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Aaron's Law

Aaron's Law

What Is Aaron's Law?

Aaron's Law alludes to a bill presented in the United States Congress in 2013. However the bill didn't pass Congress, it was named for the enduring influence of Aaron Swartz, internet trailblazer and activist, after he was charged and sentenced for disregarding the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The CFAA has broad application in business practices to guarantee legal and ethical conduct concerning computer-based data and archives.

Figuring out Aaron's Law

Aaron's Law was a bill written by representative Zoe Lofgren of California. Representative Lofgren proposed the bill in the wake of Aaron Swartz's death. Aaron's law proposed changing the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, after internet activist Aaron Swartz passed on by suicide while facing a potential 35-year jail sentence for illegally downloading a large number of scholastic articles that were just accessible by means of a subscription service. The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986, or the CFAA, is the law that oversees computer abuse in the United States. Congress had amended the CFAA to some degree consistently, with changes happening in 1989, 1994, 1996, and 2002. The dubious U.S. Patriot Act significantly impacted the CFAA in 2001, and the 2008 Identity Theft Enforcement and Restitution Act likewise impacted the scope of the CFAA.

In spite of the many changes, defenders of the failed Aaron's Law contended that the CFAA is too unclear. Due to the phrasing of the CFAA, users who disregard terms of service can face jail time. One more major mistake in the CFAA is that in view of redundancies, people can be gone after for similar crime at least a few times under various provisions. These redundancies empower charges to compound and consider lopsidedly extreme punishments for those indicted. Aaron's Law proposed changing the language of the CFAA to make disciplines in terms of both jail terms and fines for downloading protected material not so much punitive but rather more intelligent of the value of the material taken.

The Death of Aaron Swartz, Internet Activist, and the Impetus for Aaron's Law

The legislation was drafted in recognition of and in reference to the death of Aaron Swartz. Swartz was captured in January 2011 for infringement of the CFAA. He was known for adding to the development of the RSS protocol and different innovations, but on the other hand was known as an internet activist, supporting progressive political platforms. Police affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology captured Schwartz on breaking-and-entering charges as Swartz endeavored to download scholastic journal articles from JSTOR from a plain and opened closet. Subsequent to going into a civil settlement, JSTOR chose not to press charges. In any case, the Massachusetts U.S. Lawyer's Office chose to seek after the case. Ultimately, this prompted federal charges of four crimes, including wire fraud. A couple of months after the fact, the crime charges increased to thirteen infringement of the CFAA and Swartz faced as long as 50 years in jail and up to $1 million in fines. After Swartz declined a request bargain, and the arraignment hence dismissed his counter-offer, Swartz was found dead by suicide in his Brooklyn home.


  • Swartz's situation was referenced as evidence that the CFAA needs major modification since it is too dubious and subject to overextending interpretation.
  • Aaron Swartz, internet trend-setter and activist, was pursued for data crimes and committed suicide while possibly facing a 35-year jail sentence.
  • Aaron's Law is actually a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress that was not passed into law, yet has enduring influence in legal conversations with respect to the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).