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Aaron Swartz  (Source: rack.0.mshcdn.com)
The letter includes questions about Swartz' involvement with ending SOPA

Two members from a congressional committee have sent a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) wanting answers in regards to the charges against Aaron Swartz.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland), leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform committee, wrote a letter to the DOJ asking what exactly pushed the department to prosecute Swartz in such an intense manner.

The letter, written January 28, asked the following seven questions since this is no longer a criminal case:
  1. What factors influenced the decision to prosecute Mr. Swartz for the crimes alleged in the indictment, including the decisions regarding what crimes to charge and the filing of the superseding indictment?
  2. Was Mr. Swartz's opposition to SOPA or his association with any advocacy groups among the factors considered?
  3. What specific plea offers were made to Mr. Swartz, and what factors influenced the decisions by prosecutors regarding plea offers made to Mr. Swartz?
  4. How did the criminal charges, penalties sought, and plea offers in this case compare to those of other cases that have been prosecuted or considered for prosecution under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act?
  5. Did the federal investigation of Mr. Swartz reveal evidence that he had committed other hacking violations?
  6. What factors influenced the Department's decisions regarding sentencing proposals?
  7. Why was a superseding indictment necessary?
“It appears that prosecutors increased the felony counts by providing specific dates for each action, turning each marked date into its own felony charge, and significantly increasing Mr. Swartz’s maximum criminal exposure to up to 50 years imprisonment and $1 million in fines,” said the letter.

Swartz, an internet activist and co-creator of Reddit and the RSS standard, was in hot water after he accessed JSTOR database with a personal laptop in 2011. Using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT's) data network, Swartz downloaded over 4 million academic journals and planned to make them available to the public for free.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz decided to slam Swartz with 13 felony charges that could have sent him to jail for up to 50 years. He also would have had a $1 million fine for his actions.

However, Swartz was offered a couple of different plea deals, such as a 7-8 month prison sentence in exchange for pleading guilty to all 13 felony counts, and a six-month prison sentence in exchange for a guilty plea. Swartz turned down all of the plea deals, since he didn't want any felony charges on his record and didn't want to spend any time in prison.

With the weight of the government on his shoulders, Swartz committed suicide on January 11, 2013.

Source: The Next Web



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RE: Just B.S.
By guffwd13 on 1/30/2013 10:43:44 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
If you can't live by the laws of society then I'm perfectly fine with you checking out.


By that logic, the founding fore fathers of this country should've killed themselves instead of leading a revolution. Not equating hackers to them - though Washington et al were just people until they did something important and succeeded - but pointing out that it is up to the people to keep the government in check by whatever means.

Russia became a democracy. The people got so excited by the idea and the fact they were making money, they ignored the government quietly passing law after law to become the same government it was before the fall of Communism. Thus they have the same oppressive government they had before. OneState, Big brother... whatever you want to call it, hacking is the only weapon the people still have against governments with large militaries. You think semi-automatic rifles are going to do anything?

Not condoning all forms of hacking, but don't be so quick to pass judgement over others who in principal are necessary for survival.


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