The Wall Street Journal Quotes Stewart Baker on MIT Hacker Case

January 25, 2013

The Wall Street Journal quoted Steptoe partner Stewart baker, a former assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, in an article titled “Web Activist's Suicide Highlights Tech Law.”  The article, published on January 14, discusses the recent suicide of Internet activist, Aaron Swartz, before he was to face felony charges for allegedly using the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s computer network to illegally download about five million academic-journal articles.

In regard to the broad federal laws for prosecuting such computer crimes, Mr. Baker says the law’s key phrases prohibit accessing a computer “without authorization” or in a way that “exceeds authorized access.”

“All you could say is that a computer crime is doing something wrong with a computer that you weren’t supposed to do,” he says.  “When you write a crime that broad, the risk is it will be used too creatively by the Justice Department.”

The full article can be read at The Wall Street Journal.