Aaron Schwartz

Dear Friend,

Aaron Schwartz was one of CREDO's allies in the fight for social justice. Aaron was well known as a computer programmer and entrepreneur, but we knew him as an advocate who was ready to stand with us against torture when few others were willing to publicly criticize the Obama administration.

In the end, the justice Aaron sought for others was denied to him by overzealous prosecutors abusing a vague law on computer fraud. In a country where not a single banker has gone to jail for driving our economy off the cliff, prosecutors using the absurdly broad powers of the outdated Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) to criminalize online activity were threatening to put Aaron away for decades. Facing legal harassment and serious prison time, Aaron took his own life a month ago.

We have signed Demand Progress' urgent call to Congress to reform the CFAA so what happened to Aaron won't happen to another activist. We hope you will read their message below and consider signing your name, too.

Becky Bond and Matt Lockshin
CREDO Action


CREDO  Action


A NOTE FROM AARON'S PARTNER, TAREN:
 
On January 11, 2013, facing decades in prison on trumped up charges, my partner, Aaron Swartz, made the tragic choice to take his own life. He was only 26. 

Aaron's supposed crime? He was accused of checking out too many articles (4.8 million), too fast, from an online academic library called JTSOR, to which he had authorized access. He never used or distributed the articles and later returned them. For that, he faced 35 years behind bars and endured two years of relentless persecution. 
 
 
The outdated Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) made this tragedy possible by giving absurdly broad powers to corporations and prosecutors to criminalize an array of online activity. That includes breaching a website's terms of service — that long fine print you "agree to" but never read. 

All of us who knew and loved Aaron never want to see anyone suffer this kind of abuse of power again. So, we're urgently calling on Congress to reform the CFAA.

Please join us by clicking here and telling your lawmakers to fix the CFAA. 

Aaron was an innovator, entrepeneur, and social justice advocate who co-authored RSS 1.0 (the web's format for sharing and distributing content) at the age of 14, co-founded the social news website Reddit, and led the fight to stop SOPA and PIPA — the internet censorship bills. 

His fight to stop SOPA and PIPA started with a petition just like this one, so we know this can work. In fact, there's already been a strong, bipartisan reaction to Aaron's death and legislation is in the works to reform the CFAA right now. But it won't happen without a big public push. 

We can't get Aaron back, but can you help us honor his memory by signing this petition and sharing it with everyone you know?  
 
 
Then use these links or forward this email to ask your friends to join the cause:
 
[fb] If you're already on Facebookclick here to share with your friends.
[fb] If you're already on Twitter, click here to tweet about the campaign: Tweet
 
Thank you for listening. 
 
— Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman
© 2013 CREDO. All rights reserved.

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