tempur_three wrote:I would like to see where it says it was strictly for admitted students. It's not the issue of using a password that we haven't been granted. No where on that website did they have a disclaimer saying it's strictly for admitted students to access. That could cause an interesting dilemma: say that your mother had accessed the student website, was she then 'unauthorized' to do so? Will she be prosecuted to the full extent of the law? No and no.
You make it sound like we are logging into a NASA computer system where the telnet/ssh prompt reads:
This computer system including all related equipment, network devices (specifically
including Internet access), are provided only for authorized use. All computer systems
may be monitored for all lawful purposes, including to ensure that their use is
authorized, for management of the system, to facilitate protection against unauthorized
access, and to verify security procedures, survivability and operational security.
Monitoring includes active attacks by authorized personnel and their entities to test or
verify the security of the system. During monitoring, information may be examined,
recorded, copied and used for authorized purposes. All information including personal
information, placed on or sent over this system may be monitored. Uses of this system,
authorized or unauthorized, constitutes consent to monitoring of this system.
Unauthorized use may subject you to criminal prosecution. Evidence of any such
unauthorized use collected during monitoring may be used for administrative, criminal or
other adverse action. Use of this system constitutes consent to monitoring for these
If Columbia had anything like that NASA warning, then I would have never logged in. To me this password was for the general public use released upon the discretion of whomever was admitted. Whether it was a TLS poster who gave you the password, whether it was the admissions department that gave it to you, or whether a distant cousin--it's more of their responsibility to either share it with you or not. Going back to the NASA example, it clearly states that you cannot access their system without being an authorized user. In addition, if the authorized user gave out his user and password, he is also held accountable. It's also different than 'stumbling' onto a username and password. The user who posted the picture was asked to post it and did so. There was no deception or force used in having that poster post that picture. The poster also didn't say, please don't use this website.
As far as I'm concerned this was all very legal, and there should be no qualms whether or not it was unethical. It was a general website with a general password that is free for everyone to access unless Columbia now decides to tell admitted students that it's for their eyes and for their access only. In addition, on the ASW Columbia should have a warning banner that explicitly states that this website is for admitted students only and if you try to log in as a non-admitted students you may in breach of whatever they deem it is you're breaching.
I would like to see where it says it was strictly for admitted students.
Hey, buddy. It's called the Admitted Students Website. That was likely your first hint. You can go back to lurking now.