ACLU files a lawsuit to repeal the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, used to prosecute Aaron Swartz

The ACLU is suing to repeal parts of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), a 1980s-vintage hacking law that makes it a felony to “exceed authorization” on a remote computer, and which companies and the US government have used to prosecute researchers who violated websites’ terms of service. The CFAA is the statute under which Aaron Swartz was prosecuted; Swartz had used a script to download scholarly papers from the MIT network. Though he was allowed to access and download these papers, the network’s terms of service required him to access them by manually clicking on links, instead of using a script. Because Swartz violated these terms, a US federal prosecutor argued that he should spend 35 years in prison. Swartz hanged himself in 2013, as his case was…


Link to Full Article: ACLU files a lawsuit to repeal the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, used to prosecute Aaron Swartz