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Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
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ANON1246232522481
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ANON1246232522481,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/28/2013 | 8:13:33 AM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
Having done more research on this subject, please check for yourself. The local prosecutor was letting him off with a warning, the Feds step in and went for the big hit. He access files he had a right to, he was a member, he just did it after hours and in a MDF closet. He did return the files and the matter was settled with the local prosecutor.

The Feds came in and wanted a big name from the charges as she has plans on running for office.

In this situation where is the fairness? Do you really believe that someone should be hounded to death? Driven to bankrupcy in defending themself?

Laws have been used as clubs before. Such laws need to be changed so that they do what is intended. Anybody remember Phil Katz? Thanks to a lawsuit we have PKZip. Anybody really believe that you can copyright a file extentsion. The courts do not understand computer technology, and cannot make an informed decision without that knowledge.
jedimasterduke
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jedimasterduke,
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1/22/2013 | 3:47:28 PM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
From the article: "But prosecutors, using what legal experts have said is standard operating procedure, had been increasing pressure on Swartz to settle. Notably, prosecutors first charged Swartz on four felony counts, which carried a maximum penalty of 35 years in jail and a $1 million fine. Later, however, they filed a superseding indictment adding seven more CFAA felony violations as well as two felony wire-fraud charges, which could have imposed even more jail time, fines and restitution requirements."

Using threats to force someone to do what they don't want to do; isn't this what is commonly referred to as blackmail?
Zman7
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Zman7,
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1/19/2013 | 7:45:27 AM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
"In response, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) Tues. proposed legislation that would "exclude certain violations of agreements or contractual obligations" from the CFAA. In effect, her bill would prevent someone from being prosecuted solely for violating a site's acceptable use policy or terms of service agreement."

Maybe she wants to just release everyone from honoring any type of a contract. Why not? I'd like to get out of my mortgage payments too.

She sounds as nutty as Jarod Polis who was also quoted.
Thomas Claburn
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Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
1/18/2013 | 9:56:16 PM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
Hacking is hacking. Murder is murder. Theft is theft. That doesn't seem like a very nuanced system of justice. You can change a whole law based on this outcome, and that's exactly what's being proposed.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
1/18/2013 | 7:36:57 PM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
Good, let's use your B&E offense as comparison. The laws vary state to state but a quick sampling reveals average sentence on first offense (non weapon bearing) to be 6-18 months. With an offensive weapon (gun, knife) then you can go to 5 years. Isn't then 35 years suspiciously harsh to overzealous? I also read it as addressing the verbage of the CFAA which largely targeted federal or financial systems of compelling federal interest and leverages other established laws. The CFAA has since been used for cases of questionable federal interest like the Playstation 3 and schools which spied on their students.
MyW0r1d
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MyW0r1d,
User Rank: Strategist
1/18/2013 | 5:25:48 PM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
The other question, perhaps more pertinent than complete products off of MSDN, is if academic reports are of any value if they are not publicly available to read? If I publish a report and keep it locked away that noone can see it, who benefits? Only those who fear having their ideas/theories challenged.

It sounds like JSTOR was willing to prosecute if they didn't get them back (perhaps because they did not have backup copies) and once returned it was no longer an issue for them (they settled whether that implies monetary compensation or otherwise). So why prosecute if noone is crying foul? Seems to be a clear case of vendictive bullying of someone not so easily manipulated and that was a source of embarrassment to the rule enforcers. Not to mention it seems the kid lacked a determined support network and that is tragic.
Melanie Rodier
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Melanie Rodier,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2013 | 9:19:44 PM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
I agree. Hacking is hacking, as is breaking and entering. It doesn't matter what your goal is, however 'noble' you think it is. The possible jail sentence did seem harsh, particularly given to the often much more lenient sentences dished out to hard criminals. Still, the way the events unfolded is very sad but you can't change a whole law based on this outcome.
kharrison212
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kharrison212,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2013 | 9:14:32 PM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
How does one return files stolen from a network? There could be copies and backups all over the place. While JSTOR may be a non profit they do have expenses associated with the content, they also protected their system requiring accounts and passwords to access the data. Did they settle to avoid the public eye or do they really not care if their material is released to the general public with no chance of later recovering it? What would Microsoft do if their MSDN content was stolen, would they accept a disk saying that is all there is. I suspect the Mathworks wouldn't like to have their software stolen either.
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2013 | 8:12:00 PM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
I'm not sure that we really need to change existing law. I think more that we probably need to look more carefully at its' application. I mean, for example, do Federal Authorities use this much enthusiasm when pursuing persons who have falsified information on required background checks for purchasing a firearm?
Is this pursuit of 'Justice' more powered by outrage of the Egomania of self-important Politicians, Academicians, Business people etc.? People who were nonchalant enough as to leave their stuff out in the street where children could play with it. Now, people seeking revenge.

Is this really anymore than street BULLYING?

Hey, C'mon guys, GROW UP ! We just lost not only one of the more brilliant minds of our time, but also a precious Human Being.

Aaron, I never knew you. By whatever you may have deemed Holy, may you be Blessed.
bknabe
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bknabe,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/17/2013 | 8:06:25 PM
re: Hacking Law Critics Demand Change After Swartz Suicide
He took the documents and returned them. He didn't distribute them. The prosecutors tried to make an example of him, and it backfired. The whole system is broken, and needs to be changed.

The CFAA is so broad that I doubt anyone reading this article would be safe from prosecution if an agency decided to use it against them.
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