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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

From 'wargames' to Aaron Swartz: How ­.s. Anti-Hacking Law Went Astray

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WarGames movie

WarGames' fictional depiction of a teenage hacker who nearly started a global thermonuclear war electrified Washington, D.C., leading to an anti-hacking law that ensnared the late Aaron Swartz.

Credit: MGM/United Artists

Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who committed suicide while facing the possibility of a felony criminal conviction, was prosecuted under a law that was never intended to cover what he was accused of doing.

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