Posts Tagged: Free Internet
17

The Questions Following Aaron Swartz's Death

The suicide of Aaron Swartz last week has brought attention to a lot of things in need of immediate and substantial change: the unchecked power of ambitious, self-serving federal prosecutors; the curious disconnect between the ferocity with which those prosecutors hunted down a 20-something political activist, and their respectful reluctance to disturb the potentates of Wall Street; the absurdity of our current copyright laws; ditto, the outmoded laws still on the books with respect to "hacking."

There's also an important point to reiterate. I've seen a number of angry commenters on Twitter and elsewhere claiming that JSTOR "has blood on its hands." This is false. JSTOR declined involvement in [...]

81

Was Aaron Swartz Stealing?

Since the July 19th indictment of Aaron Swartz for surreptitiously whooshing nearly five million JSTOR documents onto a laptop concealed in an MIT network closet, there's been a lot of codswallop written about JSTOR, about Aaron Swartz and about the public's right to access documents in the public domain. A 24-year-old computer prodigy and political activist, Swartz has been caricatured as either a hero or a villain; likewise JSTOR. The U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts, Carmen M. Ortiz, who brought the charges against Swartz: she might be a bit of a villain, okay. Information wants to be free, it's been said. But whether this means free of charge or merely [...]