The Jig Is Up: You Can Be Prosecuted For Sharing Passwords
A federal appeals court ruled password sharing is essentially hacking.By Eugene Daniels | July 6, 2016
Using your dad's Netflix password to catch up on your favorite binge-worthy show now officially makes you a criminal hacker. Don't freak out yet — I'll explain.
A federal appeals court upheld a hacking conviction under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for David Nosal. Nosal left his job to form his own firm but kept downloading information from the company using a password given to him willingly by his former assistant. The panel decided that was basically hacking.
Nosal's case is unique because he had permission from the password holder but not the company. That broad interpretation of the CFAA would basically make sharing your Hulu, Netflix or HBO Go password a federal crime.