back to article Judge: Checking Facebook at work is not a crime

Checking your personal email on a work computer is not a federal crime, a judge in San Francisco has ruled (PDF), despite the US government trying to argue otherwise. Judging on the case of US v Nosal, maverick San Fran judge* Alex Kozinski concluded that doing non-work things on work facilities was not criminal, though he …

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Anonymous Coward

Pah!

Just mentioning Facebook or Twiter should be a crime.

Let the downvoting begin!

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Paris Hilton

WHT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO

IF CHECKING FACEBOOK ISNT AGAINST THE LAW ANY MORE WHATS NEXT MURDER IS OKAY

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Childcatcher

Re: WHT IS THIS WORLD COMING TO

WON'T SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!!!!!

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Sense as prevailed across the pond...

I will have to go and have a lie down methinks...

Breach of company policy yes, but a criminal offence?? (how far would it extend, for example if they made reading El Reg an offence - we would be fuxed).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sense as prevailed across the pond...

I agree that it is an unusual display of common sense from the USA.

There again, it is a place where you can get a Criminal Record for writing on your school desk, beig 10 minutes late for class or wearing your clothes wrongly.

Here is a link for one of them

http://www.amestrib.com/sections/opinion/columns/petula-dvorak-it-crime-be-late-class.html

There was a report today that said that in Texas all of these can result in a class E felony. If you ignore them and continue to be late for class you could end up in a real Jail alongside rapists and murderers.

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Stop

Re: Sense as prevailed across the pond...

I would point out that you are referring to the Republic of Texas, not the USA. We take no responsibility for those yahoos.

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Re: Sense as prevailed across the pond...

The Texas Tourism Board has a motto: "Texas. It's like a whole other country." Many really wish that were true.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sense as prevailed across the pond...

And how else am I supposed to find out what's happening in the corporate spheres where I work before the email reaches the office?

(AC for very obvious reasons!)

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Re: Sense as prevailed across the pond...

"There was a report today that said that in Texas all of these can result in a class E felony."

Missed something somewhere. Texas, as a state, doesn't have a class E anything so perhaps there was some confusion with another state like Tenn. Texas has class A, B and C misdemeanors and there are 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree felonies as well as a "state jail" felony but nothing even making a fifth tier in either category. Granted that doesn't stop an individual county or city from making additional levels of crap just because they can so it could still be in Texas but not apply to all of Texas.

Perhaps the U.S. could sell off both Texas and California to get rid of the extremes at both ends and use the cash to pay off the national debt, well part of the national debt given the current real estate market.

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"We take no responsibility..."

Like fucking hell you don't! You don't get to fight a war to enforce the association, then a century and a half later say "oh, you can't blame us for them" -- "them" is part of "us", because you lot wouldn't have it any other way. If the United States are unhappy still to count Texas among their number, they have only themselves to blame.

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Mushroom

Re: "We take no responsibility..."

Lighten up, Francis.

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Anonymous Coward

Biased much?

This is the guy who tore down the filters at work so that he could go surfing for nude women painted like cows after all.

Not that he's wrong, mind you. He's most definately in the right here.

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WTF?

Re: Biased much?

So what ? Waterboarding ? Were the woman painted with a secret code NSA could not break or what ??

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nude women painted like cows?

The concept isn't doing anything for me yet, but I can't put it out of my mind. I may be Googling it by the end of the day, this is udderly ridiculOHGODNOMAKEITSTOP :-)

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misleading information

> giving misleading information on a dating site

Isn't this mandatory?

S*&t I always thought it was.

Don't tell me that lying to market researchers is also not explicitly required.

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Lying to market researchers

is everyone's responsibility.

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Big Brother

But I though that once my boss asked for my Facebook password

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/26/technology/senators-want-employers-facebook-password-requests-reviewed.html

that maintaining my page was part of my job description.

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Flame

In Soviet America

..they will throw anything at you and watch which piece of dirt will stick. In a "court of law".

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Big Brother

Re: In Soviet America

...and then it'll get thrown out. As it has been.

I love it when there's some article about a US judge throwing out an overzealous prosecutor's claims, or stupid law that's never been enforced, and people yell, "ZOMG jackbooted thug nazi big brother evil Americans!". It must be nice to come from a country where bad laws are never even *suggested*, so that they never have to be struck down.

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Loss of Reason

Dang! That's the loss of a perfectly good reason to toss more people into prison.

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Anonymous Coward

...but you can still be fired

And you should be if you have a Farcebook account.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: ...but you can still be fired

A billion people all getting fired at once is gonna be rough on the recovery.

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Seems air enough given there inability to block facebook and non work stuff

Perfectly fair given they allowed him to reach and access the site fully. They could of blocked that site and others, but they took the approach of just allowing them, which is akin to entrapment. So fair play to the judge in this respect.

If you don't want your staff accessing facebook and the like via work computers then you get something called a firewall and you read the manual and look at how you can block certain sites.

But hey another company that thinks its easy to not fix problems retrospectivly with lawyers instead of paying for what would not even be deemed talent to carry out such a simple solution.

When the only tool you have is a hammer then every problem looks like a nail. But when your only tool is a lawyer then every problem is your own ruddy fault.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Seems air enough given there inability to block facebook and non work stuff

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/misspelling

http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe

I also think I could have seen a comic about "could of" somewhere once, but I can't find it now.

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Orv

I'm glad this case was decided the way it was, because I feel rules like this that criminalize things everyone does are often used selectively against people who displease those in higher positions.

Government policies about technology use can be strange, because they often don't keep pace with changes in the technologies people use. For example, if you're a public employee in the state of Washington, "de minimus" use of your office phone for personal matters is okay. However, *any* personal use of your office Internet connection is illegal.

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Pity

Why can't a President put this guy on the Supreme Court? Oh right, the members of both parties of the political cartel probably hate Judge Kozinski's commitment to the crazier things, you know life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, it's a post 9-11 world you know.

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Anonymous Coward

He said it wasn't a federal crime

He didn't say it was acceptable, appropriate or prudent as you'll fine out when dismissed.

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FAIL

9th circuit again? This will be overturned in 4, 3, 2, ....

The relevant bit from the brief is this:

"...he convinced some of his former colleagues who were still working for Korn/Ferry to help him start a competing business. The employees used their log-in credentials to download source lists, names and contact information from a confidential database on the company’s computer, and then transferred that information to Nosal...."

That fundamentally CFAA, no ifs, ands, butts, or hyperactivist judges about it.

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Anonymous Coward

Farcebook isn't a crime

But stupidity is as these folks are soon to learn.

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