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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > US Should Reconsider Laws after Aaron Swartz Death

US Should Reconsider Laws after Aaron Swartz Death

US Should Reconsider Laws after Aaron Swartz Death

Added: Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Category: Bit Torrent Freedom > The Right To Share
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extratorrent.com
The suicide of online activist Aaron Swartz might give the United States a wake-up call about its legislation, namely the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFFA) of 1984. The 29-year-old law has been used by the American authorities to hit hackers with draconian court cases over what is supposed to be legal technicalities and misdemeanors.

Under this law, Aaron Swartz faced years in prison and enormous fines for downloading academic articles from a private database of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Swartz’s defense was handicapped by bullying prosecutors who threatened to use the full force of legislation which could put people in jail for lying about their real identity on Facebook and remove files from their work laptop before they quit.

The case of the American Attorney was based on the CFAA legislation. However, many legal experts contend that the latter has been amended so many times that some parts of it no longer make sense. For instance, the penalties for minor cyber offences exceed those for more serious crimes.

The industry observers claim that so much has changed and become more complicated, while the US Computer Fraud and Abuse Act has kept Frankenstein-ing. The others pointed out that the US Attorney followed the dodgy legislation too closely in bringing charges against Aaron. For instance, courts across the United States are split about what constitutes unauthorized access, which would be very important in a hacking case.

Despite this, American prosecutors have already bought almost 300 federal criminal cases under this law and related computer fraud laws within the last three years. For instance, an individual was charged because of deleting files from his corporate laptop after he was fired, as well as the one who set up a fake Facebook account. Some of the defendants face millions of dollars in fines and long jail sentences.

Nevertheless, it isn’t only the government prosecutors who follow the nebulous legislation. Aside from the above mentioned cases, there have been over 300 civil lawsuits brought in during private disputes which referred to the CFAA and related laws. Consumer outfits claim that prosecutors just take advantage of the vague terms in order to add huge penalties to lesser cases.

January 24th,2013

Posted by: 

Date:  Thursday, January 24th, 2013

Comments (12) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2013-01-24 22:55:24)
No avatarHe faced SIX MONTHS.

People martyring this guy and blaming the government for prosecuting him for something he KNEW was illegal when he did it are being ludicrous.

He KNEW he was breaking the law, and was doing it because he wanted to engage in an act of criminal disobedience to protest against something, a cause he believed in. He was not EVER facing serious long term time, despite all the news articles constantly harping on the max penalties possible. Federal sentencing guidelines are very very very clear, and there is no chance, ZERO chance, he would have ever ended up serving more than 2 years, and it is very unlikely he would have even received half that sentence at trial.

The plea bargain he had from the prosecutor was for 6 months. Martha Stewart did that much time with ease, he could have also, it would not have been a very big deal AT ALL.

I can only imagine that his suicide had NOTHING to do with this prosecution at all. If I'm wrong, and that WAS his reason, well then he took the cowards route, every bit as I've been saying that for days now.

posted by (2013-01-25 01:18:20)
No avatarwho is this guy anyway? Who cares people die every day.

posted by (2013-01-25 01:28:18)
ao1jmm avatarWhy should I care about this guy again?

posted by Trusted UploaderSite FriendSuperman (2013-01-25 02:30:59)
trialNerror avatarYea the more I read about this guy the less I care. He would have been placed in a minimum security facility where they have tea parties every day at 11am and get to play racquet ball in the courtyard the rest of the afternoon. Sounds like an alright time to me. He chickened out. Albeit the US laws still need changing and perhaps-hopefully-maybe this guys suicide might not be completely in vain.

posted by (2013-01-25 07:33:42)
No avatarHe is One of the greatest minds of our time, a great activist, and stood for great changes that need to happen in this dictatorship of a government...hopefully this will cause a change of laws

posted by (2013-01-25 08:41:31)
rootkat avatarAnother group of people are also being prosecuted for their civil disobedience; a protest against paypal for is decision to cutoff funding to Wikileaks. Theses 14 people are charged under the same act. Six months, you say? This is not even hacking or downloading information. What do they face? 15 YEARS. Fines: $1 MILLION USD. Yeah, why would that make anyone consider suicide. Bet you would all change your tune if they start prosecuting file sharing under this bullshit 'law'. Think about the big picture rather than your very narrowly focused and unwarranted hatred of one man. Just sayin'

posted by men (2013-01-25 10:30:55)
solyd avatar@#1

I dont believe that to end your life is a cowards route. That is just spouting crap from watching too much tv or reading too many books. I wonder just what state a persons mind must be in to actually follow through and end their own life. It is easy to say the words but to do it is light years away. you or I could not even begin to imagine what it is like mentally to get to a point to actually end it because we are both still alive. So stop insulting a dead man.

posted by (2013-01-26 01:03:45)
callouspenguin avatar@HUM8OLDT I understand all that, just perhaps he could have used another method rather than breaking the law. He was a skinny little weakling who got pressured and he hung himself, thats weak. The government didn't even use a gun, lol!

posted by (2013-01-27 02:40:25)
ScottATL999 avatarYou people are speaking of being locked up in prison as if its a country club atmosphere and someone losing their life as if it means nothing. I wonder if it was happening to you or someone you love if you would feel the same way?!? Our world is declining fast in many ways as we lose more and more of our humanity choosing instead to look the other way or dehumanize those with whom we disagree or don't understand. Our technology has definitely surpassed our morality and it seems the world no longer cares as we choose hate, jealousy, and anger over love, compassion, and acceptance. So sad...

posted by (2013-01-27 04:47:31)
profesor5150 avatarAs far I see it he took the cowards way out... I did 11 yrs. in the feds for not snitching on someone who helped me out when I needed it. I never went to no club spa. but to a level 4 Penn. I knew that when I borrowed money to start my buss. from that someone that I kind of knew he made money illegally & that it was somewhat wrong. A few yrs. later I get hit with conspiracy to launder money. I was threatened and offered less time if I testified. In the end I got all that time not for what I did. I should of done a couple of yrs. the most. But the fact that I wouldn't cooperate angered the Gov. Attorney. Some would say I was stupid for not bowing to the gov's wishes. But there is a saying that goes "Two wrongs don't make a right?"

posted by (2013-01-27 04:50:09)
ao1jmm avatarLMAO @ Dictatorship.

posted by (2013-01-28 16:08:31)
EpyxZ avatarLook above this is the world you live in. See any positive comments? Do you even have a clue what he was fighting for? Do you know what he had done in his life? It's easy to sit behind your keyboard downloading movies and act all bad ass, but your not. This guy did more when he was in high school than most of you have done in your entire lives. Tell you what next time you use your cell and get that news feed you had better think of him because without him it would not be there.

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