Crowdsourced “Aaron’s Law” Taking Shape to Restrain Overprosecution in Computer Cases

California Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) turned to Reddit for help in mid-January in crafting “Aaron’s Law,” federal legislation intended to change the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act so that simply violating a Web site or Internet service provider’s “terms of service” is no longer automatically considered a crime.

The law is named after Aaron Swartz, the open access activist and programming genius who committed suicide in January at the age of 26. He was facing federal charges and possible prison time by the Department of Justice for using his computer skills to download tons of academic journals from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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