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She went vastly beyond what was required of her in charging him with a whole litany of offenses, several of which Congress most likely didn't intend to apply to situations like this (CFAA to TOS violations).

This was because Aaron was a bit of a gadfly, and had gotten out of the PACER situation earlier, so he was already on their enemies list.

Congress was also at fault for passing a bunch of stupid laws, but that doesn't excuse Ortiz. It also doesn't excuse Aaron for killing himself and not getting help. There's plenty of blame to go around.




I don't know how much more simply to state this:

As a consequence of prosecutorial "discretion" exercised during the jim crow days of the segregated South, federal prosecutors do not have discretion about which laws to prosecute. Once they have been presented a case, they are required to prosecute if the presentation of evidence is sufficient to suggest that a crime has been committed.

Only upper management of the DOJ (i.e., above Ms. Ortiz) or the president can issue orders not to enforce certain laws.

Thus, this does excuse Ms. Ortiz. She's just doing her job. If you don't like that, change the scope of her job by getting her superiors to end enforcement of the laws at issue.


You seem to be a lawyer, and I'm not, so thanks for your information. I know a lot more about computer security theory and practice than the US federal laws; there are pretty clear lines way before "crime" which I try to stay within, myself.

As far as I can tell, CFAA was not violated, at least under the narrow (i.e. correct) interpretation of the 9th circuit. There is a circuit split right now. 1st hasn't ruled at all, so she could easily have looked to the 9th for guidance on this and not included CFAA charges.

There was no "protection" at MIT or at JSTOR, so I don't see how fraud or unauthorized access, etc. applied. He scraped a website. He may have trespassed at MIT. If net-18 restriction is considered "protection", wtf (certainly a server on a secure LAN is protected by being only on the secure LAN, but a server limited to US-only access and accessed via a proxy is not. IMO Net-18 is a lot closer to national restrictions at YouTube than a security policy, since any guest could walk in and have access.

I don't see "recklessly damaging a computer" as applying at all. Wire Fraud is essentially free always.

Turning these into multiple counts for the same offense is also BS.


He may be a lawyer, but he is completely wrong in this and most of his other assertions.

Justice.gov. Verbatim quote "The USA is invested by statute and delegation from the Attorney General with the broadest discretion in the exercise of such authority."

http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/tit...

  The United States Attorney, within his/her district, has 
  plenary authority with regard to federal criminal matters. 
  This authority is exercised under the supervision and 
  direction of the Attorney General and his/her delegates.

  The statutory duty to prosecute for all offenses against 
  the United States (28 U.S.C. § 547) carries with it the 
  authority necessary to perform this duty. The USA is 
  invested by statute and delegation from the Attorney 
  General with the broadest discretion in the exercise of 
  such authority.


You are flatly wrong. Please stop posting misinformation.

"The USA [US Attorney] is invested by statute and delegation from the Attorney General with the broadest discretion in the exercise of such authority."

http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/tit...

  The United States Attorney, within his/her district, has 
  plenary authority with regard to federal criminal matters. 
  This authority is exercised under the supervision and 
  direction of the Attorney General and his/her delegates.

  The statutory duty to prosecute for all offenses against 
  the United States (28 U.S.C. § 547) carries with it the 
  authority necessary to perform this duty. The USA is 
  invested by statute and delegation from the Attorney 
  General with the broadest discretion in the exercise of 
  such authority.

  The authority, discretionary power, and responsibilities of 
  the United States Attorney with relation to criminal 
  matters encompass without limitation by enumeration the 
  following:

  Investigating suspected or alleged offenses against the 
  United States, see USAM 9-2.010;

  Causing investigations to be conducted by the appropriate 
  federal law enforcement agencies, see USAM 9-2.010;

  Declining prosecution, see USAM 9-2.020;

  Authorizing prosecution, see USAM 9-2.030;

  Determining the manner of prosecuting and deciding trial 
  related questions;

  Recommending whether to appeal or not to appeal from an 
  adverse ruling or decision, see USAM 9-2.170;

  Dismissing prosecutions, see USAM 9-2.050; and

  Handling civil matters related thereto which are under the 
  supervision of the Criminal Division.




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