On Friday, the U.S. government filed its brief in the appeal of Andrew “Weev” Auernheimer, who was convicted of federal hacking charges for downloading hundreds of thousands of customer e-mail addresses from AT&T’s Web site. The government says the conviction was proper, but many security researchers and civil liberties advocates argue that the conviction would set a dangerous precedent. Confused? Read on.
Weev’s real name is Andrew Auernheimer. He’s a security researcher and Internet provocateur who is facing felony hacking charges. No one, including Auernheimer himself, would describe him as a nice guy. But his case raises important questions about the freedom to conduct computer security research and to use software to gather information online.
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