Sharing Your Netflix Password With Your Mates Could Lead To Prosecution

We all know that one person that makes the ultimate sacrifice for the team and signs up for a Netflix account. They are the real MVP and they don't ask for much in return - although they probably curse your name every time the subscription fee leaves their account.

What you might not know is that sharing your password with your friends could be a crime.

Okay, we've probably all felt like we can't be bothered reading the terms and conditions of iTunes ('Who even has the time to do that?' we've all thought to ourselves, simultaneously suspecting this probably isn't an excuse that holds up in court). But giving out your password to your mates could lead to a prosecution under the United States' computer hacking laws.

There is always one party-pooper. You're probably wondering who this person is, right? Well, it's an American court that ruled that sharing a password is an actual offence.

David Nosal 'persuaded' his pals from a previous job to let him use their password to gain access to his old work computer. Hmm... let's see where this is going, eh?

Ah right, he'd left that job to move to a competitor. Unsurprisingly, his former employers weren't so keen on him being allowed access to their information.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Of course, you'll be unfazed to hear that the US Supreme Court threw out Mr Nosal's10-year legal battle with the case and he is now spending his valuable time in the comfort of a jail cell.

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act means that you can't have access to a system that you've not been given permission to use. Before you try to be clever and seek out a loophole in the law, it also applies to situations where someone gave you the password that is allowed to use the system.

The folks over at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) want everyone to have access to password sharing, however. The foundation challenged the Supreme Court with an appeal, and who can blame them? It does seem like there's much worse stuff going on out there than your mate wanting to watch the new season of Orange Is the New Black from your account.


However, the EFF lost the appeal - according to the Sun, Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt said that the case was 'about password sharing'.

"People frequently share their passwords, notwithstanding the fact that websites and employers have policies prohibiting it," he said.

Right, think about it for a moment: how important is it to share your Netflix password with your mates?

Some food for thought: you can't stream Netflix from prison, so is it really worth the risk?

Words by Adnan Riaz

Featured Image Credit: PA

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