Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Time for reform in the land of the "free"

Carmen Ortiz and Stephen Heymann: accountability for prosecutorial abuse

I agree that the prosecution of Aaron Swartz is much bigger than just the political ambitions of two federal attorneys. It's part of a calculated climate of fear and harassment towards whistleblowers, activists, and anyone else who challenges the elites. Just look at the disparity in the charges that bankrupted Swartz and drove him to suicide versus the slap on the wrist given to a bank that knowingly laundered money for drug cartels and terrorists. The bank doesn't get broken up, no banker is arrested or banned from his job (that was part of Swartz's plea deal, too) and any fine the bank agrees to only makes a small dent in its profitability.

The CFAA also needs to be reformed. Violating the terms of service (TOS), acceptable use policy (AUP), or end user licensing agreement (EULA) should in no way be a felony. Yet the government wants to make it a felony to use a fake name online. Insane.

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