doctorow at March 21st, 2014 23:02 — #1
ldobe at March 21st, 2014 23:32 — #2
That kind of phrasing should disqualify this ass-hat AG from bringing charges. If he claims he can't understand the nature of the alleged criminal action, then how can he possibly justify his charges?
jim_r at March 21st, 2014 23:37 — #3
Well, if the AG doesn't understand, then it's just like if Weev pointed the Calutron at the Sun and caused a suernova, isn't it?
(yes, I was just looking at the Girls of WWII operating the calutrons at Oak Ridge)
samthebutcher at March 21st, 2014 23:42 — #4
Reading the source and seeing the context makes this far less dramatic. It's a habit I encourage, but it can make you a bit suspicious of the middleman...
phasmafelis at March 21st, 2014 23:46 — #5
A reminder, again and I'm sure not for the last time: Weev is absolute human scum and I don't know why he wasn't in prison already for repeated criminal harassment, death/rape threats, etc. (Well, I do know, it's because none of his victims want to risk pressing charges and attracting his and his friends' attention again.) The hammer was dropped on him for this AT&T business because he needs to be put away and this is the only thing they could pin on him, kinda like Al Capone going down for tax evasion.
If you feel like it sets a terrible precedent to twist the law like that, that's fair, and you're in good company--at least one of Weev's victims feels the same way. But let's remember that this is at best a matter of good law, principle, and precedent, not the big bad government scheming to ruin a poor innocent hacker. Aaron Swartz he ain't.
boundegar at March 22nd, 2014 00:08 — #6
See? What did I tell you? If you're not terrified then you hate freedom! And blow up nuclear plants too! Freedom plants!
noahdjango at March 22nd, 2014 01:49 — #8
I appreciate this perspective, and I have no issue asserting that weev is an asshole. but, Capone withheld declaring income from the IRS, which is an actual law. This was proved in court, and the judge nailed him. If they want to put weev away on a sidereal type of infraction, that's great. But going to a webpage without hacking anything to go there, and then analyzing the info posted therein isn't--or at least shouldn't be--illegal. I have no interest in internet usage becoming illegal. I'd much rather see weev released than see precedent set for prosecuting someone because oligarchs can't be bothered to secure their business properly.
doctorow at March 22nd, 2014 02:28 — #9
Al Capone going down for tax-evasion didn't require the AG inventing a novel theory of tax-evasion that would have criminalized millions of law-abiding people, and getting a judge to agree with that theory.
Weev does indeed seem to be pretty terrible, but the comparison between the tax-related charges against Capone and the AG's theory of CFAA is not apt.
The AG's theory is that clicking a link, or changing a URL in your browser-bar, is a federal crime for which you should do many, many years' hard time, if what you find after you change the URL or click the link is embarrassing to a big company.
I'll stipulate for the sake of argument that weev may be a criminal, but this is not his crime, and creating jurispridence that makes it into a crime puts people like Aaron Swartz -- and many others, including you and me -- at risk.
What it would do is create enormous prosecutorial discretion: it would turn most Internet users into presumptive criminals. That means if there's someone that the prosecutor didn't like for other reasons, he would be able to threaten his targets with harsh charges and long sentences unless she took a plea (>97% of federal indictments end in a guilty plea).
Who are the most common victims of this kind of prosecutorial intervention? People who are already vulnerable: poor people, people of color, LGBTQ people, etc.
Weev may be a jerk, and he may be a criminal, but if we allow those facts to make bad caselaw, we disporportionately jeopardize the people who are already in the worst position in the justice system.
Hard cases make bad law.
greyeyedman at March 22nd, 2014 03:31 — #10
euansmith at March 22nd, 2014 05:49 — #11
Apparently a side effect of Calutron operation was shrinkage.
euansmith at March 22nd, 2014 05:53 — #12
Ah, you are one of those extremist middle-ground takers!
acerplatanoides at March 22nd, 2014 08:19 — #13
do you mean the award winnion fictionalist who penned the headline?
whining about that is getting old.
acerplatanoides at March 22nd, 2014 08:23 — #14
Nation of laws, not a nation of men. Laws.
miasm at March 22nd, 2014 08:54 — #15
LOL @ "all sorts of things"
He had to do all sorts of things—I don’t even understand what they are.
-Assistant US Attorney Glenn Moramarco
ocschwar at March 22nd, 2014 11:47 — #16
No, but the reason prosecutors felt willing to hound Swartz is that they were working in an environment that let them press charges they don't even understand and expect juries to convict, as shown by this case.
eksrae at March 22nd, 2014 12:55 — #17
"He must have done something wrong" was a perfectly good excuse for prosecution in the Deep South, so I don't see why it shouldn't apply here. After all, this is America, isn't it?
phasmafelis at March 22nd, 2014 13:12 — #18
"Fictionalism" is great in fiction. It's not so great when you're purporting to deliver the news.
phasmafelis at March 22nd, 2014 13:16 — #19
Now, I did say that wanting Weev pardoned is a perfectly reasonable stance.
But "he must have done something wrong" is a pretty naive way to describe this guy. He delights in ruining people's lives and brags about it, in great detail, online and to reporters. This isn't some trumped-up accusation, it's straight from his own mouth.
It's totally reasonable to think that it's not worth destroying good law to bring a single person to justice, no matter how bad he is. Weev is one man in a nation of millions. But understand that this is about good law, not about an innocent betrayed.
danegeld at March 22nd, 2014 13:18 — #20
"Absolute human scum" is a denouncement worthy of North Korea! It's almost a Godwin. I wonder what he did? do you have sources for his alleged other crimes / infractions?
danegeld at March 22nd, 2014 13:35 — #21
Case in point : you could set up http://ww.boingboing.net/ to have secret happy mutant data and a footnote saying that anyone who accesses the page is guilty of an offence under the CFAA and has caused you >$10,000 damage, thus making them subject to extradition to stand trial in the USA. I think it's more important that this guy is not put away for a non-crime even if he should be tried for something different, because wholly innocent people could easily commit the same act. America let Fred Phelps have his liberty throughout his life, and Phelps was one of the most egregious people for whom bending the law to put away someone with abhorrent views could almost seem justified. If Weev is guilty of defamation or similar then he should be tried in a civil court on the evidence
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