"Aaron's Law" introduced, would change computer law so violating Terms of Service isn't a felony

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7 Responses to “"Aaron's Law" introduced, would change computer law so violating Terms of Service isn't a felony”

  1. UnderachievingSheep says:

    Apropos, Buzzfeed (of all places), has a pretty good article about DA Carmen Ortiz and her history of trying to further her career by going after vulnerable people to make examples out of them. I did not know until I read it that she had successfully prosecuted someone for what basically amounts to “thought crime” (Tarek Mehanna) 

    http://www.buzzfeed.com/justinesharrock/who-is-aaron-swartzs-prosecutor

  2. awjt says:

    Also: a new bill needs to define “authorization.”  It’s vaguely worded in the CFAA, from what I understand, and it needs specific, strict definition. 

    Authorization from whom, for whom, for what specifically, under what terms, for how long, pertaining to precisely WHAT, exactly?

  3. gsilas says:

    I don’t mean to be the critical asshole, but I find it slightly disturbing that it required a suicide to get these things going.  I think it is inarguable that Mr. Swartz had great things in his future, although I admit that I hadn’t heard of him prior to last week.  Are we teaching our next generation of activists that suicide is an acceptable promotional tool if you’ve been wronged and have friends in media?

    Or, how fucked is our system that change still required self-martyrdom?  I’m just going to keep telling myself that the world would have been better off without the suicide, although I can see a potential argument to the contrary in this case (which makes me sick).

    • ocschwar says:

      “Are we teaching our next generation of activists that suicide is an acceptable promotional tool if you’ve been wronged and have friends in media?”

      The campaign for women’s suffrage started with a suicide, and was successful, and it still didn’t cause activists to use it for other cases. 

  4. greendemiurge says:

    Aaron’s Law seems to be a more effective way to ensure permanent change, but for anyone looking for immediate accountability in this situation the whitehouse.gov petition to remove Carmen Ortiz is now 36,000 strong but could always be stronger:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-united-states-district-attorney-carmen-ortiz-office-overreach-case-aaron-swartz/RQNrG1Ck

  5. ocschwar says:

    It’s a good start, but even then the CFAA will continue to cover acts that range from the heinous to the inane with the same penalties, and leave the distinction to prosecutorial discretion. 

  6. Warren says:

    This strikes me as an overreach:

    ‘America['s] penal system is ghastly and inhumane.’

    There are indubitably abuses of power, of people, and of justice in the American penal system, but until US punishments conventionally include stoning women for having sex, hanging gays, or beheading prisoners, I don’t think we’re in the realm of ‘ghastly and inhumane’.

    That said, a threat of 35 years in prison for copying files is outrageous.

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