Sunday, January 26, 2014

Aaron's Law still making little progress, maybe given the distraction of the Snowden scandal

Critics of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act are noting that very little progress on Aaron’s Law has been made. I found a proposed text Zoe Lofgren’s bill, but cannot find an HR number for it, and the links on her own database give 404’s.  Essentially the proposal would mean that mere violation of a company’s terns of service, absent some specific circumvention of technological security, would not constitute a crime.  The write up with a draft from June 20, 2013 is here. (Earlier link Feb. 5, 2013 is gone.)

Jaikumar Vijayan has an article in Computer World noting the lack of progress more than one year after Aaron Swartz’s suicide on Jan. 11, 2013, link here
   
It should not be a crime, it is said, to lie about age to get a Facebook account. 
    
It still appears that the documents that Swartz wanted to make freely available actually belonged to the public domain.  Various agencies wanted to be able to charge fees to access what amount to public legal and research documents (even laws).  These were documents that it would not have been copyright infringement to reproduce verbatim on a website (Jan 15), 20140.
     
One wonders if the government will start searching cloud backups for infringing items, over various pretexts.  

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