Privacy SOS

Saturday, 4/13 in Boston: Protest to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Join the ACLU of Massachusetts, Demand Progress, Free Press and others on Saturday April 13 at noon at Dewey Square to call for Computer Fraud and Abuse Act reform. (Dewey is right across the street from South Station; map here.)

Going to the protest? RSVP here.

Unbelievably, Congress might respond to the tragic death of prodigy and freedom fighter Aaron Swartz by jacking up penalties for CFAA violations. We can't let what happened to Aaron happen to anyone else, ever again. As the ACLU says,

Aaron was treated like a dangerous criminal because the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) gives absurdly broad powers to corporations and prosecutors to criminalize an array of online activity. That includes, among other things, making the breach of a website's terms of service (the fine print we never read) a potentially serious felony.

Take action to reform the CFAA now.

EFF describes the law as it stands:

The CFAA is the federal anti-hacking law. Among other things, this law makes it illegal to intentionally access a computer without authorization or in excess of authorization; however, the law does not explain what "without authorization" actually means. The statute does attempt to define "exceeds authorized access," but the meaning of that phrase has been subject to considerable dispute. While the CFAA is primarily a criminal law intended to reduce the instances of malicious hacking, a 1994 amendment to the bill allows for civil actions to be brought under the staute.

We need to reform the CFAA to ensure that it doesn't criminalize teenagers reading the New York Times, as it currently does. And we absolutely cannot let Congress make things worse.

Take action now to tell your lawmakers to fix the CFAA, and come out on Saturday to raise your voice IRL.

Read more about CFAA and proposals to fix it.

© 2021 ACLU of Massachusetts.