CFAA Hacktivism: Civil Disobedience or Cyber Crime?

Discussion in 'Freedom of Expression' started by The Wrong Guy, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    This article appeared on today.

    Hacktivism: Civil Disobedience or Cyber Crime?

    By Christie Thompson, ProPublica

    When Reddit co-founder and internet freedom activist Aaron Swartz committed suicide, he was facing up to 13 felony counts, 50 years in prison, and millions of dollars in fines. His alleged crime? Pulling millions of academic articles from the digital archive JSTOR.

    Prosecutors allege that Swartz downloaded the articles because he intended to distribute them for free online, though Swartz was arrested before any articles were made public. He had often spoken publicly about the importance of making academic research freely available.

    Other online activists have increasingly turned to computer networks and other technology as a means of political protest, deploying a range of tactics — from temporarily shutting down servers to disclosing personal and corporate information.

    Most of these acts, including Swartz’s downloads, are criminalized under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), an act was designed to prosecute hackers. But as Swartz’s and other “hacktivist” cases demonstrate, you don’t necessarily have to be a hacker to be viewed as one under federal law. Are activists like Swartz committing civil disobedience, or online crimes? We break down a few strategies of “hacktivism” to see what is considered criminal under the CFAA.

    The article, and open comments, are here:
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Anonymous Member

    civil disobedience is not a crime

    Please go liberate a public domain document and leave a wish or a thought in Aaron’s memory.
    Welcome to the Aaron Swartz
    Memorial JSTOR Liberator.

  3. >Anonymous hacked into Government's database.
    >Stole very important secrets.
    >Put them in files dubbed "warheads".
    >Spreading warheads worldwide right now so everyone can nab them and download them.
    >Needs key to decrypt.
    >If Government does not obey Anonymous's commands, they release the key and everyone decrypts the files and spreads the secrets worldwide, which they state will cause mass chaos.

    Anonymous is essentially holding the Government hostage. The great shitstorm of our time is actually upon us.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  4. Anonymous Member

  5. lulzgasm Member

    Popcorn? *munch munch munch*
  6. Anonymous Member

    Nope. Once the secrets have been liberated from US government websites they will surface eventually even if the government meets the demands. Information is wild.
    • Like Like x 1

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