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The Boston Globe



With the threat it poses, cybercrime cries out for prosecution

That Aaron Swartz committed suicide is tragic. Not because he was brilliant, but because all suicide is. His decision, however, should not corner the discussion about how we deal with cybercrime (“Inquiry widens into Swartz prosecution,” Page A1, Feb. 28). My view is that Swartz commited suicide because he was mentally unstable, not because he was overprosecuted. Given what’s ahead of us, I don’t think we can overprosecute cybercrime.

Does anyone doubt that the most heinous crimes in the years to come will be conducted over the Internet? Whether it be person on person, person on company, company on company, company on government, or nation on nation, the threat that hacking poses is greater than any we have previously known.

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We can’t stop it any more than we’ve been able to stop other forms of crime, and it’s difficult to catch perpetrators, but we should punish it harshly. There is an allure to hacking, and if we don’t do all we can to stop it, there will be no point in locking anything up.

Stephen R. Tarbell


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