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The Internet’s Own Boy: A Discussion of U.S. v. Aaron Swartz and the Prosecution and Defense of Cyber-Crime


This program will feature clips from the Oscar-shortlisted documentary The Internet’s Own Boy and a discussion of the prosecution of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide in January 2013 while facing a federal indictment. Among the topics to be discussed:

  • Is the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act too broad in the discretion it gives to prosecutors?
  • Does the threat of CFAA prosecutions create a chilling effect on academic and political speech and inhibit disclosure of information in the public interest? 
  • How might the CFAA be reformed to address these concerns, while still protecting against genuinely harmful computer crimes?


  • Elliot Peters, Keker & Van Nest Partner who represented Aaron Swartz
  • Brian Knappenberger, filmmaker and director of The Internet’s Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz
  • Jennifer Granick, Director of Civil Liberties for The Center For Internet and Society at Stanford Law School
  • Charles Stevens, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California and currently a Partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Moderator: Dan Purcell, Keker & Van Nest Partner who represented Aaron Swartz

The reception will begin at 5:30 p.m. The program will be from 6:30-8:00 p.m.