US Hounded Reddit Founder to DeathAdded: Monday, January 21st, 2013
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Current Events
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extratorrent.com
The United States has been known for hounding people to death for a while now. Recently, a web prodigy Aaron Swartz became its another victim: he killed himself under the weight of bogus court actions.
The US government continues carrying out campaigns against people identified by them as hackers. It doesn’t even need evidence or even a crime in these cases. All they need is to play the legal system until the victim folds and accepts a deal for a crime they never committed.
Aaron Swartz, 26, was known by many as a web activist and a co-founder of Reddit. Two years ago, the American government indicted the “hacker” for downloading about 5 million documents from online academic journal library JSTOR. Although Aaron had legal access to the library’s files, he also broke into the networks of nearby MIT in order to pull the content. This gave the Department of Justice an excuse to throw the book at him.
Last fall, Aaron returned to court to plead not guilty to charges of wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining data from a protected PC, and damaging a protected PC. The government threatened Swartz with 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Ironically enough, JSTOR, which never held it against Swartz, now offers limited free access to its content.
Aaron Swartz was a prodigy. He was only 14 when he co-authored an early version of RSS. A bit later he helped to create Reddit, and when the latter was purchased by Conde Nast in 2006, Aaron engineered his own dismissal and got cashed out. However, he miffed some powerful heads in government: 3 years ago, he hacked an online database of court records and downloaded 20 million documents. In addition, security spooks were also unhappy about his work for the Avaaz Foundation, a non-commercial Internet movement dedicated to “bring people-powered politics to decision-making everywhere”.
Two years ago, Aaron Swartz founded Demand Progress – a people powered lobby which worked hard to defend Internet freedoms against such bills as SOPA and PIPA. It wasn’t surprise that he was clearly on the radar. The US government characterized what the “hacker” did in the most extreme way, announcing that what he had stolen was worth millions of dollars. The continuous threat of jail time and the stress following it was believed to be what led Aaron to kill himself – he wrote about bouts of depression on his blog.
January 21st,2013Posted by:
Monday, January 21st, 2013
|he chickened out tho sadly. killing ones self is never the answer.|
|to bad he proly got killed|
|posted by (2013-01-22 08:26:32)|
|Oh.. sometimes I am curious what you want to ramble on about, but these are so painful to read. How about we start an English education fund for SaM? Maybe throw in some extra courses in critical thinking and journalistic fact checking.|
|The guy did good things, sure. But that doesn't make breaking into computer systems he didn't have lawful access to a justified action.|
I'm sick and tired of these guys who make a KNOWING decision to live their life on the edge of legality, and engage in actions they KNOW to be illegal, and then cry out about how persecuted they are when they are caught.
He did it once, and then did it again, the second time with the full knowledge of what kind of trouble he'd face.
I respect what the guy did as far as the lobbying, and reddit, and his other contributions to our internet society, but he's got to own his own actions, and his own place in the world. He put himself there, he knew he was committing a criminal act of disobedience as a means of protest, and he should have been prepared to do what those who engage in public disobedience always have to do, face the consequences.
And rather than face up to it, and be a man, he took the cowardly way out. If he wasn't ready to face the consequences, he should have thought of that not only the first time he hacked into a system unlawfully, but for sure the second time.
Hell, he was only going to have to serve 6 months. Martha Stewart served more than that just fine. He could have easily handled that and came out looking more of the hero, for taking action for something he believed in, knowing the consequences, and accepting them, in the hopes of bringing about change.
|posted by (2013-01-22 09:25:41)|
|@ all posters who view suicide as 'cowardly' - you're wrong and misguided.|
American law needs to be revised so harassment is not able to be used as a sentence in the stead of a legal trial which requires EVIDENCE.
I am so sick of humans and their bs way of bullying, badgering, money-grubbing, forced ignorance and primitive war mongering.
RIP Aaron Swartz.
Thanks for the article Sam.
|@No_One, it is a cowardly act. And prosecuting someone for violating the law isn't "harassment." He was 3 months away from having his trial, had he choose not to accept the VERY VERY generous plea bargain of 6 months, a slap on the wrist really. He chose to deprive himself of his trial.|
Suicide is a cowardly and selfish act. He imposed far more hurt and anguish on those in his family and his close friends than he was under himself by doing this. As I said, 6 months was a small price, one he should have been proud to pay if he truly had the courage of his convictions that he claimed to have. He would have served 157 days of that 180 day sentence tops, and likely much less.
Blaming his suicide on the government is ludicrous.
The family is mourning, and looking for anyone to blame but Aaron himself, I get that, and I excuse them for it. They get a pass for avoiding the reality.
But everyone else is trying to turn this guy into a martyr, and THAT he certainly isn't.
|thanks extratorrent @Sam for shAring the information you share. youre one of a kind` the best!|
Because I'm not a coward, and yes, I've faced many a tough time, but I wouldn't put my family and loved ones through that, I'm not that selfish or cowardly.
If I decided to take a stand and engage in criminal disobedience for a cause I believed in, I'd take the consequences.
|Well said, No_one and eNdEmiOn. People who regard suicide as "easy" or "cowardly" don't know what they're talking about. You think that deciding to end your life, to cease existing, to never see your loved ones ever again, to make them grieve for the rest of their lives is an *easy* decision to make? You have no idea. No idea at all.|
|Thats if he actually killed himself , have my doubts on this but nobody really knows , you only think you know just cos someone else said so . The only parties who know what happened are the deceased and the "authorities " .|
Well the people making him out to be a martyr are blaming his prosecution for his suicide. If that was in fact the reason he did it, then I stand by every single word I said. That he would have had to serve 6 months for that does not qualify as "live through hell for decades on end" by ANY stretch of the imagination.
And there is no way he would have EVER been sentenced to the maximum, even had he gone to trial and got convicted. The federal sentencing guidelines are clear, and there is ZERO chance that would have ever happened. ZERO.
So no, I still have no sympathy for him, and I have zero respect for those seeking to turn him into a martyr or blame the government for this.
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