Congressional Hearing Tomorrow on Making it a Federal Felony to Swear in Barrens Chat

Details here. The proposed increased penalties for goldsellers would have a 20-year prison maximum, although that is per incident. The penalty for reading this post from your work computer would cap at 3 years in federal prison.

: Zubon

12 thoughts on “Congressional Hearing Tomorrow on Making it a Federal Felony to Swear in Barrens Chat”

  1. So this kinda sucks, I guess. I could say “glad I don’t live in america”, but that tends to get shouted down. So I’ll just say this sucks for americans. And also everyone else, if they see america getting away with it.

    1. I believe that American law enforcement claims jurisdiction if the servers are in the US, payment is routed through a US source, etc. So if you ever plan to visit the US or live in a country with an extradition treaty, you can get in on the fun too!

      (See also: American arrest of folks running online poker sites that let Americans play. Rough layover, dude.)

      1. Since our previous government here in the U.K. saw fit to pass an extradition law that requires compliance whether or not the alleged offense would be a crime if committed in the U.K., this very much applies to us.

        It does, however, probably conflict directly with various E.U. laws relating to right to family life and freedom of expression.

        Nice work for lawyers, as usual.

  2. I realise this is a tongue-in-cheek post but a WoW server is not a “critical infrastructure” server. The proposed amendment would have no impact on player behaviour in MMOs. It addresses people who cause malicious damage to computer systems controlling things like trains and water supply.

    The rest of the Act has some terrible law in it but this amendment in itself is not something I think most reasonable people would oppose. If someone took out the power in Manhattan by physically cutting a cable they could go to prison, shouldn’t they suffer a similar penalty if they do the same damage electronically?

    1. Your interpretation of the first page of the 52-page proposal (relating to proposed 18 U.S.C. 1030A) is fair. The existence of the other 51 pages (relating to amended 18 U.S.C. 1030) refutes your second sentence. You are arguing for the “Kill Puppies and Say Nice Things About Motherhood Act” on the grounds that you like motherhood, without noticing the rest.

      1. WoW servers are actually critical infrastructure; the brains of millions of Americans have been liquefied from excessive WoW exposure and are now prevented from collapsing only by the inflationary pressure of the gear treadmill.

        In seriousness though, I’m with Stabs on this one. Based purely on the snippet shown at Volokh’s, this doesn’t apply to people who aren’t being naughty little sh*ts… Can you cite an example of the contradictory text?

        1. Can you cite an example of the contradictory text?
          Can either of you say how you disagree with Prof. Kerr? I assume you read the link upon which you are commenting, but you seem to be denying the existence of the text. “Perhaps most importantly, virtually all Section 1030 crimes would become felonies.” is a pretty clear statement. Or are you just denying that 1030 applies, when people have been successfully prosecuted under it for “unauthorized access” in the broadest terms?

          Going to the primary sources, I would recommend any of the text after page one of that 52-page document, such as the lines crossing out a one-year penalty and making it a three-year penalty. We have previously cited a successful government case of prosecuting someone for violating a use policy, and the long-term prospects of prosecuting for violating ToS remains unclear.

          This is all copy-and-paste from the link provided.

          1. Ah ok, you’re right and we’re wrong, I misread the article.

            All that remains now is to see whether I have to serve three years in prison for my mistake.

          2. Eh, I was referring to the critical infrastructure section which Stabs seemed to be commenting on. This carries a 3 year minimum sentence, but does not apply to things such as WoW since they are not critical infrastructure.

            Obviously the rest could easily apply to MMO’s (or anything, really), and is quite ridiculous.

  3. This supports my assertion that technologically-illiterate people should not be allowed to write laws related to technology. Or possibly anything. “Series of tubes” should have been an automatic expulsion, perhaps with some jail time.

  4. I may be breaking this law right now. Not only am I writing this from a work computer, I work for an oil company (see 2nd statute).

Comments are closed.