Conspiracy to Hack: the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Free Speech, and Data Journalism

Conspiracy to Hack: the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, Free Speech, and Data Journalism

This panel discusses the intersection of computer crime law and the First Amendment, and what it means for the public.

In April, the US government indicted Julian Assange for allegedly conspiring to hack into government computers. The move quickly triggered debate about how the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) applies to his actions and whether the government’s position threatens journalists’ work with sources. The CFAA’s breadth and the government’s aggressive use of the statute have sparked controversy before. Its use against activist Aaron Swartz, for downloading academic journals, led to his suicide. In 2016, Matthew Keys, a journalist at the LA Times, was imprisoned for violating it.

LOCATION: SVC 203-02 (Senate side of the Capitol Visitor Center)
DATE: 06/05/2019
TIME: 2:00 PM
WHO:
• Esha Bhandari, staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union,
• Ramya Krishnan, staff attorney at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University,
• Gabe Rottman, technology and press freedom project director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and
• David Segal, executive director of Demand Progress.
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