US v. Auernheimer

US v. AUERNHEIMER | No. 13-1816 | 3d Cir. July 8, 2013 | The Cyberlaw Clinic filed this amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Digital Media Law Project, in support of defendant-appellant Andrew Auernheimer, arguing that Auernheimer’s conviction for violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act should be overturned.  The charge against Auernheimer was escalated based on his alleged disclosure of information to a news website, thus violating the New Jersey computer intrusion statute.  By relying upon the New Jersey statute as a predicate offense, the brief argues, the court below punished Mr. Auernheimer for engaging in speech protected by the First Amendment.  As noted in the brief, “the First Amendment bars the escalation of penalties for the publication of true and newsworthy information under any circumstance that does not fall into any existing exception to First Amendment protection,” and “absent satisfaction of First Amendment scrutiny, the escalation applied in this case is unconstitutional.”

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