Aaron Swartz

'Aaron's Law' to Reform Terribly Abused Anti-Hacking Regs Languishes in Congress

Committee head won't allow debate or vote


A bill named after the late internet activist Aaron Swartz that was supposed to update much-criticized US hacking law is almost certain to be left to wither in Congress, according to various sources with knowledge of the matter. A stalemate has emerged between Representative Zoe Lofgren, who was carrying the bill into the House with Senator Ron Wyden, and the House Judiciary Committee headed up by Representative Bob Goodlatte, which has chosen not to discuss or vote on Aaron's Law.

"There is still a pressing need for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act [CFAA] reform, and I stand by the bill I authored and introduced to do just that," Representative Lofgren said in an email. "Unfortunately, Chairman Goodlatte has refused to schedule any debate or vote on this important issue – only he can explain why he refuses to move this bipartisan bill forward."

Senator Wyden said he was disappointed by the inactivity in Congress. "I regret that many in Congress fail to see the harm done by this law and the need to take action to fix it.  Members of Congress should be appalled at the disparity between how the Department of Justice handled Aaron's case and how it is handling the CIA breaking into Congressional computers."