CopyNight NYC: Aaron Swartz, JSTOR & The Prosecution

During January’s CopyNight NYC meeting, members came together at Vig Bar to honor the memory of Aaron Swartz, the young technologist behind RSS, Reddit and Demand Progress. Ealier this month, Swartz took his own life. The event discussed Swartz’s prosecution and potential 35-year sentence he faced after hacking into the JSTOR databases via the MIT servers. Phil Weiss, a former BLIPician and current Associate at Fridman Law Group, led the discussion.

The night began with a detailed discussion of the actual charges brought against Swartz under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Afterwards, members discussed the merits and weaknesses of prosecutorial discretion and the overreaching nature of the CFAA. The event concluded with the discussion of the proposed “Aaron’s Law” which would narrow the applicability of the CFAA.

By Veronica Torres

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