January 27, 2013

"Swartz didn't face prison until feds took over case..."

"The late Internet activist was facing a stern warning from local prosecutors. But then the U.S. Attorney's office, run by Carmen Ortiz, chose to make an example of Aaron Swartz, a new report says."
The report is likely to fuel an online campaign against Ortiz... An online petition asking President Obama to remove from office Ortiz — a politically ambitious prosecutor who was talked about as Massachusetts' next governor as recently as last month.
There's a hot campaign to destroy Ortiz. Note that there's also this other case where she's accused of "bullying" a motel owner, in what she calls "strictly a law-enforcement effort to crack down on what was seen as a pattern of using the motel to further the commission of drug crimes for nearly three decades." Ortiz is considering appealing in that case, and the Boston Herald has the headline: "Ortiz to motel owner: We’re not done yet." It's not like she said we're not done yet.  That's the newspaper's paraphrase of "We are weighing our options with respect to appeal."

Is the prosecutor getting bullied? If she were to commit suicide — Swartz-style — would everyone feel ashamed of what they did to her?

No one cries for a prosecutor.

90 comments:

campy said...

It's not like she said we're not done yet. That's the newspaper's paraphrase

It's not like Gerald Ford told NY to drop dead, either.

Saint Croix said...

The attempt to seize the motel was insane. The motel owner had committed no crime! Nothing! His motel was in a bad part of town, and there were drug busts at the motel. So she decided to go in and seize his business. Utterly disgraceful.

The suicide makes her appear mean and unsympathetic. But seizing the motel makes her seem lawless and dangerous.

Prosecutors without respect for the law are dangerous and should be smacked down, hard.

Saint Croix said...

I feel the same way about baby-killing Supreme Court Justices. The higher up you go, the more dangerous is the abuse. And the less likely they will be smacked down.

A court might smack down the prosecutor. But who will smack down the court?

Brent said...

Prosecutors -liberal Democrat prosecutors - are out of control in this country, stepping on civil rights and making names for themselves by destroying and overprosecuting Americans. From Eliot Spitzer to Eric Holder, the bad they do outweighs the good, and if we were rid of such narcissistic self-righteous leftist bullies this country and its future would immediately be far better off.

Brent said...

Prosecutors -liberal Democrat prosecutors - are out of control in this country, stepping on civil rights and making names for themselves by destroying and overprosecuting Americans. From Eliot Spitzer to Eric Holder, the bad they do outweighs the good, and if we were rid of such narcissistic self-righteous leftist bullies this country and its future would immediately be far better off.

ricpic said...

It's sheer hell when stupids rule.

Paco Wové said...

"One reason prosecutors file forfeiture cases is that proceeds from the sale of seized property can be used to fund the budgets of law enforcement agencies."

As long as we're asking questions... how is this not an inherently corrupt practice? (And yes, I realize it is common.)

CEO-MMP said...

The Tewskbury motel case was a disgusting example of the government at work.

As someone from New England who's followed it for a while now (years)--I can say with confidence that Ortiz (and all the other 'authority' involved (starting with the Tewksbury PD that stood to gain millions of dollars for it's budget from the sale of the hotel...uh huh...) deserves horsewhipping and whatever is worse.

Yes, Ms. Ortiz is guilty of being a bully. Yes, she's now experiencing push back because of it. Good. She should.

And you're quite right, Professor. If she did decide to hang herself, I wouldn't shed a single tear. I might applaud a little though. She's a disgusting worm--as are most if not all prosecutors or people with prosecutorial power (where I'm from, members of the local PD's are allowed, with a couple of weeks of training, to prosecute small cases, freeing up the county attorney to drink more coffee and such. Cops as prosecutors? Yeah, what could go wrong?

rehajm said...

The sense of entitlement to a waiver is an unintended consequence of David Gregory enforcement. So, no. No crying for Ortiz.

And Massachusetts governor? That's a step down on the career ladder for Ortiz. MA governor is mostly a constitutional monarch, dependent upon the felonious legislature for the appearance of power. It certainly isn't an obvious stepping stone to the national stage, is it?

bagoh20 said...

"Making an example" of a defendant is incompatible with American law.

Maguro said...

Hey, didn't Aaron Swartz already get a "stern warning" when they declined to prosecute him over the PACER case? How many stern warnings were they supposed to give him before realizing that stern warnings didn't deter him?

Fr Martin Fox said...

I can't say whether Ms. Ortiz deserves it, but certainly there needs to be a broad push back against our royal prosecutors.

I'd like to put out there an idea I am rolling around in my head.

If a legislature considers a law that includes criminal sanctions, should there not be a public discussion of what actual enforcement of the law would look like? Shouldn't we expect that the law be broadly--rather than selectively--enforced?

So what about this: what if such laws included a provision that specified a minimum level of enforcement? In, say, 40%--or 60%--of the cases where the law might be enforced, it must be?

Then, based on that expectation, the Attorney General (fed or state) had to produce a report for each proposed law that spells out what that would mean, both in numbers of people affected, and costs to the taxpayer?

My reason for insisting on a minimum level of enforcement is to avoid the problem of the government passing laws that sound great--until they hit ordinary folks. If only a few people ever get hit by a law, even if they get hit hard, it's easier for the politicians and prosecutors to get away with it.

Thoughts?

purplepenquin said...

The attempt to seize the motel was insane. The motel owner had committed no crime! Nothing! His motel was in a bad part of town, and there were drug busts at the motel. So she decided to go in and seize his business. Utterly disgraceful.

That happens all the time with motels all over the country.

'cause if there is one thing the Republicans & Democrats (& our blog hosts?) agree on, it is that the War on Drugs is a goooooood policy.

EDH said...

The motel owner's lawyers allege "there was actually more drug activity at surrounding addresses and suspected the government was going after Caswell, who has no criminal record, because his mortgage-free property is worth more than $1 million."

As with the Swartz case, federalizing the case made a difference in terms of jeopardy, and had an additional corrupting influence in Caswell's case.

In Massachusetts, the state law recognizes that others might use property in ways that are unlawful and not consented to by the owner. To avoid cases just like the Caswell’s, Massachusetts state law limits the seizure of property to the narrow circumstances in which the property owner “knew or should have known” that it was “used in and for the business of unlawfully manufacturing, dispensing, or distributing controlled substances.” To use a motel “in and for the business of” these unlawful purposes is clearly not what has ever happened at the Motel Caswell. State law certainly did not intend for innocent property owners to have their life’s work taken because the occasional low-level drug user or dealer rented a room under false pretenses, using it secretly until such time as the owners discovered and alerted authorities to the illegal activity.

By running to the federal government, however, and taking advantage of its more lax standards of proof, equitable sharing allows the Tewksbury police to ignore the policies written into law by the Massachusetts legislature and hold on to a million dollar payout from forfeiture...

Nonetheless, using federal civil forfeiture law, enforcement agencies are able to keep all of the property and currency they take to pad their own budgets. This direct financial incentive was put into federal law in 1985. Prior 1985, federal forfeiture proceeds did not go automatically to the seizing agency but went to the general revenue fund of the United States, where Congress then decided how such revenue would be appropriated to law enforcement or to other government functions.

Before 1985, forfeiture revenue was modest. After the profit incentive was put into the law, forfeiture revenue exploded—and it has been growing ever since. In 1986, the year after the U.S. Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund was created—the fund that holds the forfeiture proceeds from properties forfeited under federal law and available to be paid out to law enforcement agencies—took in just $93.7 million. Today it holds more than $1.6 billion. Through so-called “equitable sharing agreements,” federal law extends this profit incentive to state and local law enforcement agencies. In equitable sharing cases, the DOJ may pay up to 80 percent of the proceeds of forfeiture to state and local law local agencies.

campy said...

Cops as prosecutors? Yeah, what could go wrong?

Wait 'til they let them be judges and juries too.

edutcher said...

Big Sis' big mouth notwithstanding, hacking is becoming not only a national security issue, but one of those Lefty preserves where they feel they can do anything in the name of "justice" and get away with it.

On that one, I'm on her (Ortiz', not Sis') side.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Paco:

Forfeiture redounding to law enforcement budgets is corrupt; but I can recall when we were passing "get tough" laws in the 80s and 90s, these things were highlighted as benefits to the taxpayer and deterrents to criminals.

Without letting the prosecutors off the hook, to some degree voters are to blame; many of us were quite willing to support "getting tough." I am sorry to say I wasn't giving it much thought at the time.

Noz pkr said...

Prosecutorial Discretion.

Read: Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process when everything is a crime.
By Glenn Reynolds

Prof. Althouse... your thoughts on same?

CEO-MMP said...

Father Fox: I feel the same way about initially supporting the Patriot Act. We live, hopefully we learn.

Not all of us, obviously, but maybe enough.

Chef Mojo said...

But seizing the motel makes her seem lawless and dangerous.

But does it? Did Ortiz break any laws with that prosecution? No? Then why is anyone surprised that a zealous prosecutor is enforcing the letter of the law? People elected other people to make these laws, without paying a whole hell of a lot of attention to the consequences of having those laws. "Seem lawless" is not the same as "lawless" by any stretch of the imagination.

If Ortiz broke the law with these prosecutions, then by all means prosecute her. If not, then vote for people to change the fucking laws you don't like.

Fr Martin Fox said...

Chef:

Fair enough, except that to the extent prosecutors have discretion--and they have to--then they are accountable for how they exercise that discretion.

Matthew Sablan said...

If the motel owner had hung himself instead of an internet celebrity who liked to stick his thumb in the eye of people journalists dislike, she wouldn't be known as a bully at all.

rhhardin said...

Questionable judgment is big in Massachusetts. It worked for Martha Coakley.

Big Mike said...

That's the newspaper's paraphrase of "We are weighing our options with respect to appeal."

I think the newspaper translated the lawyer-speak correctly. Ortiz will file an appeal unless her superiors decide to step in.

Chef Mojo said...

Fr. Martin,

True, but discretion is just that. It can reside within a range of the law, which is why prosecutors can choose to ignore some offenses and push the envelope on others, as they so choose.

The point is that the law makes this possible, for many of the reasons you just pointed out.

Sometimes, what is moral and what is the law are not related in the slightest.

There are both unintended and intended consequences of passing the laws on the books which sometimes come back to bite some people in the ass.

Mitchell the Bat said...

"Aaron's Law."

Bleeeech.

Mogget said...

Put me down for no sympathy for prosecutors. They get to live with the consequences, intended or otherwise, of the actions just like the rest of us

Fr Martin Fox said...

So I restate my question: what if new laws included a requirement of a minimum level of enforcement--and the AG had to produce a report, before passage, spelling out the effects of such enforcement?

CyndiF said...

The attempt to seize the motel was insane. The motel owner had committed no crime!

Ah, but you see, that's the beauty of asset forfeiture. The lawsuit was not against the owner, it was against the motel! United States v. 434 Main Street, Tewksbury, Mass is the name of the case.

Okay, I was ready to criticize Ortiz over the Schwartz case, but now that you tell me she is also the one in charge of the truly awful Caswell case, I'm ready to lead the tar and feather brigade.

Pogo said...

"Is the prosecutor getting bullied? If she were to commit suicide — Swartz-style — would everyone feel ashamed of what they did to her?"

She is the State, and citizens have no way of bullying the State.

She is a bully, and thus abandon any proscription of bullying. That'd be like a parent-murderer demanding leniency for being an orphan.

And this is an example of what I said yesterday, that the law is not awesome, except in the ancient meaning of a heartless capricious vindictive juggernaut.

This is an example why I no longer have any respect at all for the law or the courts. It's all just political bullshit or theater or midget throwing.

CJ Roberts is my prime example. He did the same thing as the motel case, redefining words to fit his agenda. Lawlessness and mendacity.

glenn said...

"No one cries for a prosecutor."

Nor should they. Carmen and others of her ilk have the full power of the state behind them. Because she's a liberal Democrat using her position to protect her supporters the media gives her a pass. The Left labored long and hard convincing the rest of us that "The Man" and "The Establishment" were Facist and corrupt. Now when they get a dose of their own medicine TFB.

caplight45 said...

The prosecutors are increasingly out of control, without common sense or the wisdom to use their prosecutorial discretion. All levels: local, state and feds.

bagoh20 said...

I certainly don't support this kinda thing, but getting tough in the 90's has made a huge difference to crime rates. We are now, in many places, as law-abiding a population as we have ever been in history. It's to the point now where our biggest crime problems are with the officials in law enforcement, law, and government. Lets get tough again. This time it's up to us directly, not someone else. Use your vote to get rid of corruption, not to send silly little messages.

The Drill SGT said...

f Mojo said...
But seizing the motel makes her seem lawless and dangerous.

But does it? Did Ortiz break any laws with that prosecution? No? Then why is anyone surprised that a zealous prosecutor is enforcing the letter of the law?


I would like the prosecutor to be consistent, even handed, and show some common sense.

If a prosecutor is zealous and consistent, i may not like it, but I can live with it.

What appears "lawless" as a shorthand, is a prosecutor that capricously applies laws in fashions that are 'creative" and not consistent with the legislative intent. Alternately, one that goes outside the courtroom, using the press to blackmail public figures that are not guilty of anything. (e.g. Spitzer)

pm317 said...

Swartz was a vocal critic of Obama (and his kill list). May be Ortiz was trying to get in good graces with Obama by prosecuting this guy.

Chef Mojo said...

@The Drill SGT:

I would like the prosecutor to be consistent, even handed, and show some common sense.

So would I. But I'm not surprised when they don't.

What appears "lawless" as a shorthand, is a prosecutor that capricously applies laws in fashions that are 'creative" and not consistent with the legislative intent.

Then it's up to the legislators to make their intent known by writing better, clearer laws that reflect their intent. Those writing the laws have a responsibility to make clear their intent in the law itself. Otherwise, they leave room for a zealous - or overzealous, if you like - prosecutor to push the envelope - Not break the law, mind you - on the enforcement of that law.

ironrailsironweights said...

Is the prosecutor getting bullied? If she were to commit suicide — Swartz-style — would everyone feel ashamed of what they did to her?

It's more likely that hundreds of people would gather to masturbate on her grave.

Peter

bardseyeview said...

The motel owners owned that motel, worth about $1 million, free and clear. That's why Ortiz wanted it, and that's why she pursued the case while ignoring greater rates of drug activity at nearby businesses that were encumbered by mortgages.



kentuckyliz said...

Is the hotel owner a white guy? If so, then this was justice, beeyotch.

jr565 said...

Maybe she should off her self. That way she can be a martyr to defeating the bullying tactics of Anonymous who drove her to her grave. And then the prosecutors can add murder charges to all if snonymous while wearing Guy Fawkes masks.

Mark said...

So, her political career is toast. Considering how she has conducted herself as a Federal Prosecutor I'm more than okay with that.

Pogo said...

That motel deserved to be hanged until it was dead, dead, dead for its crimes.

jr565 said...

What did the clash say?
I fought the law and the law won.
It tends to do that.

MadisonMan said...

There was a motel here in Madison -- the Highlander -- that my brother actually stayed at back in the 80s, I think -- that became a drug magnet, so the Police claim. At least, they could document a lot of drug-related calls there. At some point, isn't it cost-effective to buy the motel from the owner, and raze it, as happened here, putting and end to the cost of Police Enforcement there? I'm not sure how much $$$ was being spend by the Police at that motel, or how much was spent to get rid of it.

I'm unfamiliar (thankfully) with the case in MA, and it reads, here, as more extreme and intrusive than the Highlander case here. I agree that drug forfeiture laws are corrupting, but at least it allows Cops to buy SWAT trucks/paraphernalia so they look AWESOMELY COOL when they drive up to a hostage situation. (Yes, that was sarcasm).

Jose_K said...

"for all who take the sword will perish by the sword"

Darrell said...

Eliot Spitzer sent SWAT teams onto sovereign Indian land to seize computer records for cigarette sales, holding everyone at gunpoint, and the Left didn't say peep. Billy Jack held the door.

Darrell said...

Asset forfeiture will be the primary cudgel used after National Gun Registration, like it was in Australia. Would you risk losing your home if a gun was found after they demanded you turn it in (Step 2)? Remember, you already told them you have it.

Aridog said...

The Drill SGT said...

What appears "lawless" as a shorthand, is a prosecutor that capriciously applies laws in fashions that are 'creative" and not consistent with the legislative intent.

A good example of that is the enforcement of the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, which can be prosecuted solely on hearsay evidence. And has been. Its sponsor, Rep Senator Sessions says that was never the intent....never the less, for a soldier long past ETS a "rumor of crime" is all it takes.

Chef Mojo said ...

Then it's up to the legislators to make their intent known by writing better, clearer laws that reflect their intent ...[snip]... they leave room for a zealous - or overzealous, if you like - prosecutor to push the envelope - Not break the law, mind you - on the enforcement of that law.

Great theory, and one I support. However, no matter how "specific" the law is written, as the act cited above is, it can still be "pushed" far beyond the intent...such as re-weaving hearsay into circumstance presumed as evidence.

For that matter, what our weak kneed Chief Justice did with the very simple English word "Penalty", which Congress intentionally used in the ACA, by redefining it as a "tax". Therefore, now and forever more a charge or fee levied for non-performance of something can be a "tax?" That opens a dangerously wide door for the powers of taxation. Tax used to apply to performance of some kind, until Roberts fellated the Executive Branch, caving to Jacksonian threats.

Aridog said...

Another issue with the Aaron Swartz case that really pisses me off. Just like the Bradley Manning case, no charges are leveled against the enablers of the breeches.

With a modicum of knowledge of database administration, I know [beyond a shadow of doubt] in military cases that breeches are 90% enabled by lazy and inattentive Db Administrators, particularly with the assignment diligence of "roles & permissions." The same flaw applies to MIT's policies regarding access apparently.

In short, PFC Manning had the same roles & permissions granted a 4 star general. A PFC with blanket access to State Department databases....totally absurd. Swartz visits MIT and has access to their proprietary database(s) even though he is not a student nor officially connected to MIT in any other sense...equally absurd and lazy administration.

Where are the charges against the military DBA's in the Manning case, and against the MIT dolts in the Swartz case. Where's the "guilty association by default" vigor on the prosecutions part?

garage mahal said...

A computer illiterate prosecutor with aspirations for higher office prosecuting an incredibly vague and antiquated computer abuse law. Seriously, what could go wrong!?

The law should be updated and changed, and Holder should have answer for the conduct in this case. Neither of which will happen.

virgil xenophon said...

I have to agree w. garage here. It seems the prime legal hook they hung him on was violations of "terms of service." NO ONE reads those things in their entirety and also NO ONE can operate one's PC or use the internet w.o. agreeing to multitudes of them. To allow private corporations to essentially define criminal law in this way all on their own hook is a VERY VERY bad idea and poor/dangerous public policy..

William said...

I didn't read much about the Swartz case, but it does seem apparent that his suicide was an over-reaction on his part. He had not been tried much less sentenced. If you're going to protest the mills of justice, at least let them grind you down a bit. Also his suicide would have been more effective if he had doused himself with gasoline and and set himself on fire on her front lawn. That would have really made her feel bad and shown the world how awful she truly was. If you're committing punitive suicide, do it right.

McCartney Wealth Management LLC said...

In Bob Bennett's autobiography, he talked about David Acheson, Dean Acheson's son, being sworn in by Felix Frankfurter for the US Attorneys job in DC. Frankfurter told him, "Always remember that you carry a great power to ruin people's lives and livelihoods and exercise that power with care and conscience." Here, Ortiz did not. Bennett states that "I only wish that more prosecutors followed that advice today." Being married to a former state prosecutor, I cannot agree more. Fed prosecutors have no checks and balances. See http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/mag_article/the_roach_motel/

Original Mike said...

Sorry. I'm getting sick and tired of prosecuters beating up on people for the furtherance of their own political ambitions. No sympathy from me.

EMD said...

What did the clash say?
I fought the law and the law won.


Sonny Curtis wrote it first. Bobby Fuller was the first to sing it.



EliRabett said...

Now some, not Eli to be sure, might think that the load of crap that hit Ortiz and her Sancho Panza Heymann were the “special deterrence” that the public needs to use on feral prosecutors. The Internet has changed the asymmetry of “special deterrence” and prosecutors had better pay attention before there are more of their political ambitions roasting on the spit of public notice.

RigelDog said...

The interjection of suicide is a red herring. I "feel sorry" for most suicides; it represents a tragedy and a failure of some sort. We should be concerned--nay, outraged--by prosecutorial overreach regardless of whether or not the targets have the personal fortitude to emerge alive and unbowed.

Maguro said...

I have to agree w. garage here. It seems the prime legal hook they hung him on was violations of "terms of service." NO ONE reads those things in their entirety and also NO ONE can operate one's PC or use the internet w.o. agreeing to multitudes of them. To allow private corporations to essentially define criminal law in this way all on their own hook is a VERY VERY bad idea and poor/dangerous public policy..

That's disingenuous. Swartz had his IP blocked twice on MIT's wireless network for exceeding JSTOR's download limits, then went into a comm closet (hiding his face) and plugged into the netork switch so he could keep downloading documents. It's hardly a case of skipping over some fine print legal mumbo-jumbo checkboxes and breaking the law unwittingly.

Swartz was quite aware that he was breaking the law, in fact, disobeying a law that he felt was unjust was whole point of the exercise. The only problem was that he expected to get slapped on the wrist (maybe another "stern warning") and prosecutors were insisting on real punishment. But that's always a chance you take when you decide to go and break the law.

Brew Master said...

Is the prosecutor getting bullied? If she were to commit suicide — Swartz-style — would everyone feel ashamed of what they did to her?

No one cries for a prosecutor.


No one cries for them because they hold the power of life or death over every American. When they abuse that power they become tyrants. No one should cry for tyrants, even if they off themselves, they should Cheer and Celebrate.

Defendants earn sympathy, because guilty or not, in the cases cited here the prosecutor was being a tyrant.

Aridog said...

Maguro ... no question in my mind Swartz was intentionally breaking the law, as was Manning. My issue is with the DB administrators who do not manage their access roles & permissions for need to know adequately, if at all. How and why did Swartz have any access on JSTORE/MIT? How did he gain access to the "comm closet" where the switches reside? No locks and/or encryption devices on the door?

Temporarily blocking an IS is probably the weakest least effective tool a DBA has...obvious now, of course.

Unknown said...

edducher, I'm heartily sick of "national security" as justification for every damned usurpation of our rights and abuse of our persons and seizure of property.

I'll swap national security for individual liberty, thank you very much.

Put your national security in Spitzbergen in December, if you follow me.

Aridog said...

Brew Master ... I, for one, have zero empathy for defendants, or prosecutors...it is not up to me to decide guilt or innocence. What hacks me off is that these acts still occur and nobody seems to get it why? Where are the negligence charges for those who enabled, by stupidity or lazy omission, the defendants' crimes? Being stupid is obviously a "defense" these days.

Hell, presuming stupidity in others is also a defense if you witness the excuses for erroneous statements vis a vis Benghazi by Obama, Rice and Clinton. The presumption is that no one, who has any audience, has ever served as a duty officer or ever had to relay incident reports in real time....that, or that we're too stupid to recall it.

Maguro said...

My understanding is that Swartz had a JSTOR account due to his relationship with MIT. He logged in legitimately, then proceeded to run a data-scraping program that circumvented JSTOR's download limits - you're only allowed x documents per day. They blocked his IP, then his MAC address, he went out and bought another laptop and they went through the process all over again. Then he got into the network closet and tried running data-scraping program again. After that, the cops caught him.

I don't think the comm closets were locked. But the network administrators took a number of measures to block him from doing what he did and he probably could have stopped anytime up to entering the comm closet without repercussions, but clearly he wanted to get caught. Just not punished.

Aridog said...

Maguro said...

My understanding is that Swartz had a JSTOR account due to his relationship with MIT.

What was that relationship? I missed it if publicized. As for the roles & permissions that I harp on, how was his access defined between various data categories? MIT may have done a cursory job, but none-the-less inadequate. My opinion, YMMV.

Revenant said...

I thought, and still think, Swartz deserved to be prosecuted.

But the government's attempt to seize that motel is completely disgraceful.

Maguro said...

His father is a professot at MIT. And I'm sure he signed the same network user agreement as everyone else when his account was created. But why does any of that matter? His behavior in this case, as well as his previous run-in with the law over the PACER database, are pretty clear evidence that he knew what was doing was illegal. Not that ignorance of the law is an excuse, anyway.

Unknown said...

Maguro said, "His father is a professot at MIT. And I'm sure he signed the same network user agreement as everyone else when his account was created. But why does any of that matter?"

Allow me to fix that for you:
What difference, at this point, does it make?

Aridog said...

Maguro and Unknown ...let me answer that "why does it matter" question for you. It matters because databases are insecure due to management errors, plain and simple. Swartz's daddy worked for MIT, great....now what specific need to know roles & permissions did that accord Aaron?

My bet would be they gave Aaron the same R&P's as his daddy....just like the DBA's gave a PFC the same R&P's as a four star general because he worked in that general's office. Total idiocy and DBA malfeasance.

Both Swartz and Manning were/are guilty as hell, in my opinion, however they were enabled by fools who only later became offended.

Robert Cook said...

No one should cry for a prosecutor.

Aridog said...

For those who don't know what "roles & permssins" are, as I perceive them (based upon a decade or two of using them) it is fairly simple:

Roles = definitions of functions that require a need to know for given sets of data.

Permissions = the access codes that enable the access based upon appropriate role(s).

Normally these R&P's are attested to as necessary by senior managers or officers, on two levels.

I say "normally" because my experience has all too often been that DBA's assign R&P's in clumps of personnel, rather than individually. Of course, then, all ur sekrits belong to whomever.

elkh1 said...

"If she were to commit suicide — Swartz-style — would everyone feel ashamed of what they did to her?"

Good riddance.
Bullies don't commit suicides though.

Alex said...

Cry for the Prosecutor, Robert. This Scwartz fellow had no respect for private property or law. He should have been strung up by his balls to set an example to all the other hackers.

SOJO said...

No one cried for Germans either when the tide turned and many were killed in revenge.

I will say this about Ortiz, she is a successful representative of the system, rather than a 'rogue' prosecutor as she is often called in articles. The system promoted her and glorified her based on how well she represented it.

However, just as she received promotions, salary, retirement, and status from being a good little servant of a corrupt system ( while those who, on principled grounds, choose to not serve such a system did not) when a flaw is exposed and publicized, I think it is fair that she suffer the consequences just as she benefited.

traditionalguy said...

The Federal Prosecutors are not safe people. They want us to FEAR them at all times.

Alex said...

Easy, don't do the crime and you won't do the time. Just sit tight in your cubicle/pod and don't try to be a hero like Schwarz.

donald said...

Purple Penguin is right. One thing governments lurves is some drug war heroism.

Doesn't matter who Lessen you're Gary Johnson.

Unknown said...

Aridog explains "...let me answer that "why does it matter" question for you. It matters because databases are insecure due to management errors, plain and simple."

Perhaps management ought to wise up and tighten their security procedures. I don't leave the key in my car and expect the county prosecutor to keep someone from stealing it.

SOJO said...

@Alex Like this guy, was NSA analyst, now works at Apple Store again courtesy of Obama DoJ:

(via @ggreenwald) The War on Whistleblowers: Thomas Drake now works as a clerk in an Apple Store - and he's the lucky one: http://is.gd/lj6Tig

http://go.bloomberg.com/political-capital/2012-10-17/obama-leak-crackdown-turns-high-paid-expert-into-hourly-clerk/

Aridog said...

SOJO ... I have direct personal experience as a whistle-blower...inside the military no less. I broke no laws, civil or UCMJ. My intervention impaired no readiness or functionality, only interrupted a bureaucratic boondoggle. It is excruciatingly arduous to cover your tracks technically and you have to trust some people...in my case a particular Congressman and his staff. They never to this day revealed my identity. Never involve your friends or associates, for your sake and theirs.

You make such choices if you get tired of being lied to or being expected to lie for others. In addition, if you have been falsely accused [AR 15-6 Board of Inquiry prefacing an Article 32 finding] in the past without full acquittal [permanent adjournment], it makes you a contrary soul.

Aridog said...

Alex said ...

... don't try to be a hero like Schwarz ...

Absolutely, stay inside the law and realize secrecy is your only defense. Anticipating or seeking "hero" recognition is a flaw that will burn you.

traditionalguy said...

And if Martin Luther had hidden his identity then the Germans rebelling against Roman Italian hegemony would never have known who translated the scriptures and neither would they have united in the Augsburg Confession printed and distributed using Gutenberg's invention.

hawkeyedjb said...

"If she were to commit suicide — Swartz-style — would everyone feel ashamed of what they did to her?"

No.

If she were to commit suicide — Swartz-style — would you throw a party and piss on her grave?

Yes.


Aridog said...

Trad Guy ... I have no pretensions that my actions rise to the level of Martin Luther's. No need for confession or publicity in my case...the right effect occurred without personal publicity.

DEEBEE said...

Check her politics. BEt she is not liberal enough.

PETER V. BELLA said...

Swartz was offered a lenient plea deal. He chose to take the cowards way out. No one but Swartz was responsible for his death.

ErnieG said...

@bagoh20 said...

"Making an example" of a defendant is incompatible with American law.


Wait until Cuomo's gun control law goes into effect and is met with massive resistance. I predict that we will see spectacular examples made pour encourager les autres.

Eustace Chilke said...

No one cries for a prosecutor.

People feel little sympathy for crocodiles either. Crocs have to eat but we don't have to make them prosecutors.

Aridog said...

PETER V. BELLA said...

No one but Swartz was responsible for his death.

Agreed. He earned his charges, but MIT/JSTORE will learn nothing because they don't get it that they enabled Swartz.

As for Manning, beside me thinking it'd be nice if he did a "Swartz" and save us a ton of money bringing him to trial, there is no excuse, under the UCMJ, that the DBA's are not charged with dereliction of duty....they gave away US secrets, both military and State Dept....Manning just took them as offered.

RJ said...

Federal prosecutors are, largely, evil.

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