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Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)



  A copy of an email I received from the IDL, to which I'm a member, about another bad proposal from our politicians:

We need to beat back a bad proposal to expand the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) -- in a hurry.  So we're asking the Internet Defense League to snap into action on Monday and Tuesday of next week.  (April 8th and 9th.)

Our friends at Demand Progress have created code for an embeddable contact-Congress widget. Read more and grab the code here. Internet Defense League code will be available soon:

You'll be joining Fight for the Future, Demand Progress, EFF, Boing Boing, Reddit, and other great groups and sites as we stand together against this awful proposal.

As many of you probably know, our friend (and friend to many of you) Aaron Swartz committed suicide earlier this year, while he was being prosecuted for downloading too many academic articles from the JSTOR cataloguing site.  Prosecutors were hanging four decades in prison over his head!

Aaron was charged under the CFAA, a law that passed in the mid-80s, before more than a handful of Americans even had personal computers -- let alone Internet access.

Yet law enforcement interprets this statute so broadly that it claims it criminalizes all sorts of mundane Internet use: potentially even breaking a website's fine print terms of service agreement.  Don't set up a Myspace page for your cat.  Don't fudge your height on a dating site.  Don't share your Facebook password with anybody, ever.  You could be committing a federal crime.

We've been pushing to change this, and have made some progress: Reps and Senators are pulling together a proposal called "Aaron's Law".

But... then last week members of the House Judiciary Committee floated an audacious proposal that would actually expand and harshen certain parts of the CFAA.  Think of it as the opposite of Aaron's Law.  And we're hearing that it could come up for a vote as soon as next week.

We need your helping beating back this awful proposal and to build momentum for Aaron's Law.

Please click here to read more and grab Demand Progress' code for our embeddable widgets (IDL code coming soon):

Reforming the CFAA is a real chance for the US Congress to make laws governing the Internet better and fairer.  And it's a chance for the coalition that came together around SOPA to actually pass positive reform.  If all of us take action next week, it won't just kill a bad bill, it will help us build real momentum to passing positive change in the wake of Aaron's death.


Holmes Wilson

Internet Defense League
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Geesh. Damn politicians!

Damn politicians!
-kyrathaba (April 05, 2013, 09:29 PM)
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Is there any other kind? ;D

^ Dead ones. But then I guess the word would be past-tense: damned.


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