Is password-lending a cybercrime?

Tuesday, 2 March 2004, 1:19 PM EST

In a little-observed civil lawsuit involving tracking of magazine subscriptions, a federal court in Manhattan issued a ruling last week that could theoretically result in prosecutors going after people who use another person's password and userid with their permission, but without the permission of the issuer.

The case, decided last Monday, arose out of a dispute between two competing companies, Inquiry Management Systems (IMS), and Berkshire Information Systems, both of whom tracked magazine advertisements for their clients. Employees of Berkshire obtained a userid and password from a client of IMS, and used them to access IMS's website and tracking service. This act violated the customer's agreement with IMS.

From there, the Berkshire employees either read, or downloaded (or both) certain copyrighted information about the tracking of magazine advertisements, which of course, they used to compete with IMS.

By Mark Rasch at SecurityFocus.

[ Read more ]

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