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View Diary: Firing Swartz Prosecutors (TWO hackers have committed suicide on their watch): Why It's Not Easy (128 comments)

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  •  I've signed it but I agree with 'emptywheel' (29+ / 0-)
    OK, But Can We Also Fire Lanny Breuer?
    Not only has Obama’s Administration treated all those who liberate information without his government’s sanction as dangerous criminals, but his DOJ has been ruthless against just about everyone who is not a Wall Street Executive.
    Jesslyn Radack–who knows how aggressively Obama’s DOJ has targeted those who free information as well as anyone–discusses the legal futility of trying to go after Stephen Heymann. But she also notes that the real remedy to prevent more people from experiencing what Swartz did is to start fixing DOJ.

    What might be more realistic is for citizens to demand that the Senate Judiciary Committee exercise meaningful oversight over the out-of-control Justice Department, which has waged an unprecedented, unaccountable, brutal war on whistleblowers and hackers, and to create something akin to the Church Committee to investigate the improper monitoring and targeting of hackers, whistleblowers, Occupy participants, journalists, and a numerous other groups of non-violent “offenders” who’ve done nothing to harm anyone or the country, and have been acting purely in the public interest.

    It would be a good start (though SJC Chairman Patrick Leahy has been lax in examining any Obama Administrations abuses).

    But there is one action Obama could take today that would both address some of the problems with his dysfunctional DOJ and attest he means to change things systematically: Fire DOJ’s Criminal Division head, Lanny Breuer.

    Lanny Breuer is not the only reason Obama’s DOJ has been so aggressive (though he has been instrumental in ensuring it ignores bank crimes). There are far more senior and far less senior people who have fostered DOJ’s overreach. But Breuer runs this system. Moreover, as the head of this system of prosecutorial overreach, he has actually explicitly rewarded abuse.

    If we want to fix the injustice that was done to Aaron Swartz, we need to fix the aspects of the system that rewarded such behavior. We need to fix the law that empowered the prosecutors gunning for him. We need to put some breaks on DOJ’s power. And we should start by getting rid of the guy who has fostered this culture of abuse for the last four years.

    (emphasis mine)

    without the ants the rainforest dies

    by aliasalias on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 11:20:40 AM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  I'd like to know why Secret Service (19+ / 0-)

      took over the investigation.

      According to the Secret Service website, they get involved in computer crime investigations in limited situations, and downloading academic papers from JSTOR fits none of the criteria.

      But if you go and look at the testimony of the Secret Service before Congress, you might find the answer there. In April 2011, Special Agent Pablo Martinez testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism. The purpose of his testimony was to inform the subcommittee about measures to coordinate and investigate computer crimes which could result in economic loss. Buried in that testimony, there is this:

          The Secret Service developed a multifaceted approach to combating cyber crime by: expanding our Electronic Crimes Special Agent Program; expanding our network of Electronic Crimes Task Forces; creating a Cyber Intelligence Section; expanding our presence overseas; forming partnerships with academic institutions focusing on cybersecurity; and working with DHS to establish the National Computer Forensic Institute to train our state and local law enforcement partners in the area of cyber crime. These initiatives led to the opening of 957 criminal cases and the arrest of 1,217 suspects in fiscal year 2010 for cyber crime related violations with a fraud loss of $507.7 million. The arrest of these individuals prevented an additional loss estimated at $7 billion dollars and involved the examination of 867 terabytes of data, which is roughly the equivalent of 867,000 copies of the Encyclopedia Britannica. As a result of these efforts, the Secret Service is recognized worldwide for our investigative and innovative approaches to detecting, investigating and preventing cyber crimes.

      Yeah, I bet it is. And so far, two suicides to notch on their bedposts.

      Question: Is the Secret Service flexing it's muscles, exercising it's new found power " forming partnerships with academic institutions focusing on cybersecurity; " etc etc.?? What was their role in the extremely aggressive prosecution of Aaron's case? Did they push the investigation, and did they play a role in how far the prosecuting attorney was willing to go to make an example of Aaron?
      Anyone? Bueller....?
      (emphasis mine)

      "When the powerless are shut out of the media, we will make the media irrelevant" ~♥~ Anonymous ~♥~

      by Lisa Lockwood on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 01:29:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Pat Leahy chairs Senate Judiciary. (19+ / 0-)

      He was one of the chief sponsors of SOPA, which Swartz's activism managed to stop, and Democracy Now! yesterday played a recording of a speech of Swartz's, in which he recounted how he stopped SOPA.  Swartz talked about speaking to a liberal Senator, asking him why he supported something like SOPA, and the senator reacted with fury, explaining how Internet people thought they could get away with anything, and he was going to see that they were stopped.  I think that unnamed senator almost certainly was Leahy.

      The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

      by lysias on Tue Jan 15, 2013 at 02:21:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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