Today’s Links: April 18, 2012


JACOB SULLUM: “From Hackers to Slackers
“If you are reading this column online at work, you may be committing a federal crime. Or so says the Justice Department, which reads the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) broadly enough to encompass personal use of company computers as well as violations of fine-print website rules that people routinely ignore. Last week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rightly rejected this view of the CFAA, which Chief Judge Alex Kozinski noted could make a criminal out of ‘everyone who uses a computer in violation of computer use restrictions—which may well include everyone who uses a computer.'”

CHRIS CALABRESE: “Identity Theft and the War on Immigrants
“The war on America’s immigrants can lead to some very strange results. In a classic example, last year Republicans actually said, when it comes to immigration at least, new government regulations actually create jobs. But these attacks on immigrants cause real harm to ordinary Americans who don’t think that immigration affects them. We’ve already talked about how mistakes in E-Verify, the federal database of eligible workers, can keep Americans from getting jobs. Tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing that highlights another problem with E-Verify.”

STEVEN GREENHUT: “Sacramento is Fresh Victim of Bad Stadium Deals
“This publicly funded stadium issue has raged in cities across the U.S., including Indianapolis, where the highly subsidized Lucas Oil Stadium was host to this year’s Super Bowl, and Minneapolis, as Minnesota legislators ponder a deal to build a new football stadium for the Vikings. But the story in California’s capital, a city of 2 million with a perennial inferiority complex borne of being overshadowed by the Los Angeles and Bay Area media markets, is not about the details of the deal or the wiles of mercurial owners of National Basketball Association teams. It’s about the foolishness of city officials who pin urban renewal hopes and taxpayer dollars on sports complexes despite the public’s declining willingness to pony up the cash.”


INTERNET – CISPA: Embraced by Facebook, Scorned by Privacy Advocates
“Privacy advocates are hoping that a week of protests against the proposed Cyber-Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) will have the same effect that similar movements had earlier this year in helping kill other proposed federal Internet security measures. However, the challenge will be a little different this time around, particularly since some major tech companies that had been opposed to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA)—including Facebook and Microsoft—are now supporting CISPA.”

NANNY STATE – Florida City Bans Nightlife
“Where’s Ren McCormack when you need him? A new ordinance passed in the city of Weston has effectively banned all hope of local nightlife, including the construction of any future dance halls, nightclubs and skating rinks.”

AGRICULTURE – Farm Group Seeks U.S. Halt on ‘Dangerous’ Crop Chemicals
“A coalition of more than 2,000 U.S. farmers and food companies said Wednesday it is taking legal action to force government regulators to analyze potential problems with proposed biotech crops and the weed-killing chemicals to be sprayed over them.”