Jordan Tries to Fix Cybercrime Bill

FEBRUARY 13, 2018

Sen. Jen Jordan offered an amendment to SB 315 to make sure the general public would not be charged with a crime for violating terms of service agreements and to define the crime as bypassing a password or other technical barrier with malicious intent:

The bill would give prosecutors broad discretion to possibly charge internet users with a crime for violating the terms of service on a website or app such as Facebook Inc. or Twitter Inc., Rep. Jennifer Jordan (D) said on the Senate floor. Her proposed amendment, which failed by a vote of 20-33, would have defined unauthorized computer access as bypassing a password or other technical barrier with malicious intent.

“This is a problem that is seen throughout the country with federal statutes and other state statutes,” as courts struggle to figure out which behaviors violate the law and which ones don’t, she said.

Her comments echoed the concerns of advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has argued for revisions to the comparable federal law, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

The proposed Georgia legislation, like the federal law, “chills legitimate security research,” Jamie Williams, staff attorney at the EFF, told Bloomberg Law, calling it “the opposite of increasing security.” — Bloomberg

Jennifer Jordan