[Wikimedia-l] Fwd: [Wikimedia Brasil] Fwd: Demand justice for Aaron Swartz

Federico Leva (Nemo) nemowiki at gmail.com
Thu Jan 17 20:51:31 UTC 2013

Everton Zanella Alvarenga, 17/01/2013 21:11:
> 1) Representative Zoe Lofgren has introduced what's been named "Aaron's
> Law." It would fix a key part of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act
> (CFAA), which is one of the statutes under which Aaron was indicted. We
> need to pass Aaron's Law AND further amend the CFAA.
> The CFAA makes violations of a website's terms of service agreement or
> user agreement -- that fine print you never read before you check the
> box next to it -- a FELONY, potentially punishable by many years in
> prison. That's how over-broad this dangerous statute is, and one way it
> lets showboating prosecutors file charges against people who've done
> nothing wrong.
> Aaron's Law would decriminalize violating these agreements: They're
> essentially contracts, and as with other contracts, disputes about them
> should be settled in civil courts rather than in out of control criminal
> trials under threat of decades of prison time.

And they link this article: 

«An infamous example is United States v. Drew, a case in which a woman 
created a fake MySpace page to taunt a teenage girl. The girl became 
distraught and committed suicide. No crime made the bullying itself 
illegal, so prosecutors charged Drew under the CFAA, claiming her fake 
profile violated MySpace's terms of use, which made her access to the 
social networking site's computers "unauthorized."
«An obvious problem with this argument is that it would mean anyone who 
runs afoul of a web site's fine print is a criminal—and many of us 
intentionally or unintentionally violate those agreements every day. 
Prosecutors wouldn't bother filing criminal charges against most of us, 
of course. But if they wanted to, they would have the leeway to do it 
under the government's theory.»

Do our terms of use contain anything that may broadly interpreted by 
such a prosecutor under the CFAA?
Could passages like this cause criminal charges: «We encourage you to be 
civil and polite in your interactions with others in the community, to 
act in good faith, and to make edits and contributions aimed at 
furthering the mission of the shared Project»?


More information about the Wikimedia-l mailing list