Aaron’s Law 2017 would:
(1) Establish that breaches of terms of service, employment agreements, or contracts are not automatic violations of the CFAA.
(2) Bring balance back to the CFAA by eliminating a redundant provision that enables an individual to be punished multiple times through duplicate charges for the same violation.
(3) Eliminate the redundant provision streamlines the law, but would not create a gap in protection against hackers.
(4) Bring greater proportionality to CFAA penalties. Currently, the CFAA’s penalties are tiered, and prosecutors have wide discretion to ratchet up the severity of the penalties in several circumstances, leaving little room for non-felony charges under CFAA.
Aaron’s Law 2017 ensures prosecutors cannot seek to inflate sentences by stacking multiple charges.
In 2013, Senator Ron Wyden, Senator Zoe Lofgren, and former Senator Ron Paul introduced Aarons Law. Aarons Law amendments will add definitions too broad wording so it cant be twisted as pleased. It will also make breaking Terms of Service a misdemeanor instead of a felony and make it where charges cannot be stacked. It has been stuck in limbo in the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Crime for four years. For this law to be enacted members of the Subcommittee on Crime must act on it. It was reintroduced in 2015 but failed to get as far as it did in 2013. We believe it was because there was no pressure on Congress to motivate them as well as Bob Goodlatte being the chairman and Oracle lobbying millions to stifle Aaron’s Law. Bob Goodlatte was one of the original sponsors of the Stop Online Piracy Act in which Aaron Swartz riled the internet masses to defeat. Mr. Goodlatte holds the key to getting Aarons Law passed and he is a staunch enemy of the Internet historically. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, NET Act and he is a supporter of ravishing Net Neutrality.
We have reached out to a few Senators and gotten basically the same response, “very busy at the moment”. Next year is an election year and state leaders tend to start listening to their constituents close to election time. With the current fight for Net Neutrality being waged now is a prime opportunity to capitalize on the awareness that has been raised about Internet freedoms. What better time to amend a law like CFAA, that took one of the greatest minds to grace our presence, than right now.
Speaking as one of the activists behind Aarons Law 2017, we cannot do this alone. We don’t have the legal know-how or the manpower to enact this law. The only hope that we do have, is the individual hearts of all the members involved in this campaign combined with the hearts of those we have touched during this campaign.
Phase number one to getting Aarons Law passed was an awareness campaign to remind the public of exactly who Aaron Swartz was and why Aarons Law is important. Phase two, which is to begin shortly is to target local and state leaders in a relentless campaign demanding Aarons Law be enacted. This campaign will be waged via email, mail, fax, phone/phone banks, handwritten letters and through social media. Recently we saw the Internet set alive by a new returning fight for Net Neutrality, what if we could do the same thing for the man who built the very organizations who set the Internet alive? We must treat Aarons Law as if it is as important as Net Neutrality and the longer we wait only leaves more opportunity for our geeks to be crucified. The only way to get this done is to make the public aware of how terrible the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act is and although Aarons Law doesn’t abolish the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act It would be the first of eight amendments that have happened in our favor since the CFAA was signed into law in 1984. Every other amendment made so far was to further break down our internet privacy and to further the prosecutorial reach of the United States Government.
Phase three is a more hands-on approach to activism and raising awareness beginning with us hand delivering our petition to the subcommittee, followed by an international peaceful protest. Our goal is to make Aarons Law a key campaign issue for the upcoming 2018 elections and we are tired of politicians using Aarons Law as a stepping stone to gain the support of young progressive voters and then doing nothing to actually enact the law once they are elected, it’s constitutionally immoral.
The codes Aaron wrote did not die with him in 2013, they are a part of our everyday Internet lives, Aaron’s legacy is perpetually growing and if something is perpetually growing than it cannot be dead. We owe it to Aaron Swartz and his family to do everything in our power to assure Aarons Law 2017 is reintroduced and enacted. Aarons Law 2017 is just the beginning, #OpStandUpToCFAA has been engaged and has been actively informing the public of past and present Computer Fraud and Abuse Act cases. Including Jeremy Hammond, Chelsea Manning, Martin Gottesfeld, Lauri Love, Paypal14, Adam Nafa, Deric Lostutter, Barrett Brown, Edward Snowden, and much more.
We are asking our fellow Internet Freedom Fighters listed below to link up with us and help promote this movement.
By Joziah – @Dapeaple
Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
US Privacy Council
US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG)
Consumer Project on Technology
Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility
Center for Digital Democracy
Electronic Privacy information center