Rhode Island Attorney General Pushing For A State-Level CFAA That Will Turn Researchers, Whistleblowers Into Criminals

Tim Cushing reports that not satisfied to rest on his laurels in the Really Bad Ideas Department, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin is behind a legislative proposal that amounts to a very bad state-level version of the federal hacking statute, CFAA. Tim writes:

Here’s the worst part of the suggested amendments:

Whoever intentionally and without authorization or in excess of one’s authorization, directly or indirectly accesses a computer, computer program, computer system, or computer network with the intent to either view, obtain, copy, print or download any confidential information contained in or stored on such computer, computer program, computer system, or computer network, shall be guilty of a felony and shall be subject to the penalties set forth in §11-52-5.

This would make the following Google search illegal:

filetype:pdf site:*.gov “law enforcement use only”

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