Tomorrow, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on reforming the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Before you start thinking, "it's about time", note that the witness list includes someone from the Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Business Software Alliance. The only reform proponent is former computer crime prosecutor Orin Kerr, now a Professor at George Washington University Law School.
In anticipation of the skewed hearing, companies have signed a letter demonstrating how the CFAA interferes with innovation. These signers include:
Internet Infrastructure Coalition (i2Coalition), Engine Advocacy, O'Reilly Media, Reddit, OpenDNS, Stack Exchange, PadMapper, heyzap, Agile Learning Labs, Vuze, #sfbeta, ZeroCater, Vidmaker, 4Chan and Canvas, Notcot Inc., The Lewis Charitable Foundation, Get Satisfaction, VigLink, Zemamai and the American Library Association.
The letter will be included in the hearing record. If your company would like to sign on to the letter, please email me and let me know.
CIS will be watching the hearing closely. To learn more about how the CFAA interferes with innovation and security research and overcriminalizes every day computer usage, you can watch video from our Innovation or Exploitation event, or read more about the case against Aaron Swartz and what it would take to fix the CFAA.
To keep posted on how and when to contact your representatives in Washington as part of the effort to reform the CFAA, sign up with the EFF here.