activities? Well, Facebook has 25 people dedicated to handling government info requests. And if you’re a corporation, watch out for Julian Oliver’s ‘Transparency Grenade’:

Artist Julian Oliver has put together a “transparency grenade” that lets users leak information from closed meetings by just pulling a pin.

The grenade includes a computer with a microphone and powerful wireless antenna that captures network traffic and audio in a location and anonymously streams it to an external server that mines it for information–including e-mail excerpts, web pages, images and voice. The server then uploads that data to a public website and positions it on a map.

Then again, these days you can get in legal trouble just for taking a walk in the woods.

YouTube Identifies Birdsong As Copyrighted Music – Slashdot

“I make nature videos for my YouTube channel, generally in remote wilderness away from any possible source of music. And I purposely avoid using a soundtrack in my videos because of all the horror stories I hear about Rumblefish filing claims against public domain music. But when uploading my latest video, YouTube informed me that I was using Rumblefish’s copyrighted content, and so ads would be placed on my video, with the proceeds going to said company. This baffled me. I disputed their claim with YouTube’s system — and Rumblefish refuted my dispute, and asserted that: ‘All content owners have reviewed your video and confirmed their claims to some or all of its content: Entity: rumblefish; Content Type: Musical Composition.’ So I asked some questions, and it appears that the birds singing in the background of my video are Rumblefish’s exclusive intellectual property.”

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