Support Aaron’s Law

Those of you who have been following my blog posts about Aaron Swartz, please consider going to Demand Progress’s website and expressing your support for Aaron’s Law.  They have it set up so you can send a letter to your lawmakers with one click.

Here’s what Aaron’s Law would do:

  1. You know those license agreements you always click the “I agree” box next to on every piece of software ever?  Right now if you accidentally break one of those, it’s a felony.  The proposed law would decriminalize such violations; instead those agreements would be treated as contracts, with any disagreements handled in civil court (as they should be).
  2. There’s also a request to the Oversight Committee to open an investigation into possible prosecutorial misconduct in the Aaron Swartz case.

Demand Progress has a lot more detail on both these points, and it only takes a few seconds to register support for this law.  Please consider doing so!

8 thoughts on “Support Aaron’s Law

  1. val

    please unblock tor users. (i looked for a snowden post to append this to, but you don’t seem to have any. aaronsw Z”L will more than suffice, he was a big tor booster! aaron contributed code to the tor project; and the tor project dedicated the 0.2.4.x release series to his memory, stating in the release notes, “[Aaron's] death is all the more painful because he was one of us”.)

    you are probably not aware, but on a large proportion of tor exits i am getting the following terse, condescending, and ungrammatical message:

    Access denied. Your IP address [xx.yy.uu.vv] is blacklisted. If you feel this is in error please contact your hosting providers abuse department.

    it is not just for comments. it is for any http request at all to your site, including your homepage. as a result, i cannot even read your site. i unscientifically estimate guess at least 80% of exits i try are blocked. here is a sample of problem ips; feel free to check them:

    * 95.130.9.89
    * 37.220.35.61
    * 46.165.221.166
    * 77.247.181.165
    * 5.104.224.246
    (all as of 2014-08-24)
    (if you want this easier to read, please add list-related tags to your permitted html whitelist.)

    i am guessing that it is either a wordpress plugin (which you likely control directly) or something on your webhost’s server or even load balancer (which you likely don’t – open a ticket).

    i am sick of this bullshit. i recently got blocked by cloudflare from a big-name privacy advocate’s personal (nonwork) blog. like you, the blog’s author probably doesn’t even realize it. like your unidentified blockbot, the cloudflare block page is condescending. cloudflare lectures me that i should scan my computer for viruses; well really, how do you suggest i scan tails for viruses?

    fuck spammers + fuck cloudflare and many other “anti-abuse” services waging a quiet war on tor. the disease is bad, but the “cure” is really part of a larger war on privacy. if i ever make a blog it will be .onion only, so in effect you will be blocked without tor!

  2. val

    i don’t experience this when logged in, so it is probably a wordpress plugin.

    of course, accessing the login page itself could be problematic.

  3. slhuang Post author

    Thank you for the heads up! You are absolutely correct that I did not know this was happening. I will look into it right away and try to figure out how to fix it.

  4. val

    i appreciate such a pleasant response from a site owner, rather than the usual “shoo shoo tor paranoid freak” or “if you don’t do anything wrong, why do you hide” kinds of treatment i’ve unfortunately found commonplace.

    by the way, please disregard my previous comment about being logged in. i recently got blocked while logged in from 194.150.168.95. it may well be your “upstream”.

    if you want, i do have a modicum of tech knowledge in these matters and would be happy to help.

    thanks again!

  5. slhuang Post author

    Oh, I would never respond that way — I used to browse using Tor myself before it sadly became too impractical for what I had to do day-to-day. It’s unacceptable to me that the blog is doing that to Tor users.

    I’ve been swamped this week but as soon as I have the time to do it I’ll see if I can replicate the errors and systematically try disabling the WP plugins. If that’s it I can probably figure it out myself; if not I may take you up on your offer of tech help. :) In either case, thank you very much for both the offer and the heads up. (And my apologies for not being able to get on it immediately; it’s one of those times when this sort of thing would have to come out of my sleep, but I’ll work on it as soon as I can.)

  6. val

    I used to browse using Tor myself before it sadly became too impractical for what I had to do day-to-day. It’s unacceptable to me that the blog is doing that to Tor users.

    oh, it’s gotten bad enough that arma (roger dingledine) recently posted “a call to arms” on this very topic. his choice of words!

    interestingly, i haven’t hit any blockage the past few times i’ve visited your blog. when i complained hereinabove, it really seemed like most exits were blocked. the only plausible explanations i can think of are either (a) you did something to fix it, or (b) i am just really lucky the past few days, or (c) tor activists rising up on arma’s “call to arms” serendipitously happened to contact whatever block service has its tentacles in your server. the latter seems not too unlikely. arma was serious. this is really hurting tor, as you seem to have noticed yourself.

    i suggest that if you care about these issues, it is in any event important to ascertain happened here. if it’s a wp plugin, you may want to keep an eye on it – and if it’s your upstream, it is important for them to know that their customers want tor exits to be unblocked and stay unblocked in the future.

    by the way, if you’re a former tor user – just an update – tor has been hit by some troubles in the past half-year. heartbleed (which hurt everybody who links openssl), RELAY_EARLY attack (tinfoilhat), blocking of exits on the rise. there are smart people putting hard work into tor and other privacy technologies; but there are never enough of them, and anybody who cares about privacy is kind of a perpetual underdog in today’s world.

    to me, the worst part is public apathy. the *ahem* powers that be took a hefty blow last year, and privacy became fashionable for the first time; iirc tor usage doubled in august 2013 alone. however, the general public is not typically characterized by a long attention span; as far as i can see, things seem kind of balanced on the knife’s edge right now.

    anyway… thanks again for looking into this. i’ll keep watching this space – if i’m not blocked, that is. :-)

    And my apologies for not being able to get on it immediately; it’s one of those times when this sort of thing would have to come out of my sleep,

    really, don’t apologize and don’t lose sleep! it’s just so pleasant to see somebody actually give a damn. i should perhaps be the one apologizing for bringing probable extra… attention down on your blog. not something to laugh at nowadays. :-(

  7. val

    i fear even my cautiously guarded optimism jinxed me. just got this:

    Access denied. Your IP address [195.154.226.66] is blacklisted. If you feel this is in error please contact your hosting providers abuse department.

    exonerator

  8. slhuang Post author

    Hmm, I finally got time to address this and couldn’t replicate the error. It seems from your experience that it’s intermittent, so I’ll try again later.

    I’m moving my blogging to a different place very shortly anyway, but I’ll be keeping the archives here and I certainly don’t want them having this problem. Since you suspect it’s a plugin issue, maybe I’ll just freeze everything and disable all the plugins I have going.

    Thanks again for the heads up. I’ll keep checking.

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