Introducing Aaron’s Law, A Desperately Needed Reform Of The Computer Fraud And Abuse Act

Zoe Lofgren and Ron Wyden | Wired | June 20, 2013

The Internet is up for grabs.

Foreign countries want to control it. Military regimes use it to spy, to oppress, and to attack public and private institutions. ‘Big Content’ sought to censor it and dismantle its architecture. Law enforcement and intelligence agencies want to mine and monitor it. Powerful incumbent business interests seek to shape it in ways that benefit their bottom line but undermine the national interest and the interests of individuals worldwide.

In each of these areas, there is debate in Congress about how to respond. We need an informed public debate to ensure lawmakers make the right choices that fully preserve the vital openness of the Internet and the privacy and civil liberties of its users. Reforming the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) should be a part of that debate.

The CFAA is a sweeping Internet regulation that criminalizes many forms of common Internet use. It allows breathtaking levels of prosecutorial discretion that invites serious abuse. As Congress considers policies to preserve an open Internet as a platform for ideas and commerce, reforming the CFAA must be included.