Congresswoman Proposes "Aaron's Law" after Swartz

Would update law to exempt violations of Internet terms of services from criminal prosecution


Riding an impressive wave of momentum for Internet activism in the wake of Aaron Swartz's suicide, California Representative Zoe Lofgren has drafted a bill to update the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986. Swartz, a co-founder of Reddit and vocal fighter for a more open web, was facing up to 35 years in prison for downloading millions of scholarly articles he allegedly wanted to make free, leaving his friends and family to blame his death on "prosecutorial overreach." For help on what she's calling "Aaron's Law," Lofgren went straight to those most likely to be mobilized by Swartz's suicide: the people of Reddit.

The bill, posted to Reddit as a PDF, hopes to "amend title 18, United States Code, to exclude certain violations of agreements or contractual obligations, relating to Internet service, from the purview of certain criminal prohibitions, and for other purposes."