Originally, passage of the CFAA was motivated by the 1983 movie War Games, in which a young American “hacker” unwittingly accesses the supercomputer that controls the nuclear arsenal of the United States. The CFAA was originally designed to allow the DOJ to prosecute computer “hackers,” like the protagonist in War Games. It also allowed the prosecution of those individuals who used a computer to obtain “classified information,” “financial or credit records,” or to interfere with the government’s use of a computer.Golly. Is it true? Turns out it is: Greyes quotes the original documentation:
'Id. at para. 4. See also H.R. REP. NO. 98-894, at 10 (1984), reprinted in 1984 U.S.C.C.A.N. 3689, 3696 (“The motion picture ‘War Games’ showed a realistic representation of the automatic dialing and access capabilities of the personal computer.”).SF ought to be more careful in its representations of the colossal power of Geeks. Our texts appear directly to be influencing US policy.