Posted by: John Erickson | July 23, 2013

Senator Leahy’s position on Aaron’s Law and CFAA Reform

Recently I wrote each member of Vermont’s congressional delegation, Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch, regarding Aaron’s Law, a proposed bill named in memory of the late Aaron Swartz that would implement critical changes to the notorious Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) (18 U.S.C. 1030). As usual, Senator Leahy responded quickly and with meat:

Dear Dr. Erickson:

Thank you for contacting me about the need to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). I appreciate your writing to me about this pressing issue.

In my position as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I have worked hard to update the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in a manner that protects our personal privacy and our notions of fairness. In 2011, I included updates to this law in my Personal Data Privacy and Security Act that would make certain that purely innocuous conduct, such as violating a terms of use agreement, would not be prosecuted under the CFAA. This bill passed the Judiciary Committee on November 22, 2011, but no further action was taken in the 112th Congress. I am pleased that others in Congress have joined the effort to clarify the scope of the CFAA through proposals such as Aaron’s law. Given the many threats that Americans face in cyberspace today, I believe that updates to this law are important. I am committed to working to update this law in a way that does not criminalize innocuous computer activity.

As technologies evolve, we in Congress must keep working to ensure that laws keep pace with the technologies of today. I have made this issue a priority in the past, and will continue to push for such balanced reforms as we begin our work in the 113th Congress.

Again, thank for you contacting me, and please keep in touch.


United States Senator

Thanks again for your great service to Vermont and the United States, Sen. Leahy!


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