January 14, 2013

Aaron is you

Rss, Creative Common, Reddit are just some of the web-revolution that Aaron help to develop.
Then Openlibrary, and Demand Progress against the bills Sopa/Pipa.

Aaron was 26 years old.

There are lives that make the world a better place. Just like Mishima, he died for his idea.
And this is glorious.

“A true suicide is a paced, disciplined certainty. People pontificate, "Suicide is selfishness." Career churchmen like Pater go a step further and call in a cowardly assault on the living. Oafs argue this specious line for varying reason: to evade fingers of blame, to impress one's audience with one's mental fiber, to vent anger, or just because one lacks the necessary suffering to sympathize. Cowardice is nothing to do with it - suicide takes considerable courage. Japanese have the right idea. No, what's selfish is to demand another to endure an intolerable existence, just to spare families, friends, and enemies a bit of soul-searching. The only selfishness lies in ruining strangers' days by forcing 'em to witness a grotesqueness.”
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas

This is the case of Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide at the age of 26, at his home in Brooklyn, New York.

To bring the champion of freedom of information, or rather of free access to information, it was a terrible combination of government bullying and depression.

Just his dedication to the struggle for a freer Internet and public access to information have made him an ideal target for the anti-hacker police.

Here's what happened. In the fall of 2010 Aaron wrote a script to download via the MIT wireless network, nearly five million academic articles stored on the Digital Library JSTOR. It was discovered by MIT and arrested by the Massachusetts attorney for computer fraud. He was released only after payment of a deposit of 100 thousand dollars.

In the summer of 2011 JSTOR declare he didn't want to pursue Aaron, who had returned all the downloaded materials , and asked the government to drop the charges (and two days before the suicide of Swartz, JSTOR also announced that it would make available free of charge different million articles).

"The death of Aaron is not only a personal tragedy. But the product of criminal justice", openly writes the family on the site in memory of the young: "The decisions taken by officials from the prosecutor's office of Massachusetts and MIT have contributed to his death. The prosecutor's office has accused him of an exceptional sequence of criminal charges that could have led to more than 30 years in prison for an alleged crime he did not victims. And in the meantime, unlike JSTOR, MIT has refused to defend Aaron."

We need to stop to hunt people, who are trying to help to move into the digital age.
"At the time of his death, Swartz, if convicted, faced a maximum of $1 million in fines and more than 35 years in prison after the government increased the number of felony counts against him from 4 to 13....."
From Wikipedia

"Swartz was charged by U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer, in relation to downloading roughly 4 million academic journal articles from JSTOR. According to the indictment against him, Swartz surreptitiously attached a laptop to MIT's computer network, which allowed him to "rapidly download an extraordinary volume of articles from JSTOR."

Prosecution of the case continued, with charges of wire fraud and computer fraud, carrying a potential prison term of up to 35 years and a fine of up to $1 million.
Despite JSTOR having dropped all civil charges, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen P. Heymann and Scott L. Garland pursued the criminal case against Swartz under U.S. attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, who justified the charges by stating "stealing is stealing, whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars."
The case tested the reach of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, which was passed in 1984 to enhance the government’s ability to prosecute hackers who accessed computers to steal information or to disrupt or destroy computer functionality. The government, however, has interpreted the anti-hacking provisions to include activities such as violating a Web site's terms of service or a company's computer usage policy, a position a federal appeals court in April said means "millions of unsuspecting individuals would find that they are engaging in criminal conduct." The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, in limiting reach of the CFAA, said that violations of employee contract agreements and Web sites' terms of service were better left to civil lawsuits. The rulings by the 9th Circuit cover the West, and not Massachusetts, meaning they are not binding in Swartz's prosecution. The Obama administration declined to appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Aaron is you, is me, is everyone.  Free your papers!

Free your paper, Free your credentials and share your knowledge for free!  use the #sharecredentials to share your credentials for limited-access data-bases use the #pdftribute to share your papers   by using the bookmarklet here http://aaronsw.archiveteam.org/ and your JSTOR account you can "liberate" one paper   Tweet #icanhazpdf  ARTICLE_URL or DOI;


  1. Guess, it's about time that the government stop for a while and take a moment in hearing out what their people is screaming for a long long time now. Aaron is just one of the few people who chose the path of death to let the higher hear out what he could say about the gaps and flaws in this kind of system.

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