“Three judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a ruling this week that will affect everyone from whistleblowers to your ex who is still, somehow, using your Netflix password to watch Jessica Jones,” Ethan Chiel reports for Fusion. “The court ruled that sharing passwords is a criminal act.”

“The case concerns David Nosal, a headhunter who used to work for a firm called Korn/Ferry. Nosal left the job in 2004 and recruited former colleagues who used the password of a person still with the company to download information from Korn/Ferry’s database for use at the new firm,” Chiel reports. “For that, Nosal was charged in 2008 with hacking under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a.k.a ‘the Worst Law in Technology.'”

“The new Ninth Circuit decision was decided 2-1 in the government’s favor. Judge M. Margaret McKeown, in the majority, insists that Nosal and his co-conspirators ‘accessed trade secrets in a proprietary database through the back door when the front door had been firmly closed’ putting the case “squarely within the CFAA’s prohibition on access ‘without authorization,'” Chiel reports. “But Judge Stephen Reinhardt disagreed, and as Motherboard points out, appears to have a better sense of what constitutes hacking, the purported purpose of the CFAA. Reinhardt expressed concern that that decision by the majority criminalizes all password-sharing, including your giving out your parent’s Netflix password to your friends.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yum! Unintended consequences are always so lip-smackingly delicious!

[Attribution: WPTV. Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]