Carmen Ortiz’s rap sheet shows how federal prosecutors tend to run amok

Carmen Ortiz’s Sordid Rap Sheet
By Christian Stork on Jan 17, 2013

The suicide last Friday of information activist, computer hacker and technical wunderkind Aaron Swartz has focused attention on Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, whose overzealous prosecution may have led to his death. Swartz, co-founder of a website later acquired by Reddit as well as a prime developer of the online publishing infrastructure known as Rich Site Summary (RSS), was under federal indictment for logging into JSTOR—a database of scholarly articles accessible from universities across the country—and downloading its content with the intent to distribute the articles online free of charge.

Despite JSTOR’s subsequent securing of the “stolen” content and refusal to press charges, Swartz was arrested by the feds and charged originally with four felony counts under the 1986 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. On those charges alone, Swartz was facing a possible 35-year sentence and over $1,000,000 in fines. Just three months ago, a “Superseding Indictment” filed in the case by the U.S. attorney’s office upped the felony count from four to 13. If convicted, Swartz was looking at possibly over 50 years in prison: a conceivable life sentence.

Ortiz, the politically ambitious U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, spearheaded the prosecution against Swartz. “Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar,” Ortiz proclaimed in a 2011 press release. Her point man in the case was Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Heymann, a specialist in computer crime and son of Philip Heymann, the United States Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton administration. Stephen Heymann led the 2010 investigation into Albert Gonzalez, theTJX hacker, in the largest identity fraud case in history. Heymann’s office suspected that one of the unindicted co-conspirators named in that criminal complaint—“JJ”—was Jonathan James, a juvenile hacker who also killed himself two weeks after his house was raided.

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3 thoughts on “Carmen Ortiz’s rap sheet shows how federal prosecutors tend to run amok”

  1. After reviewing many of Carmen’s cases there is a noticeable pattern of her choosing the weakest people she can find to prosecute. Especially in the case where she seized a citizens property without any criminal charges being filed

  2. Was MIT perhaps bowing to a corrupt criminal justice system and corrupt federal court system? Aaron’s legal download of court records from PACER initiated a watch and government harassment. Further, and again, there was no hacking! There was no stealing! There was abuse of power and purposeful misinterpretation/stretching of the laws with a goal to eventually ban Aaron from computers. The only criminals in this instant matter are the ones being supported by the tax payer who have decided that they and they alone are exempt from the laws of this nation. BTW your corrupt legal community and corrupt federal court system make Bernie Madoff look like a piker. Pretense litigation with civil suits and malicious prosecutions in criminal matters to pad attorneys pockets and the pockets of corrupt public servants is routine! Why has Carmen Ortiz and the FBI/DOJ not taken action with documented proof that public servants use computers paid for by the tax payer to run pretense litigation and that their little capers include the identity theft of Circuit and US District Judges along with fraudulent docket entries and the rendering of bogus opinions and judgments to obstruct justice. Gee if Aaron had been able to continue his efforts on getting ALL court records free to the public the ruses in these courts would be evident and the game would be over. WHY did CARMEN ORTIZ AND MIT go after the one person that could expose alleged criminals that she had no intention of prosecuting. Nothing from our courts or any government agency can be trusted. Never in the history of this country have we needed at the current critical level actual OPEN GOVERNMENT and utilization of the FOIA. Aaron Swartz was a thorn in the side of a corrupt government and a VERY CORRUPT FEDERAL COURT SYSTEM!!! Harassment over the PACER incident simply led Aaron to pursue another form of information release where as an academic he knew common sense would prevail because who in their right mind was going to object to EDUCATION? Well apparently alleged criminals objected because they now had a way to bar Aaron from computers. Carmen Ortiz do your damn job and go after real criminals? [“Decency, security and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen. In a government of laws, existence of the government will be imperiled if it fails to observe the law scrupulously. Our government is the potent, omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches the whole people by its example. Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for the law, it invites every man to come a law unto himself. It invites anarchy.” (United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438 (1928). Justice Louis Brandeis]

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