WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to reflect the realities of computing and networks in 2013.
It’s time to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act passed in 1986, which is outdated, and doesn’t reflect the realities of the Internet, networks and computers in 2013.
The act is much too open ended. Any reasonable use of a computer system that isn’t explicitly authorized can be classified a computer crime. This includes just doing a DNS lookup. And DNS lookups have been prosecuted (For an example of this, see Sierra Corporate Design (Jerry Reynolds) v. Ritz).
The law makes every ISP’s terms of service legally binding and something you can be put in prison for, which is very unbalanced. (See US v Lori Drew).
Using a bad law in a bad way to achieve a good result is never appropriate.
The act is far too broad and is subject to prosecutorial abuse and inappropriate use.
Archive for January, 2013
Aaron Swartz is dead at 26 years of age. I am seething at the news of his suicide. For our loss and his.
We lost him; and he lost the world
Some people contain universes of potential inside them – Aaron almost certainly.
Aaron’s death snuffs out an immense pool of potential he brought to the world.
Yes it was a suicide, but dammit if the U.S. Department of Justice and the ‘intellectual property greed industry’ doesn’t have the stain of his death on their hands.
The persecution of our best and brightest cannot be allowed to continue.
Our governments are literally killing those who represent the best chance of political, economic and social reform.
Our governments are driving the rare gems of genius and those with the skill to act as leaders within our generation into hiding, into exile, and to suicide.
For generations, America was the country of choice for immigrants. Everyone wanted a Green Card. And now, so many of my American friends are desperately seeking work visas in Europe. They want out. The crème de la crème are fleeing the failing U.S.
The U.S. is burning – and the D.O.J is fiddling, chasing kids who share academic articles – as infrastructure and society fails and flounders.
And as pompous arseholes entertain fanciful ideas of minting a one trillion dollar coin in the face of the ever-encroaching fiscal cliff, they remain hell-bent on destroying their best hope at change.
The most talented, creative, skilled individuals are hounded, made destitute, trialled and jailed for their attempts to make the world just a little bit better – for the rest of us. Around the world there is a growing pool of people who face prosecution and decades in jail for doing nothing more than sharing information.
Young people putting their rare skills to use, to try to make the world just a little bit better for the rest of us – are driven into the ground, persecuted on the whims of over-funded law-enforcement agencies.
And meanwhile the U.S. is so blinded by fear of having it’s rotten core exposed by transparency and information initiatives it is literally cutting off it’s own future human talent pool, slashing the crop further and further each day.
The U.S. is banishing a goldmine of potential future employees from public policy and government research positions with their insanely over-extended national security clearance program – which so many individuals fail to pass.
Hell-bent on destroying dissent – they are destroying those who choose to stand up and choose to be counted. And what the regime is left with are the yes-men – banal bureaucrats who will faithfully follow orders, no matter how destructive the consequences.
Breathe out for a moment, and take a stroll down humanity’s collective memory:
Somewhere so many, many generations ago, someone shared the art of making fire. With the spark of a flint, one of our species first shared technology, taught throughout the tribes. Humanity survived and evolved as a result.
Imagine if the “copymafia” had existed when our ancestors first created fire. They most likely would have copyrighted – and locked up this vital tool – and thrown in jail those who liberated the technology and shared it with others.
It is no overstatement to say the survival of our species depends on our ability to share information freely. The corporations and their cronies in government who attempt to crush the ability to share information are a threat to the survival of humanity.
And they must be fought.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the ‘I.P. greed lobby’ has a call to answer, and goddammit, there will be retribution.
Aaron’s death must not be in vain.
Link to everything. Post all the articles. Laugh in the face of those who try to lock up information.
Share, copy, remix.
There is no justice in following unjust laws. It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture.
We need to take information, wherever it is stored, make our copies and share them with the world. We need to take stuff that’s out of copyright and add it to the archive. We need to buy secret databases and put them on the Web. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks. We need to fight for Guerilla Open Access.
With enough of us, around the world, we’ll not just send a strong message opposing the privatization of knowledge — we’ll make it a thing of the past. Will you join us?