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January 19, 2013 6:39 pm
10 Awful Crimes That Get You Less Prison Time Than What Aaron Swartz Faced

via Think Progress / By Ian Millhiser

The young hacker faced a harsher prison sentence than that for manslaughter, bank robbery, or selling slaves.

 

On Friday, Internet pioneer and open information activist Aaron Swartz  took his own life at the age of 26. At the time of his death, Swartz was  under indictment for logging into JSTOR, a database of scholarly articles, and rapidly downloading those articles with the intent to make them public. If Swartz had lived to be convicted of the charges against him, he  faced 50 years or more in a federal prison.

To put these charges in perspective, here are ten examples of federal crimes that carry lesser prison sentences than Swartz’ alleged crime of downloading academic articles in an effort to make knowledge widely available to the public:

Read entire article…

January 17, 2013 7:52 pm
Demand Justice for Aaron Swartz

Aaron Swartz’s Suicide Triggers Response from US Lawmakers (business.time.com)

[I was profoundly shocked and saddened by the news of Aaron Swartz’s suicide on Friday.  He was an amazing genius, with a huge heart, and his story is just incredibly sad.  What a loss.  Lawrence Lessig sent this email out with Demand Progress, in response to Aaron Swartz’s tragic passing.
Please support Aaron’s Law and the effort to achieve justice for Aaron]:
"We spent yesterday burying and mourning our friend Aaron. We’re sad, we’re tired, we’re frustrated — and we’re angry at a system that let this happen to Aaron. Now we want to set upon honoring his life’s work and helping to make sure that such a travesty is never repeated.
We and Aaron’s friends and family have been in touch with lawmakers to ask for help, and several of them — who’ve worked with Aaron and Demand Progress on SOPA and other issues — are beginning to take action. We’re asking them to help rein in a criminal justice system run amok, wherein authorities are encouraged to bring frivolous charges and hold decades of jail time over the heads of people who are accused of committing victimless crimes.
1) Representative Zoe Lofgren has introduced what’s been named “Aaron’s Law.” It would fix a key part of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which is one of the statutes under which Aaron was indicted. We need to pass Aaron’s Law AND further amend the CFAA.
The CFAA makes violations of a website’s terms of service agreement or user agreement — that fine print you never read before you check the box next to it — a FELONY, potentially punishable by many years in prison. That’s how over-broad this dangerous statute is, and one way it lets showboating prosecutors file charges against people who’ve done nothing wrong.
Aaron’s Law would decriminalize violating these agreements: They’re essentially contracts, and as with other contracts, disputes about them should be settled in civil courts rather than in out of control criminal trials under threat of decades of prison time.
Aaron’s Law alone wouldn’t have saved Aaron — there is still more to do to make sure that victimless computer activities are not charged as felonies — but this is a solid start that we can pass now and it’s a law he wanted to change. Then we’ll keep pushing forward.
Click here to join us in demanding justice for Aaron:
http://act.demandprogress.org/letter/aaron_justice/?referring_akid=a7574337.2029802.ipxZFu&source=auto-taf
-Demand Progress”

Related articles
Aaron Swartz memorial law proposed by Silicon Valley congresswoman (guardian.co.uk)
Aaron Swartz’s Suicide Triggers Response from US Lawmakers (business.time.com)
EFF’s Initial Improvements to Aaron’s Law for Computer Crime Reform (eff.org)
Fighting Back Against The DOJ (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
Demand Justice for Aaron Swartz
Aaron Swartz’s Suicide Triggers Response from US Lawmakers (business.time.com)

[I was profoundly shocked and saddened by the news of Aaron Swartz’s suicide on Friday.  He was an amazing genius, with a huge heart, and his story is just incredibly sad.  What a loss.  Lawrence Lessig sent this email out with Demand Progress, in response to Aaron Swartz’s tragic passing.

Please support Aaron’s Law and the effort to achieve justice for Aaron]:

"We spent yesterday burying and mourning our friend Aaron. We’re sad, we’re tired, we’re frustrated — and we’re angry at a system that let this happen to Aaron. Now we want to set upon honoring his life’s work and helping to make sure that such a travesty is never repeated.

We and Aaron’s friends and family have been in touch with lawmakers to ask for help, and several of them — who’ve worked with Aaron and Demand Progress on SOPA and other issues — are beginning to take action. We’re asking them to help rein in a criminal justice system run amok, wherein authorities are encouraged to bring frivolous charges and hold decades of jail time over the heads of people who are accused of committing victimless crimes.

1) Representative Zoe Lofgren has introduced what’s been named “Aaron’s Law.” It would fix a key part of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which is one of the statutes under which Aaron was indicted. We need to pass Aaron’s Law AND further amend the CFAA.

The CFAA makes violations of a website’s terms of service agreement or user agreement — that fine print you never read before you check the box next to it — a FELONY, potentially punishable by many years in prison. That’s how over-broad this dangerous statute is, and one way it lets showboating prosecutors file charges against people who’ve done nothing wrong.

Aaron’s Law would decriminalize violating these agreements: They’re essentially contracts, and as with other contracts, disputes about them should be settled in civil courts rather than in out of control criminal trials under threat of decades of prison time.

Aaron’s Law alone wouldn’t have saved Aaron — there is still more to do to make sure that victimless computer activities are not charged as felonies — but this is a solid start that we can pass now and it’s a law he wanted to change. Then we’ll keep pushing forward.

Click here to join us in demanding justice for Aaron:

http://act.demandprogress.org/letter/aaron_justice/?referring_akid=a7574337.2029802.ipxZFu&source=auto-taf

-Demand Progress”

May 3, 2012 8:43 pm 11:10 am
CISPA VOTE THIS WEEK! CALL YOUR SENATORS!
I know, I know, activism is hard, and seems pointless, but sometimes that’s your only option, the only way a citizen can voice their opinion at all.
We should at least let the government know that not all of us are sheep, who are fast asleep…some of us are watching as our Privacy is being pried from us.
Here’s a link to look up your Senator’s Numbers anyway.

If you are in California, here are local CA Office Numbers for our Senators (they are not usually as busy as their DC Offices):

BOXER:  (Fresno office): 559-497-5109

FEINSTEIN: (San Diego office): 619-231-9712

Please call and let your Senators know you do NOT SUPPORT CISPA…

April 16, 2012 2:38 pm
After SOPA, PIPA, Why’s Facebook Liking CISPA? [UPDATED]

via  - AllFacebook

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act has a few things in common with the defeated Secure Online Information Privacy Act the Protect Internet Property Act besides rhyming acronyms, except that Facebook likes CISPA, despite very publicly hating SOPA and PIPA. 

Unfortunately, CISPA won’t enable Netflix to stream videos to U.S. customers on Facebook, which a precursor to SOPA and PIPA might have done if only the Senate hadn’t attempted to widen the scope of dropped a friendlier law passed by the House of Representatives last year.

Instead, CISPA, or H.R. 3523, tackles hacking, in the bad-guy sense of the term, not the white-hat wearing type that Facebook’s own corporate culture has made fashionable in all-night coding marathons.

The bill amends the National Security Act of 1947 to grant access to any data regarding a so-called cyber-threat to not just the government but also private security agencies.

This proposed law has the backing of both Democrats and Republicans alike, along with more than 100 companies support this bill, including Facebook. The social network wants the law to not require the disclosure of any information beyond what the company already shares — for instance, in the case of responding to subpoenas from from law enforcement.

The social network’s own Vice President of U.S. Public Policy, Joel Kapla, explained Facebook’s stance in a post about CISPA today:

April 14, 2012 5:20 pm
Where do you think the United States ranks in Software Piracy around the world?

Chart: Software Piracy Rate by Country

Holy Shit!  What is wrong with the United States?   I was really surprised by these statistics, considering how the Government has been insanely trying to enact laws that will infringe on our privacy lately (PIPA, SOPA and now CISPA).  

Heres a list of companies backing CISPA.

April 7, 2012 7:27 pm

Worse than SOPA? CISPA to censor Web in name of cybersecurity.

[NOTE* from Leftish: THERE HAS BEEN HARDLY ANY COVERAGE OF THIS NEXT ASSAULT ON OUR ONLINE PRIVACY…this is IMPORTANT!]


An onrush of condemnation and criticism kept the SOPA and PIPA acts from passing earlier this year, but US lawmakers have already authored another authoritarian bill that could give them free reign to creep the Web in the name of cybersecurity. A piece of legislation dubbed the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (or CISPA for short), has been created under the guise of being a necessary implement in America’s war against cyberattacks.

Kendall Burman of the Center for Democracy and Technology tells RT that Congress is currently considering a number of cybersecurity bills that could eventually be voted into law, but for the group that largely advocates an open Internet, she warns that provisions within CISPA are reason to worry over what the realities could be if it ends up on the desk of President Barack Obama.

January 23, 2012 6:52 pm

VIDEO: The Day The LOLcats Died - #SOPA #PIPA Protest Song

SOPA and PIPA are two examples of recent legislation that is lethal to the internet as we know it. The internet rose up and is on its way to successfully fighting them off, but we need to stay vigilant. 

The only way to prevent legislation like this from being passed in the future is to call your Congressmen and tell them. Make it clear that you don’t support SOPA, you don’t support PIPA, and that you won’t support future legislation that damages the stability of the internet.

Lyrics:
A long, long time ago
On the world’s largest network of interconnected computers,
Those lolcats used to make me laugh.
And I knew I could make a joke
And not be sued by nasty folk
On the RIAA’s behalf
Then along came SOPA/PIPA
The internet’s very own grim reaper
users could not edit
Ars Technica and Reddit

Tumblr, Gawker, Hacker News,
and Something Awful sang the blues,
Every login was refused,
The day the lolcats died

Why, why are laws a thing you can buy?
They got paid off, should be laid off, re-election denied
Our web means more than lawyers, lobbies and lies
So speak up before the internet dies
Speak up before the internet dies

Can you write a decent law
Do you care ‘bout copyright at all?
Or just winning back your seat
Content will begin to ebb
You’ll watch the slow death of the web
You’ll be left with nothing more to tweet


Well, I know it’s looking pretty grim
Cuz’ they’ll tear our culture limb from limb
There’s too much damn support
Oh this law we must abort
Oh-oh we can’t let lobbies run amok
With our series of tubes and that big dump truck
I know some folks who oughta give a fuck
The day the lolcats die
I hear you singin’,

Why, why are laws a thing you can buy?
They got paid off, should be laid off, re-election denied
Our web means more than lawyers, lobbies and lies
So speak up before the internet dies
Speak up before the internet dies

For more information, visit:
http://www.SeattleAgainstSOPA.com
http://bit.ly/lifeaftersopa
http://stopcensorship.org/

Follow Us on Twitter:
Forest Gibson: @ForestGibson
Zachary Cohn: @ZacharyCohn
Ben Huh: @benhuh
Rob Whitehead @RobCWhitehead
Alexander JL Theoharis: @Satire
David Zimmermann: @davidzimm
Molly McIsaac @MollyMcIsaac
Gabe Conroy: @Gabrobot

January 22, 2012 2:48 pm 2:21 pm 1:48 pm January 21, 2012 10:50 pm 9:46 pm

VIDEO: Hitler reacts to SOPA

Uploaded by FightingInternet on Dec 20, 2011

http://americancensorship.org/

Footage from The Downfall (2004), Copyright © 2004 Constantin Film AG, portions published under Fair Use, Title 17, U.S.C., Section 107.

White House Petition: http://bit.ly/uU2qdS

Transcript:

We’ve received a takedown notice on YouTube.

They’ve pulled your covers of

Katy Perry and Justin Bieber.

Universal claims that YouTube removals

aren’t covered by any law.

They have an agreement with Google allowing

them to remove any video without a reason.

That’s fine, they’re still up on my Lady GaGa fan site.

My Führer…

SOPA…

SOPA will likely pass and become law.

Universal could take down the site as well.

Everyone from 

China, Syria, Iran… get out.

How could this even be up for a vote!?

Why isn’t this on every front page of a newspaper!?

First the U.S. Supreme Court

says corporations are people.

Now corporations can censor people…

George Orwell is rolling over in his grave!

It’s been almost two decades.

The MPAA/RIAA still haven’t figured out the Internet.

Piracy is a service problem.

The way to defeat piracy is to 

provide a better service than the pirates.

Not take a shit on the First Amendment!

My Führer, content creators have been 

losing billions to piracy ever since the VCR.

You don’t get to destroy the Internet 

because it doesn’t fit your business model!

My Führer, they’re only going 

after rogue offshore sites.

Then why is the language so vague 

that anything could be copyright infringement?

Even Wikipedia would be infringing.

All that it takes is a link in the user comments 

of your blog to something Viacom thinks they own

…and the whole site can get taken down 

without anyone even checking if it’s actually infringing.

How am I supposed to whine about a PSN outage 

when Sony claims that mentioning their trademark is illegal!?

The only way you could contest one of these gangster seizures 

is by going to court after you’ve already been shut down.

Is that what the Internet has come to?

I refuse to be shaken down for protection money

just to keep my domain safe from the copyright cartel.

The economy is in the toilet…

Congress wants to cripple the only medium 

that’s consistently creating jobs and growth.

It all comes down to money.

You need a thousand people pissed off 

just to balance out one dollar that a politician raises.

How are a bunch of old people,

most of whom don’t even use the Internet, regulating it!?

You could get five years in jail 

just for linking to a clip of Colbert.

I don’t see congressmen going to jail 

for voting on something they haven’t read.

For accepting money to let

companies dictate legislation!

Don’t cry,

Disney owns the rights to that emotion.

Imagine this happened 15 years ago.

There’d be no Google, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter.

No memes….

The Internet is lost.

It was supposed to be a vast network of 

infinite human knowledge, expression, and creativity.

Now it’s censored to catch pirates, 

who will get around it anyway.

I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.

8:52 pm January 20, 2012 8:06 pm
Dianne Feinstein United States Senator, Public Enemy & Constitutional Terrorist

One of the Dianne Feinstein official  response Letters to negative opposition from the people who elected her; who she is supposed to be representing on SOPA, PIPA and recently the NDAA.

Feinstein is one of the richest members of Congress.  Whose business do you think she is doing since she is a truly a Greedy 1%er and she couldn’t care less about  the 99%!

She is  Stinking Rich to quote SF Weekly:
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2011/12/nancy_pelosi_dianne_feinstein.php

Her cold and uncaring canned form letter response to constituents is as follows.
BTW she is up for re-election in 2012!

“Dear Citizen or  is it Customer:

I received your letter expressing opposition to the “Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act,” commonly known as the “PROTECT IP Act.”  I appreciate knowing your views on this matter.

The “PROTECT IP Act” (S. 968) gives both copyright and trademark owners and the U.S. Department of Justice the authority to take action against websites that are “dedicated to infringing activities.”  These are websites that have “no significant use other than engaging in, enabling, or facilitating” copyright infringement, the sale of goods with a counterfeit trademark, or the evasion of technological measures designed to protect against copying.

The bill does not violate First Amendment rights to free speech because copyright piracy is not speech. [NOT TRUE]

Feinstein with the MPAA & RIAA Supporters of SOPA & PIPA, probably big donors.  What interesting motivation as doing her bosses bidding.]

America’s copyright industry is an important economic engine, and I believe copyright owners should be able to prevent their works from being illegally duplicated and stolen.  The protection of intellectual property is particularly vital to California’s thriving film, music, and high-technology industries.

I understand you have concerns about the “PROTECT IP Act.”  While I voted in favor of this bill when it was before the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have also been working with California high-technology businesses to improve the bill and to address the concerns of high-tech businesses, public interest groups and others.  I recognize the bill needs further changes to prevent it from imposing undue burdens on legitimate businesses and activities, and I will be working to make the improvements, either by working with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) or through amendments on the Senate floor.

On May 26, 2011, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the “PROTECT IP Act” for consideration by the full Senate.  Please know I will keep your concerns and thoughts in mind should the Senate proceed to a vote on this legislation.  As you may be aware, Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) has introduced similar legislation, the “Stop Online Piracy Act” (H.R. 3261), in the House of Representatives.

[Go ahead as she requests below; give Dianne a piece of your mind, She would like to know how your feeling… Give her your own personal temperature check and mic check]

Once again, thank you for sharing your views.  I hope you will continue to keep me informed on issues of importance to you.  If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841.
Wishing you a happy 2012.

[NOTE* from Leftish: Come ON!  SOMEBODY challenge this woman from the LEFT!!  COME ON!!]