"Minds have wandered since the beginning of time and the computer gives employees new ways to procrastinate, by g-chatting with friends, playing games, shopping or watching sports highlights. Such activities are routinely prohibited by many computer-use policies, although employees are seldom disciplined for occasional use of work computers for personal purposes. Nevertheless, under the broad interpretation of the CFAA, such minor dalliances would become federal crimes," Chief Judge Alex Kozinski wrote in an opinion replete with pop culture and tech references. (FarmVille and www.dailysudoku.com get shout outs.)
Kozinski said the dangers of reading the law that way would actually go beyond prosecuting employees to prosecuting anyone who violates a website's terms of service, such as those who lie on dating sites. "Under the government’s proposed interpretation describing yourself as 'tall, dark and handsome,' when you’re actually short and homely, will earn you a handsome orange jumpsuit," the judge complained. The court's ruling upheld a lower court's order striking five counts of an indictment against an executive charged with conspiring with former colleagues to steal data from his ex-employer.