Companion bipartisan bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to amend the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). The legislation was inspired by the late Internet innovator and activist Aaron Swartz, who faced up to 35 years in prison for an act of civil disobedience. Senator Wyden said:
“Violating a smartphone app’s terms of service or sharing academic articles should not be punished more harshly than a government agency hacking into Senate files,” [apparently referring to a CIA report acknowledging it infiltrated Senate computers]. “The CFAA is so inconsistently and capriciously applied it results in misguided, heavy-handed prosecution. Aaron’s Law would curb this abuse while still preserving the tools needed to prosecute malicious attacks.”
- Wyden, Lofgren, Paul Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Aaron’s Law to Reform Abused Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Senator Ron Wyden, Press Release (April 21, 2015).
Aaron’s Law’ focuses penalties on malicious hackers, By Cory Bennett, The Hill (04/21/15 04:17 PM EDT).
SECTION-BY-SECTION SUMMARY of Aaron’s Law Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
H.R.1918 – To amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for clarification as to the meaning of access without authorization, and for other purposes.
S.1030 – A bill to amend title 18, United States Code, to provide for clarification as to the meaning of access without authorization, and for other purposes.