The Case Against Aaron Swartz Was Complete Garbage

from the whether-or-not-it-had-an-impact dept

As I stated in my initial post about Aaron Swartz's death, I don't think it's fair to "blame" the DOJ or others on Aaron's suicide -- just as I don't think it's fair to blame anyone's suicide on a third party, no matter how horrible their actions. That said, the DOJ's actions in this case were quite clearly horrible, and since the case will now never go forward, it seems imperative to highlight just how badly the DOJ acted in this case.

Larry Lessig's post made some clear points suggesting that the feds and MIT were out of line in pursuing this case, which seems like an understatement:
Here is where we need a better sense of justice, and shame. For the outrageousness in this story is not just Aaron. It is also the absurdity of the prosecutor’s behavior. From the beginning, the government worked as hard as it could to characterize what Aaron did in the most extreme and absurd way. The “property” Aaron had “stolen,” we were told, was worth “millions of dollars” — with the hint, and then the suggestion, that his aim must have been to profit from his crime. But anyone who says that there is money to be made in a stash of ACADEMIC ARTICLES is either an idiot or a liar. It was clear what this was not, yet our government continued to push as if it had caught the 9/11 terrorists red-handed.

Aaron had literally done nothing in his life “to make money.” He was fortunate Reddit turned out as it did, but from his work building the RSS standard, to his work architecting Creative Commons, to his work liberating public records, to his work building a free public library, to his work supporting Change Congress/FixCongressFirst/Rootstrikers, and then Demand Progress, Aaron was always and only working for (at least his conception of) the public good. He was brilliant, and funny. A kid genius. A soul, a conscience, the source of a question I have asked myself a million times: What would Aaron think? That person is gone today, driven to the edge by what a decent society would only call bullying. I get wrong. But I also get proportionality. And if you don’t get both, you don’t deserve to have the power of the United States government behind you.
Lessig made it clear that the feds sought to get Aaron to agree to a plea deal, in which he'd plead guilty to some aspect of the charges against him, in exchange for letting him off on the more serious charges. Aaron did an amazing thing and refused, believing that he had not done anything wrong:
In that world, the question this government needs to answer is why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a “felon.” For in the 18 months of negotiations, that was what he was not willing to accept, and so that was the reason he was facing a million dollar trial in April — his wealth bled dry, yet unable to appeal openly to us for the financial help he needed to fund his defense, at least without risking the ire of a district court judge. And so as wrong and misguided and fucking sad as this is, I get how the prospect of this fight, defenseless, made it make sense to this brilliant but troubled boy to end it.
And, for those who don't think that pushing back against the feds is an amazing thing, you have no clue how much pressure the federal government can put on you when it wants you to plead guilty. Two years ago I wrote about a documentary called Better This World, which is about an entirely different subject, but really opened my eyes to the way the feds handle some of these cases. It's not about what's right. It is entirely about them winning, getting the press coverage and "making examples" of people. And they'll go to amazing lengths, and create pressure that you and I can only have nightmares about, to get people to accept bogus "plea" deals, just so they can notch up another "win." It's scary, scary stuff. Fighting back may have been the right thing to do, but must have created a level of stress unimaginable to most people.

The WSJ has provided more details about the hard line that federal prosecutors had taken with Aaron, including last week's demand that he plead guilty to all counts and spend time in jail:
Mr. Swartz's lawyer, Elliot Peters, first discussed a possible plea bargain with Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann last fall. In an interview Sunday, he said he was told at the time that Mr. Swartz would need to plead guilty to every count, and the government would insist on prison time.

Mr. Peters said he spoke to Mr. Heymann again last Wednesday in another attempt to find a compromise. The prosecutor, he said, didn't budge
In exchange for pleading guilty across the board, Heymann apparently promised that they would ask for a shorter sentence, though that's never a guarantee:
The government indicated it might only seek seven years at trial, and was willing to bargain that down to six to eight months in exchange for a guilty plea, a person familiar with the matter said. But Mr. Swartz didn't want to do jail time.

"I think Aaron was frightened and bewildered that they'd taken this incredibly hard line against him," said Mr. Peters, his lawyer. "He didn't want to go to jail. He didn't want to be a felon."
The report also notes that his girlfriend was unaware of any depressive episodes until right after Wednesday's decision by Heymann to refuse to budge on jailtime and a guilty plea on all counts.

As for the details of the case itself, they were absurd -- and it is no wonder that Swartz refused to plead guilty. Back in September, we delved into the ridiculous details of the final indictment -- which upped the felony count, all of which was based on the idea that he had done some sort of massive computer hacking for the sake of some criminal conspiracy. And yet... that was clearly never the case. As Tim Lee detailed, at worst, it appeared that Swartz might possibly be guilty of trespassing. Yes, he went into a computer closet at MIT, but he got access to a network which was open for all, and he downloaded documents that were made available freely to all on that network.

Many people have reasonably pointed to a blog post from Alex Stamos, the CTO of Artemis Internet, who had been brought on as an expert witness on Aaron's behalf. After demonstrating that his reports have been used on behalf of prosecutors in attacks, and pointing out that he's no friend of hackers, Stamos highlights in detail just how completely bogus the charges against Swartz were:

I know a criminal hack when I see it, and Aaron’s downloading of journal articles from an unlocked closet is not an offense worth 35 years in jail.

The facts:

  • MIT operates an extraordinarily open network. Very few campus networks offer you a routable public IP address via unauthenticated DHCP and then lack even basic controls to prevent abuse. Very few captured portals on wired networks allow registration by any vistor, nor can they be easily bypassed by just assigning yourself an IP address. In fact, in my 12 years of professional security work I have never seen a network this open.
  • In the spirit of the MIT ethos, the Institute runs this open, unmonitored and unrestricted network on purpose. Their head of network security admitted as much in an interview Aaron’s attorneys and I conducted in December. MIT is aware of the controls they could put in place to prevent what they consider abuse, such as downloading too many PDFs from one website or utilizing too much bandwidth, but they choose not to.
  • MIT also chooses not to prompt users of their wireless network with terms of use or a definition of abusive practices.
  • At the time of Aaron’s actions, the JSTOR website allowed an unlimited number of downloads by anybody on MIT’s 18.x Class-A network. The JSTOR application lacked even the most basic controls to prevent what they might consider abusive behavior, such as CAPTCHAs triggered on multiple downloads, requiring accounts for bulk downloads, or even the ability to pop a box and warn a repeat downloader.
  • Aaron did not “hack” the JSTOR website for all reasonable definitions of “hack”. Aaron wrote a handful of basic python scripts that first discovered the URLs of journal articles and then used curl to request them. Aaron did not use parameter tampering, break a CAPTCHA, or do anything more complicated than call a basic command line tool that downloads a file in the same manner as right-clicking and choosing “Save As” from your favorite browser.
  • Aaron did nothing to cover his tracks or hide his activity, as evidenced by his very verbose .bash_history, his uncleared browser history and lack of any encryption of the laptop he used to download these files. Changing one’s MAC address (which the government inaccurately identified as equivalent to a car’s VIN number) or putting a mailinator email address into a captured portal are not crimes. If they were, you could arrest half of the people who have ever used airport wifi.
  • The government provided no evidence that these downloads caused a negative effect on JSTOR or MIT, except due to silly overreactions such as turning off all of MIT’s JSTOR access due to downloads from a pretty easily identified user agent.
  • I cannot speak as to the criminal implications of accessing an unlocked closet on an open campus, one which was also used to store personal effects by a homeless man. I would note that trespassing charges were dropped against Aaron and were not part of the Federal case.

In short, Aaron Swartz was not the super hacker breathlessly described in the Government’s indictment and forensic reports, and his actions did not pose a real danger to JSTOR, MIT or the public. He was an intelligent young man who found a loophole that would allow him to download a lot of documents quickly. This loophole was created intentionally by MIT and JSTOR, and was codified contractually in the piles of paperwork turned over during discovery.

That's from someone who clearly had detailed knowledge about the situation. Other legal experts had come to similar conclusions after the original indictment came out. Way back when, we had pointed to an article by Max Kennerly in which he looked closely at the indictment and was left confused as to how it got as far as it did. Kennerly has since updated his post (both after the new indictment and again over the weekend, in which he notes that Stamos' post suggest that his own original analysis didn't even go far enough after discovering the details). Kennerly looked at how the case really revolved around whether or not Swartz's activities violated the terms of service, but given the details of the case, combined with Stamos' comments and the fact that (since Swartz was charged) multiple courts have ruled that a mere terms of service violation is not a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), this case seemed to have absolutely nothing legitimate.
Given the disclosures by Swartz's expert, Alex Stamos, which are linked at the beginning of this post, it seems that Swartz had a strong argument that he did indeed have "authorization." As Stamos says, at the time of Swartz's downloads, "the JSTOR website allowed an unlimited number of downloads by anybody on MIT’s 18.x Class-A network" and "Aaron did not use parameter tampering, break a CAPTCHA, or do anything more complicated than call a basic command line tool that downloads a file in the same manner as right-clicking and choosing 'Save As' from your favorite browser."

Thus, all Swartz did was write a script to find and download the files. As a factual matter, that may have been "authorization," rendering it lawful everywhere. Even if the script was "exceeding authorization," if the First Circuit had adopted the same rule as the Fourth Circuit and the Ninth Circuit, then Swartz would likely have been not guilty as a matter of law. All of which further shows why this prosecution should not have been brought in the first place; the prosecutor is supposed to exercise their judgment to do justice.
Separately, it has been pointed out numerous times that the only real party who had any reasonable claim to "harm" was JSTOR, and it had said from early on that it had settled its issue with Swartz when he agreed to turn over his hard drive with everything he'd downloaded. Now, a bit more has come out, as apparently JSTOR itself asked federal prosecutors to drop the case:
Elliot Peters, Swartz's California-based defense attorney and a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan, told The Associated Press on Sunday that the case "was horribly overblown" because Swartz had "the right" to download from JSTOR, a subscription service used by MIT that offers digitized copies of articles from more than 1,000 academic journals.

Peters said even the company took the stand that the computer crimes section of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston had overreached in seeking prison time for Swartz and insisting , two days before his suicide , that he plead guilty to all 13 felony counts. Peters said JSTOR's attorney, Mary Jo White , the former top federal prosecutor in Manhattan , had called Stephen Heymann, the lead Boston prosecutor in the case.

"She asked that they not pursue the case," Peters said.
So even the supposedly "harmed" party didn't want the case to go forward. And yet, Stephen Heymann kept pushing.

The case is now gone, so we'll never see how a judge rules on it. We can hope that, given everything above, a judge would have clearly seen what a joke the case was, and dismissed it. But, you never know how judges will rule, and especially when they're not very technically savvy, they'll give a ridiculous amount of deference to federal prosecutors, merely because of their position. But the ridiculousness of the case should be pointed out over and over again to remind everyone of the problems we get when the federal government gets too powerful, and knows that it can use that power against someone it doesn't like.

Whether or not the impending trial contributed to Swartz's death, one thing is undeniable: the case itself was a complete farce, and that should not be forgotten. One hopes that, among other things, one of the legacies of Swartz's death may be to fix broken laws that allowed this prosecution to move forward, and to figure out a way to dial back the aggressiveness with which federal prosecutors take on cases these days.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:34am

    So let us enumerate what the feds did here:

    - Threatening
    - Abuse of power/coercion
    - Abuse of the judiciary
    - Defamation

    I'm fairly sure there will be punishment for that, no?

    Shall we sit while we wait for justice to be done?

     

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  2.  
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    Lord Binky, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:58am

    I don't see how accepting being a 'felon' is a compromise. Besides the stigma that would be permanently attached to him for it, he would also be restricted permanently where he travels as some countries don't even let convicted felons enter. (who can get a passport after time+parole ends)

    It would have been more of a compromise to ask for a pinky finger than ask to accept being a felon.

     

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  3.  
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    Niall (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    I look forward to a cyberbullying case against DOJ/Stephen Heymann.

    Of course, I'm sure it won't happen for Life of DOJ + 70...

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:20am

    What we need is...

    A system of accounability for malicious prosecution at ALL LEVELS of government regardless of the level of charges being levied against an individual.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    ' why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a “felon.”'
    the US government and US law enforcement in particular, refuse to accept that they are often very wrong (more often than not on so many occasions nowadays!) and are also supposedly governed by the same law as ordinary people, not above it!

    'a judge would have clearly seen what a joke the case was'

    just as in the cases of Mega, of dajaz1 and others, but like the articles says, the main thing for the government is not applying the law but winning the case, putting someone in jail and ruining (in this case taking) as many lives, needlessly, as possible!! Heymann needs to be sacked and never employed again, at least in any sort of legal position. i bet, however, the opposite happens and he gets a massive bonus and promotion!! and as for any feeling of guilt? it ain't gonna happen!!!

     

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  6.  
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    Joshua Bardwell (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:27am

    Re:

    Felons also don't get to vote or own firearms.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:28am

    Re: What we need is...

    You have one. It's the second amendment.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Re:

    Interesting concept. How do you charge and prosecute the DOJ for violating a federal law when their expressed purpose is to handle the prosecutions for violations of federal law? That would seem to be very difficult to do. However that started me thinking? Are there any state laws in the states involved related to cyberbullying? If so, maybe a state prosecutor could possibly file a suit for violating the state law concerning cyberbullying against the members of the prosecution.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: What we need is...

    Yean and now they are trying to do away with that as well.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:40am

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/10/swartz-fbi/

    "When 22-year-old programmer Aaron Swartz decided last fall to help an open-government activist amass a public and free copy of millions of federal court records . . . the U.S. court system told the feds he’d pilfered approximately 18 million pages of documents worth $1.5 million dollars . . . the Government Printing Office abruptly shut down the free trial and reported to the FBI that PACER was “compromised,” the FBI file reveals . . . The investigation was closed on April 20."

    Copying legal documents are illegal? Copying scientific articles are illegal? Next you'll be telling copying television shows is illegal too!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Why is Heymann not looking at a "Depraved Heart" Murder Two charge?

    Oh, wait...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Wrong word...

    "Garbage" isn't the word Watson would have used to describe this.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:43am

    You all might be interested in two very interesting perspectives.

    One is from Orin Kerr (Professor of Law, George Washington Uni) via The Volokh Conspiracy with a very good, consise, and unbiased analysis of the actual law that your DoJ charged Aaron with. Orin plans to do a post on the discretion and judgement of whether what the DoJ did was correct or not soon. I look forward to reading that one, especially from someone who lives and breathes the weirdness that is the USA Computer Fraud and other cybercrime statutes.

    The other one is from Scott H. Greenfield at Simple Justice who in a long post states why it's not just Aaron that received this harsh, overreaching myopic and daunting treatment from the government but hundred, ney thousands of poor individuals who still are too. Scott ends it with a call out to all:
    [If] you want to honor his memory, perhaps you might want to put all those brilliant minds to use changing the system that drove Swartz to take his own life. It's still here, and it's still just as bad as it was in Swartz's case. And it will continue to be, even as you move back to your more pleasant pursuits.

    But you can no longer pretend to be surprised about what the government does to people. It happened to Aaron Swartz, and you hated it. And it will continue to happen, as it happened before Swartz was caught in its web. What now?[emphasis added and required]
    Exactly.. what now?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Don't blame the prosecutors

    I mean, they had to do something with all the free time they have not prosecuting the bankers who crashed the economy and were laundering the drug cartel's money. Putting marajuana users in prison only fills a few hours a day. You need to invent crimes for the rest.

     

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    Jay (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:47am

    Re:

    You have no idea how difficult the life of a felon truly is...

    In the US, we have 2.2 million people considered feelings thanks mainly to our drug war.

    You have no access to public education, public funding, public housing, our anything else for ten years. You pay your jailor when you're out on parole and your options for jobs are slim and none when you get out. Communities are torn up to make you an outcast. And to add insult to injury, you can be caucased outside of your place of residency so that when you vote, you have less of a voice in politics than you could imagine.

    Felonies are a big deal and we have states and corporations that are empowered to use their powers topunish instead of their own common sense to what's right.

    That is never good for democracy in the long run.

     

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    Unanimous Cow Herd (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:53am

    Re:

    I'll hold my breath.

     

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  17.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Re:

    Further to this.... from the BBC:

    "Academics have since taken to Twitter to release their research free in tribute to Mr Swartz, using the hashtag PDFtribute".
    [Note: PDFtribute link goes to a website collating all the papers from the twitter hashtags]

    Wow! That's a nice start and tribute to Aaron's philosophy of allowing Publicly owned and payed for research to be free and accessible by all.

     

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  18.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re:

    Make sure you're either already lying down, or have someone to catch you, as you'll be holding it a long time indeed.

     

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  19.  
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    anonymous dutch coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    moderate

    does Webster's dictionary even have the word "moderate" in it, because there seems to be no middle way in any US reaction. from government or citizens alike.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:02am

    Re:

    Furthemore, maybe state legislatures could introduce their own legislation in the form of a Federal Accounablility Act that would allow states to hold federal officials accountable when they violate the law against the citizens of their state.

     

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  21.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:15am

    So what can be done? I don't see anyone with the power to stop these abuses stepping up to the plate.

     

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  22.  
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    lucidrenegade (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:18am

    Please sign this

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/fire-assistant-us-attorney-steve-heymann/RJKSY2nb

    I don't expect anything to happen to the bastard, but at least they'll have to respond if it gets enough votes.

     

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  23.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:24am

    Re:

    So basically what you are saying is that the US Government needs to use the secret interpretation of FISA against itself.

    The War on Terrorism takes an expected turn on itself.

     

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  24.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:29am

    Re: Re: What we need is...

    ... So let me get this straight...

    You want to take in the federal government with the DOJ, FBI, CIA, drones, National Guard and an army (who have tanks btw) with your gun?

    Have fun with that. Also, how comfortable are you in killing American soldiers who may just be following orders?

     

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  25.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:40am

    Re: Please sign this

    Better luck getting a death star built.

    I finally realized this morning while listening to the radio and the DJ's told the story of the petition to build a death star and how many ppl signed it that we are totally fucked in any aspect that requires citizens to be diligent in protecting their freedoms.

    F'in petition to build a death star and it got the required signatures. Really Amerika?

     

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  26.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    One is from Orin Kerr (Professor of Law, George Washington Uni) via The Volokh Conspiracy with a very good, consise, and unbiased analysis of the actual law that your DoJ charged Aaron with. Orin plans to do a post on the discretion and judgement of whether what the DoJ did was correct or not soon. I look forward to reading that one, especially from someone who lives and breathes the weirdness that is the USA Computer Fraud and other cybercrime statutes.

    While much of Kerr's post is good, I have a few problems with it, including his claim that Swartz planned to release the documents. That's conjecture and was never proven at all. Swartz also did a ton of research on large data sets, and it is entirely possible he planned to use the information for his research, rather than to release it.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: What we need is...

    I was actually advocating a more civilized approach. Although defence against tyranny IS one of the primary purposes of the second amendment.

     

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  28.  
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    Max Kennerly, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    Re:

    Kerr's comments are hopelessly simplistic, and taken at face value would subject everyone to decades in prison every time they misrepresented their email address to obtain access to a public WiFi.

    On wire fraud, for example, Kerr completely ignores the hardest part: proving intent to defraud. As the Department of Justice’s own Attorney Manual notes, most courts interpret “defraud” as meaning “a scheme to defraud another out of money.” That doesn't even arguably cover what Swartz did.

    On computer fraud, he argues unauthorized access is established because "this is a case of circumventing code-based restrictions by circumventing identification restrictions." The same is true every single time you say your birthday is "January 1, 1900" to get into a newspaper's website, or enter "asdf" as your name on a public WiFi.

    Tellingly, Kerr doesn't even mention the huge circuit split developing over the meaning of "authorization" — he just brushes it all aside. Perhaps he should have read my post.

     

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  29.  
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    Spaceman Spiff, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 11:17am

    Violation of rights under color of authority

    The federal prosecutor in this case should be charged with, and tried, for prosecutorial misconduct, and violating Swartz's rights under the color of authority. This behavior is just so egregious that to let it stand would be an affront to all law-abiding citizens, and those who we allow to represent us in a law-enforcement capacity. In my opinion, his actions are nothing short of felonious, and should be treated as such!

     

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  30.  
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    Rich, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 11:25am

    Re: Re: Please sign this

    My take is people are just showing how useless these petitions are, and how the Executive branch isn't even taking them seriously.

     

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  31.  
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    Wolfy, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    The MAFIAAs wanted to make an example of him, and they succeeded. So much so, he broke.

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 11:52am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, I'm sure the government would have no problem at all agreeing to a bill/act that would open up the possibility of them actually being held accountable, on a personal level, for the abuses of the legal system and laws. /s

    It's a nice idea, but sadly hopelessly naive, and something that the government would never allow to come to pass.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Many states have passed legalize marijuana laws contrary to federal statute. State legislatures could pass somethng like this as well. State laws are handled by a completely different system than the federal ones are. That is why this could work.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:07pm

    The punishment that he was facing was enough to push many over the edge.

    The fact that the charges are very trumped I can say yes the DOJ is to blame.

    Even if he was going to win it should be illegal to stack up a bullshit case that has the potential to ruin someones life completely.

    I would say otherwise if their case was actually legit. In that case I would have said it was Aaron Swartz that brought it on himself. That is not the case though now is it.

    Do you think he would have killed himself if he was facing 1 to 3 with a possibility of being out in little as 6 months? Or even better with a time of 1 to 3 it's very possible he would have had a plea deal of probation.

    My crimes dealt 2 to 5 and I was let off on probation. What I did was worse I was a junkie and played doctor one too many times.
    Aaron Swartz on the other hand was leeching information THAT SHOULD HAVE FUCKING BEEN OPEN TO EVERYONE IN THE FIRST PLACE...

    He was not hacking the government.
    He was not hacking banks and stealing money.
    He was not hacking companies stealing trade secrets.
    He was not hacking personal computers of anyone.

    The information was there but it was not open in the sense you could go find it on Google.
    If he did not take it by automation I doubt we would be in this mess right now.

    His crime was wanting efficiency and do you blame him? How in the fuck can we ever evolve if we start locking all our information up ffs..

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And the federal government doesn't have to "agree" with it. They don't have any say in the matter of what state law is as long as it isn't doesn't violate the constitution. And how exactly does a law that simply says that the federal government has to obey it's own laws violate a the US Constitution?

     

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  36.  
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    Benjamin C. Wade, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:10pm

    What about criminal misuse of government resources?

    What about criminal misuse of government resources?

     

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  37.  
    identicon
    Benjamin C. Wade, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re:

    Prosecutors do NOT charge other prosecutors. At most, a sort of "gentleman's agreement" will ostracize the offending prosecutor - but that is so rare you almost never see it - just hear about it having happened to someone else.

     

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  38.  
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    Richard (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

    Well this seems to prove that Theresa May got it right - for once

    On 16 October 2012, Home Secretary Theresa May announced to the House of Commons that the extradition [of Gary McKinnon] had been blocked, saying that "Mr McKinnon's extradition would give rise to such a high risk of him ending his life that a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights."
    So the British goverment had already recognised that the pressure generated by the US justice system creates a significant suicide risk.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Right. Just like the way cops don't arrest other cops EXCEPT in cases where the actions so egregious (such as a cop shooting an unarmed kid or something) where either the public outcry is large or has the potential to be very large and it threatens to undermine the integrity of the entire department. I believe this is shaping up to be one of those such situations.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: What we need is...

    You do remember there was a civil war in the US?

    Americans being ordered to shoot other "americans" and all that.

     

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  41.  
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    DV Henkel-Wallace (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:48pm

    Why would a judge prevent him for asking for help?

    Lessig wote,
    ...unable to appeal openly to us for the financial help he needed to fund his defense, at least without risking the ire of a district court judge.
    Why would a judge object to someone asking for help with their defense?

     

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  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Please sign this

    It did, however, get an awesome response.

     

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  43.  
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    JMT (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re:

    "In the US, we have 2.2 million people considered feelings thanks mainly to our drug war."

    People's feelings should always be considered... ;)

     

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  44.  
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    JMT (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

    Re:

    The entertainment industry has nothing to do with this story. Mentioning them makes you look very foolish.

     

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  45.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Allow me to present: 'Sovereign immunity' and 'National security/classified information'.

    The first prohibits someone from suing the government, or a governmental agency, while the second can be used to squelch any evidence that could be used to prove wrongdoings, leaving a case gutted.

    So yes, the government would very much have to agree for such an idea to work.

     

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  46.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

    Just a guess but...

    He could have been(and probably was) prohibited from making any mention of, or reference to, the case, and with a prohibition like that in place it would make asking for funds rather difficult.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is if the state prosecutor and judge complies with what the federal government requests. The feds don't really have much say in statutory proceedings.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And for that matter, most of what is in the constitution states what the FEDERAL government is allowed to do and not allowed to do. There is very little stating what STATES are allowed to do or not to do.

     

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  49.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    State legislatures could pass somethng like this as well. State laws are handled by a completely different system than the federal ones are. That is why this could work.

    States don't have the authority to make laws governing how the federal government works.

     

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  50.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re: What we need is...

    You have one. It's the second amendment.

    How about one that doesn't involve murder?

     

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  51.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That is if the state prosecutor and judge complies with what the federal government requests.

    I think you have it backwards. A state court would not be able to force the federal government to do anything.

     

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  52.  
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    DV Henkel-Wallace (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Just a guess but...

    Well that's the implication, but on what grounds?. That is not a usual requirement unless "national security" is claimed...which isn't the case here.

     

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  53.  
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    DV Henkel-Wallace (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Just a guess but...

    Well that's the implication, but on what grounds?. That is not a usual requirement unless "national security" is claimed...which isn't the case here.

     

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  54.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    This wouldn't be governing how the federal government works. This would be a state law that would allow a state prosecutor to file criminal charges against the individuals involved for misconduct that violates the provisions of their state. It would have nothing to do with the federal government or federal court system. It would be a purely statutory matter.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As I said above, it wouldn't be forcing the federal government to do anything. It would be a purely statutory matter that would allow a state prosecutor to pursue the INDIVIDUALS resposible for violating the laws of that state.

     

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  56.  
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    nasch (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    Re:

    If he did not take it by automation I doubt we would be in this mess right now.

    His crime was wanting efficiency and do you blame him?


    Good point. If he had gotten a hundred people to use their web browsers to do this, there would have been no issue at all. But using a script to do exactly the same thing means 35 years in prison? Holy hell.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And the classified/national security thing doesn't really work when the evidence is already a matter of public record too.

     

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  58.  
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    Matthew Cline (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    Defendant can't mention their case?

    Under what circumstances is a defendant prohibited from mentioning their case?

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 2:33pm

    Re:

    yet if he was a company (or say a bank or upper managment in either) I'm sure the goverment would have come to some agreement where being a felon was not required.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 3:13pm

    Re:

    The MAFIAAs wanted to make an example of him, and they succeeded. So much so, he broke.

    Look!!!! Black helicopters!!!! Being flown by Elvis!!!

     

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  61.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 3:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Logically no, but as the whole wikileaks thing demonstrated, just because something is publicly available and known, it does not keep the government from trying to treat the information as still classified.

    Or to put it another way, it doesn't matter how public the information is, if it's not allowed to be presented in a court case.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re:

    But using a script to do exactly the same thing means 35 years in prison? Holy hell.

    Ummm, he was actually looking at six months or less in Club Fed. Not exactly a reason to kill yourself and inflict such terrible sorrow on those who love you.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Well this seems to prove that Theresa May got it right - for once

    Nice dodge. Threaten to kill yourself to avoid extradition.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Just a guess but...

    My guess is that it's total bullshit from Lessig. There's been no gag order issued by the judge. This is just some sort of twisted fantasy to somehow, desperately implicate the government. And where were the heroes from EFF, CDT, PK and ACLU? Why didn't Techdirt organize a defense fund? And where was Lessig himself for that matter? He's a law professor at Harvard for Christ' sake. He taught at Stanford and is on the board of Creative Commons (Swartz's organization) and Center for Internet and Society. He was the kid's friend, why wasn't he representing him pro bono?

    I'm glad usually on the other side of the debate. Every time someone on your side gets in deep shit, their so-called friends and supporters don't lift a finger, much less write a check. What tiny amount of respect I may have had for any of you people has evaporated. You didn't do shit for the Ninjavideo crew, nor anyone else. All you do is scream into the echo chamber. Pretty pathetic.

     

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  65.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    It could have been as simple as 'Because I said so'. He had the government after him, and the normal rules kinda disappear at that point.

    Remember, they were trying to charge him with over a dozen felonies, and even had the secret service involved; I don't think it would be that hard to convince a judge that the case was serious enough to ban those involved from discussing it.

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Judge's don't communicate via telepathy, they issue orders and rulings. There WASN'T a gag order. And you desperately trying to wish one into existence isn't going to make one appear.

     

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  67.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    How do you know if there was a gag order or not?

     

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  68.  
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    JMT (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    So now it's everyone else's fault that he was slapped with a bunch of bogus, over-reaching charges? You almost sound a bit defensive there. You come across as someone who would've cheered at the charges brought against Swartz. Having a moral crisis now?

     

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  69.  
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    btrussell (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 5:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Or forbidden from using net/electronic devices.

    The way I read the letter, Lessig meant he couldn't openly appeal to the internet to help fund a defense.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 5:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    He's just proud of the fact that each time copyright looks bad or someone on his side fouls up, there's another cushy bailout or job waiting on the sidelines.

    People who disagree with some of the issues with copyright don't usually have that monetary luxury, and he takes pride in it.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Because the existence of the gag order itself is public.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Actually, Swartz was (at some point) worth millions. The Ninjavideo defendants took in over $500,000 and even the kid from the UK made over $250k. Seems like it'd be prudent for these folks to put away some cash to have a reserve to defend themselves. But none of that really matters. Litigation can be expensive. Yet I don't see the legal titans from the apologist side stepping up. I don't see Techdirt or any of you organizing defense funds or cutting checks? Talk is cheap fellas. And that's all I ever see from you... talk, You had millions of people signing petitions and sending emails over SOPA. How about harnessing them and asking each to send a measly dollar? My theory isn't that the charges put Swartz over the edge, more likely the abandonment by his so-called friends and supporters did. Anyone can do six months in Club Fed. But not everyone can deal with being abandoned by people who professed to care about them. My side may not always be right, but we never leave our own to bleed out on the battlefield. And it has nothing to do with money. Anyone of the tech execs from the companies opposing SOPA could write a six figure (or larger) check. EFF, CDT, PK, Frees Press, ACLU all have tons of outstanding lawyers. Where the hell were they. Why didn't all the tech websites (like Techdirt) solicit donations? So blame the US Attorney all you like, but it is undeniable that Swartz's constituents and supporters didn't do jack shit for him.

     

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  73.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 5:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes it's simplistic, and placing 'the law' and 'discretion/judgement' in two different posts was probably a mistake (especially with all the criticism he had gotten when I last read it)

    Though that was the whole point as I see it with the post to show the law 'as read' was correctly applied to the charges brought against Aaron. Whether the charges were warranted or would of withstood scrutiny in court is now sadly something for only the media and academia to ponder.

    I agree with you about defraud being pecuniary only (in the majority of cases) and most definitely agree with the problematic and ambiguous wording of the CA though again in the context of what Kerr was trying to put across in this first post that's irrelevant though highly likely it will be in the second post. Especially when you consider Kerr has been a highly vocal critic of them both.

    As for the authorisation split I wasn't aware of that myself, though your circuits and their different jurisdictions in the same country to myself, a foreigner, are a strange entity at the best of times.

     

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  74.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re:

    Absolutely agree, though it is based on what he has previously done in other similar situations (PACER etc) though that doesn't mitigate that it still is conjecture on Kerr's behalf.

    I am going to wait until the 2nd post (that hopefully is soon) before I pass judgement on Kerr's conjecture though since he has only pulled what was really on the indictment with media reports of events at the time and applied them to the post. Knowing Kerr it will be highly illuminating, most likely add in what Stamos found in his forensic examination (that's an eye opening report that normally would never reach the light of day except for the fact that the whole case now is moot).

     

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  75.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Look, I'll be the first to say that the scope of the charges were bullshit. But that's the way the game is played. Something people ought to consider BEFORE they do shit that can put them in harm's way.

    But at the end of the day, he was offered six months. He'd end up with five if he behaved and probably spend two in a minimum security (unlocked) facility then he'd go to a pre-release center. So he has a felony conviction, BFD? He was an extraordinarily skilled kid with lots of connections. He's an entrepreneur. It's not like he'd have gotten out and had to look for work at WalMart. Seriously, what is the huge stigma? How would his future been limited? Gun ownership? So what, he doesn't look like he'd know what to do with one. Voting? Well, I think after a time that gets reinstated.

    I think Swartz was a typical arrogant kid who didn't realize the kind of trouble he could manage to get into. He was high profile and political. It seems that someone older and more experienced should have been in this kids ear about how shit can go bad fast. It didn't happen and that's a fucking shame.

     

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  76.  
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    art guerrilla (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    you despicable low-life scumbag, yes, YOU, anonymous @5:51 pm...

    1. the KID had little/no money left 'cause HE DONATED most of it to inertnet causes and actions, you useless human-shaped pile of shit... probably gave away more than you will earn in your greedy, grasping pathetic life...

    2. he had more principles, ethics, and bravery in ONE neuron than you have in your whole family...

    3. it is not only HIS fault for getting trumped up charges
    by the gummint behemoth, but it is then OURS for not ponying up enough cash to bribe the whole system to reverse the injustice ? ? ?
    sure, we peons can outbid the korporate overlords to wrest away control of a corrupted system; you are one gullible piece of authoritarian trash, mister...
    (yeah, there is NO way a woman wrote that nasty shit)

    the eye of sauron gets turned on ANYONE -even bona fide 'heroes' (sic) like petraeus, et al- and you are going to get fucked over NO MATTER guilt or innocence...

    but, guess what, the petraeus's of the world only get caught up if internecine warfare among the puppetmasters breaks out, otherwise, it is the TRUE and BRAVE PATRIOTS like swartz, manning, kirakou, AD INFINITUM who get fucked over by the machine of empire on a daily basis...

    i'm old and out of shape, but you better hope we never cross paths, because i'm about sick of authoritarian pieces of trash like you pissing on people who contributed more to society in a short life than you could in a million years...
    FOAD

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    art guerrilla at windstream dot net
    you live in florida ? let's arrange to meet, shithead...
    eof

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Re:

    Um, I don't know who, but it was released. It's been high on my torrent activity since.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 7:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Such a target-rich environment, where shall I begin?

    1. the KID had little/no money left 'cause HE DONATED most of it to inertnet causes and actions, you useless human-shaped pile of shit... probably gave away more than you will earn in your greedy, grasping pathetic life...

    So in this kids hour of need, when he was in such despair he took his own life- the recipients of all of that money did what? They turned their fucking backs, that's what. They took his money, they basked in his reflected glory and then didn't lift a fucking finger or give back a single dime when he was in crisis. Who is the useless piece of shit here?

    2. he had more principles, ethics, and bravery in ONE neuron than you have in your whole family...

    I don't question the first two, but struggle with the bravery assertion. Personally, I believe suicide to be cowardly. But I think he had mental health issues that may have caused him to surrender. As far as me and my family, you don't know me and I doubt you'd entertain anything I said about this.

    3. it is not only HIS fault for getting trumped up charges
    by the gummint behemoth, but it is then OURS for not ponying up enough cash to bribe the whole system to reverse the injustice ? ? ?
    sure, we peons can outbid the korporate overlords to wrest away control of a corrupted system; you are one gullible piece of authoritarian trash, mister...


    Based on the facts (facts) it seems that he broke the law and knew it, as attempting to evade identification by the security camera by hiding his face with his bike helmet indicates. I don't know about the scope of the charges, but that's probably a 35 year max sentence was offered to be reduced to six months. And no, I'm not talking about bribes. Any lucid person knows that doesn't happen on the Federal bench. I'm talking about how his so-called friends and followers didn't step up to mount a first class defense. But all you people do is take. You can't even see your way clear to dig in and contribute to one of your own leaders. Just more talk. Utterly shameful and pathetic.

    (yeah, there is NO way a woman wrote that nasty shit)

    You are doubtlessly one coarse and unappealing woman.

    the eye of sauron gets turned on ANYONE -even bona fide 'heroes' (sic) like petraeus, et al- and you are going to get fucked over NO MATTER guilt or innocence...

    Wow, nice transition into a Gorehound-esque rant. Meh, Petraeus should have known better. Arrogant like Swartz, thought he was above it. You can't get fucked unless you assume the position.

    i'm old and out of shape, but you better hope we never cross paths, because i'm about sick of authoritarian pieces of trash like you pissing on people who contributed more to society in a short life than you could in a million years...
    FOAD

    Hahahahaha......An aged hippie, pseudo-anarchist is going to get me.

    you live in florida ? let's arrange to meet, shithead...

    Figures they'd have senior citizen communes down there. I'll pass. I've never been down with the whole bingo and dinner at 4:30 thing. Though I am tempted to see if you are as big a buffoon in person as you are on this board.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You sure that wasn't the huge file that Greg Maxwell uploaded that was of 18,592 scientific publications from the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (UK).

    It was in direct protest at Aaron's indictment, and the papers were all in the public domain which basically made JSTOR re-evaluate it's whole system of charging for papers that the public own already - no matter the CYA press release that JSTOR gave (There was NO sweat of the brow in JSTOR's actions of holding the papers that were PD and they had no intention of ever releasing them before the Maxwell incident).

     

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    shane (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:00pm

    Rage

    Yeah. I read this and then spent about 15 minutes raging bitterly and red faced under my breath lest I disturb any of my neighbors in my apartment building, just sick and tired of the apathy at the repeated injustices that are piling up in this country.

    Ultimately I am slowly turning into one of those people who no longer blames the government. Ultimately, this nation is failing because people do not care.

    This is just too obvious. I'm just sick and tired of a handful of people being the only ones.

     

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    shane (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:05pm

    The whole point

    We are all painfully aware that this is how the game is played. That is what we object to. It is not appropriate for the government to step in when no harm has been done and when the principles in a disagreement have made peace, and threaten someone until they capitulate in order to make some political point that wealthy and powerful interests want made.

    You're nowhere near as cleverly pragmatic as you try to sound.

     

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  82.  
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    shane (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You know, his family has come out against the government on this. I think you might do well to back off using a man's death as a platform for your unique brand of self righteous blasphemy.

    An eye for an eye; a tooth for a tooth, 7 years in prison plus some unmentioned amount of money for...

    Downloading free stuff.

    You don't have the moral high ground. Give it up.

     

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  83.  
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    shane (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:12pm

    Re: The whole point

    Apparently I somehow missed the button that would attach this to the person I was replying to?

    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 6:04pm

    That one.

     

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    shane (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Your side? You don't HAVE a side. The other "side" here is a group of organizations and industries who have repeatedly fed hundreds into the lion's maw, ripping off artists and inventors alike so that people who own shares and run banks can make money off of other people's work.

    Your "side". pfft Your side doesn't even know that you exist, let along care.

     

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    DataShade (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:22pm

    You may not want to blame the prosecutor, but I think history will. I think Aaron was probably brilliant enough that, in the future, people will look back on this moment as the USA analog to the UK's malicious prosecution of Alan Turing.

     

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  86.  
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    shane (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:42pm

    Remember Customer Service

    If JSTOR and other internet gatekeepers were to design their systems to provide this sort of service, people would not feel the temptation to automate the process to save themselves the wasted time of doing it manually.

    Mass searches and downloads represent an advance in technology that enables researchers to sift through the massive amounts of information we now have available.

    Swartz did them a favor, and they drove him to suicide for it. That is very typical of the modern financial/informational complex.

     

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  87.  
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    shane (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:51pm

    Why a felon

    Make no mistake about it - this was done on purpose. I am sure the DOJ did not anticipate suicide, but it matters little to me. What they need, what they want, is an example, and they got what they wanted in spades.

    The government, the banks, and the corporate interests behind this are attempting to prevent the breakdown of a system that allows them a lot of control over information while not technically violating any free speech rights.

    Banks and their corporate clients control information through the use of the monetary system. Information is distributed through a handful of corporations who are able to dominate the industry because of their credit. Large corporations do not have to earn the money they spend. They have great credit, which allows them to get the bulk of new money created in any given economy through the partial reserve lending system. No matter how much you can raise online, they can simply borrow a hundred times that amount and bury you.

    That is the way the system is designed. It is designed that way from the ground up specifically for that purpose.

    This is not an accident, nor is it a conspiracy theory to merely relate how the system works, or why it is necessary to squelch the objections of Aaron Swartz and those of us who agree with his philosophy of open access to information.

     

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  88.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:57pm

    Re:

    It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.
    - Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar

    It is the foreign element that commits our crimes. There is no native criminal class except Congress.
    - More Maxims of Mark, Johnson, 1927

    http://www.twainquotes.com/Congress.html

     

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  89.  
    icon
    shane (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Why a felon

    This, not incidentally, is why the legacy business model is necessary to them. Their credit is based on guaranteed profits through the use of government power to squelch competition and ensure copyright holders (and patent holders, though patent is not involved in this case) make profits.

    Banks love to lend money at interest to sure things. They are not quite as keen to lend to innovate.

    This, in turn, is why innovation is far more expensive than it truly needs to be. Large corporations spend the money specifically for their own profit. Banks lend the bulk of this money. More and more dollars then chase after a very limited pool of innovators, thus swelling the cost, thus increasing the need for corporations to tighten IP further in order to ensure profits in order to pay off their loans.

    It's similar in its own way to the housing bubble. We already had one tech related bubble. We could easily have more.

    We do not have a free market. That, ultimately, is the problem. Those in control of it are not keen on letting it go.

     

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  90.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What we need is...

    That may have made more sense back way back when, but now the government can shoot you from miles away with pinpoint precision using satellite images and other surveillance to track your exact location. You won't even know what hit you. What's your wimpy pistol going to do against billions of dollars of armament and technology?

     

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  91.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    The depths to which you will descend are infinite, aren't they?

     

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  92.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:25pm

    Re: Rage

    Ultimately I am slowly turning into one of those people who no longer blames the government. Ultimately, this nation is failing because people do not care.

    My point exactly. Where were all of you "friends" and admirers when this kid needed help? Specifically Shane, what the fuck did you do? Other than rage bitterly and red faced in virtual silence. More talk, that's all you people do. Which doesn't seem to have helped matters much. You too are one of the people who don't care but have so little self-awareness you're blind to it. Acting concerned is not the equal of actually doing something.

     

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  93.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Do you have a specific objection or is this just what you say when you don't like something but can't think of a response that wouldn't make you look even more foolish? If that's even possible.

     

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  94.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 9:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    You might be surprised. I am actually a doer. I believe in copyright and intellectual property. I may talk, but I also back shit up. I engage on any number of issues I find important. So spin whatever fantasy about me that makes you feel better about your own pathetic, self-imposed powerlessness. I'll continue to fight for my beliefs and you can talk softly in your apartment about yours.

     

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  95.  
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    NemesisPrime (profile), Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:10pm

    Re:

    I'll be waiting with baited breath.

     

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  96.  
    identicon
    Shane Roach, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:38pm

    Entertainment Industry

    Who do you think you're kidding? There is no part of the various industries that collect and distribute "content" that is not connected directly to the other through the use of copyright law. What happens to one happens to all, and you can bet that the reason for this prosecution is that powerful elements from somewhere in the midst of these industries pushed for this prosecution or policies that led to it.

    In the meantime, the actual "victims" had no public interest in pressing the issue.

    Why do you imagine it happened then?

     

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  97.  
    identicon
    Shane Roach, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Oh, so you're a supporter of prosecuting people for doing nothing wrong and harassing them until they kill themselves because it helps you make money? That does explain your position.

    And then you wonder why so many people are losing faith in your system?

     

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  98.  
    identicon
    Shane Roach, Jan 14th, 2013 @ 10:47pm

    Re: Re: Rage

    No one was able to do anything because we do not have control over our government any more.

    What I did was oppose it. What you did was support it. Your apparent glee at the outcome speaks volumes about what is wrong with this nation these days. It's not -just- the government. The general population is grossly unethical and immoral.

    You and people like you are the problem that needs addressing. What would you suggest I do about you? Not respond? Let your vindictive and petty notion of how the economy and the legal system should run be published unopposed by any other viewpoint?

    You wouldn't be here if you didn't know how important what is going on here is.

     

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  99.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 1:15am

    heads must roll

    Surely the US attorney's office has a level of moral accountability in this case. It is empirically obvious to everyone that (at best) they have overreached in their attempt to vilify Aaron.

     

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  100.  
    icon
    commenter8 (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 3:07am

    White House Petitions

    Prosecutors turned down Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz's request for plea deal over MIT hacking case TWO DAYS before his suicide

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262137/Aaron-Swartz-Reddit-founder-request-plea- deal-turned-Massachusetts-prosecutor.html

    Lawyer says he warned prosecutors that Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz was suicidal

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2262518/Lawyer-says-warned-prosecutors-Reddit-fo under-Aaron-Swartz-suicidal.html

    White House petition to fire US Attprney Carmen Ortiz for her misconduct in this case

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-united-states-district-attorney-carmen-orti z-office-overreach-case-aaron-swartz/RQNrG1Ck

    The petition to fire US Attorney Carmen Ortiz has already exceeded the 25,000 signatures needed to get a response from the White House.

    Here's a new petition to fire Assistant US Attorney Steve Heymann:

    http://wh.gov/Ex1n

    White House petition to limit copyrights to a maximum of 10 years

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/shorten-excessive-copyright-terms/XMc72zjc

     

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  101.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 3:46am

    Re: Re: Well this seems to prove that Theresa May got it right - for once

    Read the background to this case and you will see that this is not what happened here.

     

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  102.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 3:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Who the hell said that Derpsley? I call you guys out for turning your back on one of your leaders and now it's the fault of the content industry? That's laughable, but if I were in your shoes, I guess I wouldn't want to own my shameful inaction either.

     

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  103.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 4:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Rage

    No one was able to do anything because we do not have control over our government any more.

    Couldn't have created or contributed to a defense fund? Couldn't have organized a rally in front of the courthouse or prosecutor? Couldn't have written a letter to the editor or started a goofy White House petition? Let's face it: You didn't care enough to lift a finger.

    What I did was oppose it. What you did was support it. Your apparent glee at the outcome speaks volumes about what is wrong with this nation these days. It's not -just- the government. The general population is grossly unethical and immoral.

    You opposed it with some cheap talk. That's pretty weak in my book. And I did not support it. I did nothing, just like you. The difference is Swartz is not one of my heroes or allies.

    You and people like you are the problem that needs addressing. What would you suggest I do about you? Not respond? Let your vindictive and petty notion of how the economy and the legal system should run be published unopposed by any other viewpoint?

    No keep talking. It seems to make you feel better about not actually doing anything.

    You wouldn't be here if you didn't know how important what is going on here is.

    I'm just here to inject a little reality into the echo chamber.

     

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  104.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 4:08am

    Re: Remember Customer Service

    If JSTOR and other internet gatekeepers were to design their systems to provide this sort of service, people would not feel the temptation to automate the process to save themselves the wasted time of doing it manually.

    Mass searches and downloads represent an advance in technology that enables researchers to sift through the massive amounts of information we now have available.

    Swartz did them a favor, and they drove him to suicide for it. That is very typical of the modern financial/informational complex.


    So it was JSTOR that drove him to suicide. I thought you said it was the US Attorney.... no wait, the content industry. Shit. Let me know when you re-decide again.

     

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  105.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 4:12am

    Re: Re: Remember Customer Service

    BTW, his family and friends blame the US Attorney's office. You might want to get on the same page as people who know what they're talking about. Just a thought.

     

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  106.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 4:19am

    Re: Well this seems to prove that Theresa May got it right - for once

    Richard O'Dowyer. UK is as bad as the US.

     

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  107.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    wow... I know trash like you exist in humanity but it's shocking to see it live...

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 4:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    So you are fine with government abusing the citizens they are sworn to represent based on what you admit are bullshit charges at the behest of special interests without any accountability for their actions.

     

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  109.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 5:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ummm, he was actually looking at six months or less in Club Fed. Not exactly a reason to kill yourself and inflict such terrible sorrow on those who love you.

    The charges added up to over 50 years.

    The *plea bargain* that the feds refused to budge from included asking the judge for 7 years in jail.

    Six months is you making stuff up.

     

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  110.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 5:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What we need is...

    No. The second amendment was about militias rising up to protect the American government.

    A militia came up to protect Washington, which was regulated by each state. It's quite clear that the Founding Fathers didn't want a standing army because they knew that would be a form of imperialism. It's why the army WA to be regulated every two years and the power of war given to Congress, which represents the people.

    It's not there so you can amass a small fortune while tragedy happens in a misguided effort to "follow the Constitution"

     

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  111.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 5:41am

    Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    And where were the heroes from EFF, CDT, PK and ACLU? Why didn't Techdirt organize a defense fund?

    There was a defense fund which many people contributed to. Your ignorance of it is your problem.

    The issue was not the lack of a defense fund, but rather the fact that Swartz was not in a position to call more attention to it. If you don't recognize that judges sometimes take such requests and turn them against defendants, again, that is a problem of ignorance on your end.

    And where was Lessig himself for that matter? He's a law professor at Harvard for Christ' sake. He taught at Stanford and is on the board of Creative Commons (Swartz's organization) and Center for Internet and Society. He was the kid's friend, why wasn't he representing him pro bono?

    As he clearly stated in his post (which you apparently didn't even read), Lessig did help him pro bono until issues were raised about conflicts of interest. Also, Lessig is not a criminal law litigator.

    Also, I would suggest you do some research and understand who actually managed the defense fund that was being raised (contrary to your assertions that it did not exist).

    I'm glad usually on the other side of the debate. Every time someone on your side gets in deep shit, their so-called friends and supporters don't lift a finger, much less write a check.

    Your ignorance is disgusting and insulting. Many, many, many people reached out to support and help Aaron.

     

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  112.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 5:54am

    Re: Re:

    "The War on Terrorism takes an expected turn on itself."

    I think you mean War on Freedom.

     

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  113.  
    identicon
    The Real Michael, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 6:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What we need is...

    You know, you people are just full of it. If our government was so invincible, please explain why our military, despite all its technological advances, couldn't defeat the Vietnamese nor the Taliban? Yeah, we can stand toe-to-toe with anyone in conventional warfare, but where it concerns the Second Amendment, we're talking about some-odd 100 MILLION gun-owners who'd be engaged in guerilla warfare. And the fact that military has tanks, drones and jets is meaningless in such a scenario. They can't ride in those vehicles forever (look up the ghetto uprising). Air strikes and bombs alone are insufficient to win such a war -- they'd need manpower. MASSIVE manpower, which they lack. There'd be such low morale and so much internal friction, much of them would join the resistance. Remember, they swore an oath to defend and protect the CONSTITUTION from enemies both foreign and domestic, not to protect the government from the people.

    Finally, with regards to what Jay said: "Also, how comfortable are you in killing American soldiers who may just be following orders?" The Nazis also were "just following orders." Following orders doesn't justify actions, particularly ones which bring harm upon Americans. If certain soldiers were to turn their gun against her own countrymen, what does that make them? Traitors.

     

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  114.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Remember Customer Service

    You are a terrible person, kill yourself.

     

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  115.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 7:00am

    Re: White House Petitions

    Thank you for these links. They will be used.

     

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  116.  
    icon
    shane (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 7:05am

    Six Months

    I thought the six months offer was on Lessick's blog, but I don't find it there now. I did read it somewhere else last night, but all I can find tonight is this.

    http://betabeat.com/2013/01/tom-dolan-defends-carmen-ortiz-aaron-swartz-twitter/

    Neverth eless, it apparently was on the table at some point. Not that it much lessens the wrongdoing to me.

     

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  117.  
    icon
    shane (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 7:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Rage

    Again I ask, what exactly is it you think no one is doing? I participated in campaigns set up by Demand Progress.... Does that count? Or is that just talking as well? Because he seemed to want people to "just talk" if that's what you mean.

    Or are you just trying to stir up enough outrage to get someone to say something crazy so you can use it against the movement to destroy your self serving business model?

     

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  118.  
    icon
    shane (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re: Remember Customer Service

    "Let me know when you re-decide again."

    "And" rather than "or".

    It's not a difficult concept.

     

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  119.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Look, I'll be the first to say that the scope of the charges were bullshit. But that's the way the game is played.

    That you see this as a game is horrendous. This was a human life. Not some game piece.

    If you cannot see that, there is a word that describes you. It is sociopath.

    Something people ought to consider BEFORE they do shit that can put them in harm's way.

    If the charges against him are bullshit, then why would any rational person think doing what he did would put him in harm's way? Either you were lying when you said you thought the charges were bullshit, or you're lying here.

    But at the end of the day, he was offered six months.

    Six months or 50 years, it doesn't matter when what he did was not wrong.

    So he has a felony conviction, BFD?

    When what someone has done is not wrong, and the only party with any possible imaginary harm has urged the state to drop the case, taking away any of someone's rights is a big fucking deal. Unless you don't care about someone's rights, which you've made abundantly clear you don't.

    Go. Fuck. Yourself.

     

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  120.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 8:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What we need is...

    The term "militia" didn't have the same meaning when the Bill of Rights was written as the common conception that the term has today. In that day the term referred to the entire body of EVERYONE (aka the PUBLIC) capable of keeping and bearing arms not an organized government bodies like the US Armed Forces or the state National Guards.

     

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  121.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What we need is...

    It was not only to protect the American government from foreign threats but also itself.

     

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  122.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Just what the hell do you think the EFF does most of the time?

     

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  123.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Gentlement, this is what corporate evil looks like.

     

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  124.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 8:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Ummm, he was actually looking at six months or less in Club Fed. Not exactly a reason to kill yourself and inflict such terrible sorrow on those who love you."

    The charges added up to over 50 years.

    The *plea bargain* that the feds refused to budge from included asking the judge for 7 years in jail.

    Six months is you making stuff up.


    You are such a shameless liar Masnick. His own attorney has said he was offered six months:

    http://boston.com/metrodesk/2013/01/14/mit-hacking-case-lawyer-says-aaron-swartz-was-offe red-plea-deal-six-months-behind-bars/hQt8sQI64tnV6FAd7CLcTJ/story.html

    http://www.nextlevelofnews .com/2013/01/prosecutors-husband-tomjdolan-aaron-swartz-was-offered-a-6-month-deal-by-buzzfeed.html

    Now go run away since you have again revealed to be a liar.

     

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  125.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 8:52am

    Re: Six Months

    You are right. Masnick is lying again.

     

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  126.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 8:56am

    Re: The whole point

    I agree with a TINY part of what he said in stating that this is how the game is played. The fact of the matter is that prosecutors are paid to be pitbulls and achieve a conviction at almost any cost just as defense attorneys are paid to find whatever means they can to do what is in the best interest of their client. That is the nature of litigation. However, the place where his arguments fall apart is in that prosecutors are PUBLIC servants who are charged with the task of using DESCRESSION and evaluating the merits of the case before they go down that path which is where there was an obvious failure here.

     

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  127.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Hmmm, you usually link to an article on Techdirt. I can't find any mention of an Aaron Swartz defense fund on Techdirt or record of you appealing to readers for donations or donating yourself. How could that be? You seem to have time for so much other drivel. So why don't you give me a link to the Techdirt announcement of a Swartz defense fund so I can apologize for missing it. I'll be waiting.

     

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  128.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 9:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Josh, the judicial system has become a game. I didn't turn it in to one, I simply characterize it as I see it. The prosecutors throw everything at the wall to see what sticks. That's why most cases are plea bargained (I think like 95% or more).

    Swartz knew what he was doing was illegal. He hid his face from security cameras because he knew his actions were unlawful.

    If you don't see the difference between six months and 50 years of incarceration, you are an idiot.

     

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  129.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 9:24am

    Re: heads must roll

    Since when has the government shown any level of moral accountablility in anything that they have done? What would ever have given you the idea that there was any?

     

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  130.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 9:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Hiding from security cameras isn't an admission of guilt. It an acknoledgement that what he was doing might have consequenses (such as harrassment) or try to be stopped even if it were perfectly legal. That's an awful big leap to say that he knew it was illegal especially when even now it's not certain that what he did was even illegal.

     

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  131.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Remember Customer Service

    I don't really care if he kills himself or not as long as he doesn't breed.

     

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  132.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ok so you didn't make it up yourself. You got it from the mouth of those responsible. Sure they claim NOW that they offered 6 months to him. Can you find any record of that offer being made from BEFORE his death?

     

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  133.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 10:09am

    Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    As Mike said, there was a defense fund...

    http://betabeat.com/2012/09/early-reddit-employee-wife-of-creative-commons-founder-larry- lessig/

    And it was started by Lessig's wife no less so you are completely off base on in claiming that he didn't try to help.

    PS. Note that this link is from BEFORE his death not some claim being made after the fact.

     

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  134.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 10:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Funny, Masnick never got around to promoting it on Techdirt. I wonder why? Seems like it would have been pretty easy to do and that Techdirt readers would be natural constituents.

     

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  135.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    No one can promote EVERY just cause. I've been around here enough to know that he promotes plenty even if he didn't specifically call attention to this one.

    Now how about that link where a 6 month deal was offered from before his death?

     

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  136.  
    icon
    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    the judicial system has become a game.

    No, the judicial system is simply a way of resolving disputes. Disputes between a government and its citizens, or between individual parties. While it should be about finding the truth, the best I can hope for is that it remains civil and fair. It is blindingly obvious that it was neither fair nor civil in this case. But it is not a game - and your characterization of it as such shows that you don't understand that it impacts the lives of real people. This is not abstraction.

    Swartz knew what he was doing was illegal. He hid his face from security cameras because he knew his actions were unlawful.

    Entering the wiring closet at MIT was illegal, yes. It was trespassing. Trespassing was not charged. As has been pointed out by lawyers and computer security experts, nothing else he did was illegal, and was at worst inconsiderate.

    Aaron was extremely intelligent and understood technology and the protocols of the internet at a very fundamental level. If he thought his other actions were illegal, why didn't he cover his tracks? Why didn't he encrypt his laptop? Why did he hack into MIT's network via untraceable (or at least difficult to trace) proxies? All of these were well within his skills.

    The fact that the only time he tried to hide himself was when he was trespassing into the wiring closet (and let me reiterate again that this was not charged) is very strong evidence that he didn't think his other actions were illegal.

    And I never said there was no difference between 6 months and fifty years. I said that the difference didn't matter - taking away someone's rights for actions which were not wrong is wrong no matter the length of time.

    Is the government taking away your right to freedom of speech because you're a lying sack of shit wrong if they only do it for a day?

     

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  137.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    You want us freetards to pay for something? I thought only your type paid for anything?

    Your logic is illogical.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  138.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Right, we are blessed with a full length article on the WH response to the deathstar petition but he can't manage to publicize and promote Swartz defense fund?

    I was wrong about the 6 month deal. It was actually 4:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/aaron-swartz-plea-deal-2013-1#ixzz2I4KY3gFM

     

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  139.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    How is that a evidence from prior to his death? Either show us a public statement from the prosecution stating that it was a 4 or 6 month offer from BEFORE his death or a link where his attorney acknowledges that these were the terms just stop.

     

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  140.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 11:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Still the judge in the case decides what is and isn't admissible in his court, and in this case that would be a statutory court judge not a federal one so the federal government can request it all they want but if the judge allows it to be introduced the feds can't really do much about it.

     

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  141.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 11:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Missed the part where he said it could not be made too public and actively asked for?

    Trash, that's what you are indeed.

     

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  142.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 11:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Are you stupid or just lazy?

    From the Daily Beast, which is linked in the citation I provided you earlier:

    “They’re very serious and their job is very serious and they’re very serious about it and this is a very serious matter and this is how it is going to be,” Peters says of the prosecution in the Swartz case. “They made their position very clear. They believed they had to seek prison time and multiple felony convictions in this case.”

    The best deal the prosecutors would offer was four months in prison with Swartz pleading guilty to 13 felonies. And they warned Peters that his client had better take it while he still could.

    “They told me over and over again that the offer had been on the table,” Peters says. “And any future offer would be less attractive.”


    Peters is Swartz attorney.

     

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  143.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 11:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Oh, so Larry Lessig's wife can set up a defense fund and solicit money but Techdirt cannot inform readers about it? Please.

    And wasn't it Lessig who said that it [a defense fund] couldn't be public and asked-for, yet that is precisely what his wife was doing? WTF?

     

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  144.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Peters didn't say that in that article. (Note that that statement is NOT a quote). The reporter says that was the best deal so you can't attribute that to being a Peters admission.

    Try harder.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  145.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    OK, still waiting for your citation.

     

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  146.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yep, that looks like the file.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  147.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 15th, 2013 @ 1:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    It was you that claimed Peters said that, not me. I have seen articles where the Ortiz's husband claims he was offered him 6 months, but that was AFTER his death and the shit storm started. I have yet to see on quote from before his death where the prosecution stated that they were offering him 6 months. I have also not seen an article where Peters is quoted (or even the reporter says that) Peters said that there was an offer of 4 or 6 months. Peters did apparently say that they told him they would pursue AT LEAST 7 years if it went to trial.

    http://www.wral.com/swartz-death-fuels-debate-over-computer-crime/11974285/

     

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  148.  
    icon
    shane (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 1:59pm

    Re: Re: Six Months

    There is such a thing in the world as being mistaken. For example, sorting through dozens of posts on the same topic to find the various plea bargains could be confusing.

    It is not, however, difficult to distinguish between violating a terms of service agreement and hacking into a network. Six months or six centuries, the government is lying and in the process of harassing a law abiding citizen has cost us the life of a brilliant young computer scientists and human rights activist.

     

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  149.  
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    Jay (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What we need is...

    ... What?

    You're joking right?

    The key issue about militias was that they were used to protect the "property" of slave owners. That's right. It was used so that militias could be formed to fight against slaves being free.

    The ones without guns were blacks. The ones with guns were the chemists looking to protect their form of cheap labor.

    This gave rise to the electoral college over popular vote which didn't like to think of slaves as anything other than 3/5ths of a person.

    No. The reason that our second amendment reads as it does is to promote slavery.

     

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  150.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are such a shameless liar Masnick. His own attorney has said he was offered six months:


    You are correct. I misread the statements from earlier. His lawyer does indicate that they were offered 6 months. I apologize for misreading.

    That said, if you don't think you've done anything wrong -- six months in federal prison PLUS multiple felonies on your record is hardly appealing.

    Besides, the details out there suggest that since he refused to plead guilty to the felony charges, they had indicated to him that they would push for many years in prison -- thus, once he had made the decision not to accept a felony plea bargain, he was indeed facing years in prison.

    You may not think that's stressful, but you'd be wrong.

     

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  151.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Six Months

    Yeah. I misspoke. Sorry about that.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  152.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 15th, 2013 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Just a guess but...

    Hmmm, you usually link to an article on Techdirt. I can't find any mention of an Aaron Swartz defense fund on Techdirt or record of you appealing to readers for donations or donating yourself. How could that be? You seem to have time for so much other drivel. So why don't you give me a link to the Techdirt announcement of a Swartz defense fund so I can apologize for missing it. I'll be waiting.

    I didn't announce it because that's actually NOT the kind of thing we write about on Techdirt. We don't ask people to donate to specific causes. We may ask people to speak out, but donations are a personal decision.

    Not sure why you think we should have written about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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