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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Swartz’s Death Means Nothing to Authorities

Swartz’s Death Means Nothing to Authorities

Swartz’s Death Means Nothing to Authorities

Added: Monday, January 28th, 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 office of US Attorney Carmen Ortiz has been widely criticized over their handling of the Aaron Swartz case. Now the office is still on the defensive.

The authorities took a lot of flak after online genius and activist Aaron Swartz took his own life earlier in January. Industry observers claim that prosecutorial overreach contributed to his decision to commit suicide, but the government still maintains that they didn’t hound the young man to death. Moreover, Carmen Ortiz’s spokeswoman Christina Dilorio-Sterling claimed that Swartz case wouldn’t even affect the way offices handles similar cases.

She claimed that the case in question was reasonably handled and they wouldn’t have done things differently. The office is going to continue doing its work and follow its mission.

The spokeswoman sounds rather callous taking into consideration the circumstances. In response, Swartz’s girlfriend Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman admitted she was saddened the authorities don’t take the moment to reflect on the role of proportionality and judgment in the pursuit of justice. She said that Ortiz’s office pursued a legal strategy of intimidation where they threatened Swartz with many years of jail time for an alleged crime involving no victims. In fact, many would agree that it’s not justice, but bullying.

Aaron’s father, Robert D. Swartz, also criticized Ortiz’s statement. He claimed he believed that there has been a “grave miscarriage” of justice. According to attorney Daniel Gelb, the Aaron’s case shows how much power the office has. The general opinion of the press is that the Swartz case should be a wake-up call over the impact a criminal prosecution can have on people whose behavior doesn’t warrant the media exposure and draconian sentencing guidelines.

January 28th,2013

Posted by: 

Date:  Monday, January 28th, 2013

Comments (19) (please add your comment »)

posted by (2013-01-28 15:55:28)
overfiend1976 avatarWelcome to America!
You stole billions of dollars using Ponzi schemes or shady hedge funds from the public? Here, have 3 years in a country club 'prison.'
You stole 1's and 0's from 'private organizations' and made them public? Here, have 30+ years in a super-max prison.

posted by (2013-01-28 16:18:16)
malleythebest avatarSwartz RIP! A brilliant mind condemned by a tyrranical government hell bent on crushing the constitution and disregarding the 8th amendment! We do not forget, We do not forgive, We are legion and Justice is coming!!!!

posted by (2013-01-28 20:12:14)
gargoyle36 avatarThe US, Canada and Britain have a different tier of justice. The lady of justice's scales are balanced by a stack of money. Corruption and injustice causes the downfall of civilization because the people living within have a thin line of tolerance.

posted by (2013-01-28 21:53:35)
Darkan9el avatarWhat goes around comes around, and I think the US government moral breakers are building a wave of resentment, I know I'm getting sick and tired of the repeated double standards for the rich and the poor... can you feel the tension building, they're gonna be running for the bunkers soon but a lot will be locked out and they'll quickly catch on they've been taken for fools. All joe public has to do is wait outside for the maggots to crawl out of the bunkers, then it's retribution time.

posted by Turtle (2013-01-28 22:08:56)
magengar avatarI agree with Darkan9el on that one. I'll be waiting for them to crawl outta their bunkers, I got my rusty nail-studded 2x4 ready to swing and bash.

posted by ModeratorTrue LoveGirl (2013-01-28 22:19:51)
SiLvErDuSt avatarMost governments kill(one way or another)-they need to admit it while they count cash/
Dont give them your vote(but dont give vote to right wing also)

posted by ET junkieET loverTurtle (2013-01-28 23:52:13)
fusseltier avatarwhy would anyone think they would give a rats @ss about anybody?
the most anyone could expect would be some sort of blood money to shut people/family up.

posted by men (2013-01-29 03:43:01)
topaz18046 avatarAN INTERESTING UPDATE: Anonymous has struck back with a takeover of the U.S. Sentencing Commission website. (IP address of They posted this message on the site:
'Citizens of the world,

Anonymous has observed for some time now the trajectory of justice in the United States with growing concern. We have marked the departure of this system from the noble ideals in which it was born and enshrined. We have seen the erosion of due process, the dilution of constitutional rights, the usurpation of the rightful authority of courts by the "discretion" or prosecutors. We have seen how the law is wielded less and less to uphold justice, and more and more to exercise control, authority and power in the interests of oppression or personal gain.'
To add 'insult to injury' they have gained access to thousands of documents containing embarrassing details on members of goverment:
'At a regular interval commencing today, we will choose one media outlet and supply them with heavily redacted partial contents of the file. Any media outlets wishing to be eligible for this program must include within their reporting a means of secure communications.' Boy has this thrown the cat among the pigeons!

posted by Kitty (2013-01-29 04:28:10)
Crash1 avatar@Topaz ... 'Cat among the pigeons' You got THAT right ... they've taken the website down to try and purge the offending content (the IP address is offline).

Not that I really give a shit about USA sentencing laws. Australia's sentencing laws are SLIGHTLY more consistent, but still not enough to suit the general public.

posted by (2013-01-29 05:55:33)
Solcis avatarBanker: "Sell your mother for a basis point."
Prosecutor: "Jail your mother for another notch."

posted by Turtle (2013-01-29 10:23:10)
No avatarSomebody committed suicide, what's the fuss about? Would anybody care if a serial killer commits suicide before his trial, because he could face the death penalty?

posted by ET loverSuperman (2013-01-29 13:10:47)
tonymengela avatar@chinacutie, Do you have any idea who the man we are talking about is? First off this guy was not even going to be charged for what he did in the first place. The state picked up and forced the charges! He is one of the mainline guys who stopped SOPA and has been an activist for freedom. Do I think he was some perfect guy, no, but he has done a lot more for the rights of individuals than me and most certainly you. Your comment makes me think of who you are, either ignorant, or government troll. Why dont you go and research this man's accomplishments before you compare him to a serial killer. First off, I dont believe he killed himself, they found him hung. He was truly an enemy of the state and to entertainment industry. We all know how honest and polite these people are dont we! I truly hate comments like yours I really do!

posted by (2013-01-30 12:55:40)
No avatarUh, Tonymengela, the state is ALWAYS the one to prefer charges, people don't file charges anyone in the US legal system, the victim has no say in if charges are preferred against an individual or not, and hasn't for quite some time. Sometimes a prosecutor will take their wishes into account, but very rarely.

You clearly have no idea how the system works, or why he was being charged.

You're characterizations of him are over the top, and GREATLY overplay his importance. Was he accomplished? Yes. Did he deserve respect for those accomplishments? Yes.

But's lets stop turning him into a messiah of the internet, and making him out to be a martyr. He was facing a likely sentence of 6 months or so under federal sentencing guidelines, up to a maximum of a year. The prosecutor recognized that and offered him a 6 month plea deal, and it was after this that he committed suicide.

I really hope that he had other reasons to kill himself, because THAT is not a reason to, and makes him out to be a selfish coward, in my opinion, or made his family and friends suffer as a result of his action because of something so fscking insignificant as 6 months in a federal minimum security prison camp.

Martha did it, he could have done it.

posted by (2013-01-30 13:45:14)
No avatarIt always pisses me off when people arrogantly judge the mental state and character of someone who commits suicide. They have no idea the unbelievable darkness that envelopes a person when they feel they have no way out but death. It doesn't matter if it was this guy, a drug addict who can't seem to get past it, or someone with a mental illness that just loses it.. It's a tragedy and in this case, a tragedy that had the government in at least a contributory role.

Anyone who has been on the other side of the law when an out of control cop/prosecutor/judge goes to work on them has experienced the fact that they don't give you a "clear picture" of what you face.. They threaten, they exaggerate, they bully, they do everything they can to suggest that they own you and will throw you to the wolves at their whim. The best of them do it, the worst of them revel in it. And I swear to God, the ridiculous Martha comparisons are getting old and pathetic.

Was this young man the messiah? No, and I haven't seen anyone suggest that he is. Was he an accomplished young man who was wrecklessly bullied by the legal system over a victimless crime rendered moot by consequence? You bet. It's a tragedy, only a tragedy, and it should at the very least be given some consideration by the government office that contributed to it.

posted by (2013-01-31 01:24:55)
No avatar"The authorities took a lot of flak after online genius and activist Aaron Swartz" If this is how government do their jobs their won't be any innovators left in the USA. Everyone knows that genius's are border line eccentrics. Wonder what Albert Einstein would have done with all the toys that are available now. The wild west is still impregnated in government officials minds "Shoot now ask questions later."

posted by (2013-01-31 10:33:31)
No avatarshadowebs: your right 6 months in federa l isn ta reason to kill yourself. Anonymous holds this guy in high enough regard as to mention him before taking down a website. he was mistreated and those he leaves behind will suffer. i'm sure you must know that we all know who brings charges against whom. So why bother with your post? Because idiots like you are the reason this country and the world are headed in the direction of discourse, fearing your nieghbors, and shutting up to avoid exactly what this man got. Tr y to look around you and justify what you see and then say it! The other way around is for children who dont know any better....

posted by (2013-02-01 04:11:14)
No avatar@mbp1967us
Oh please, I don't fear anyone.

I respect Aaron for what he did, right up until he decided to end his life because he couldn't face the consequences of the criminal disobedience he knowingly engaged in in order to advance the cause he believed in.

But I also know that the media and most people online in forums like this have GREATLY overblown what he did, claiming him to the "Father" of RSS, and making it out lik he singlehandedly killed SOPA and created reddit.

I respect him a lot, but I also believe that the reports about him should be ACCURATE and FACTUAL.

I am not judging his mental state. And I HAVE been there, I've been in FAR darker places than someone with the privileged life Aaron lived could ever imagine. And I survived it. And he could have survived it. And I stand by every time I've called his suicide an act of selfishness. He didn't think about how the pain he was causing those who cared about him would be FAR FAR and above the pain he was experiencing. I don't buy for a single minute that his suicide was about his prosecution.

You people think so little of this man that you want the world to believe that 6 to 12 months in a federal prison camp was enough to make him want to kill himself? And he was fully aware of the sentence he'd get.

Regardless of why, yes, I ALWAYS consider suicide to be a selfish choice. I've lived through a family member doing it. I know what those who care about him are experiencing right now.

If he had a terminal illness, and was suffering, that would be one thing, I support the right to go out with dignity. But this privileged man had no right to claim suffering of the level necessary to ignore the pain and suffering his suicide would inflict on others.

And for that, he's a selfish coward, and nothing will change that.

posted by (2013-02-01 06:10:43)
No avatarLet's cut through the BS here. Aaron was a mentally fragile political activist who engaged in an illegal act of civil disobedience to dramatize his belief that information should be free. But, as Henry David Thoreau taught us long ago, civil disobedience has a cost. Paying it is the price of the bold gesture. Presumably, Swartz knew that when he donned a bike helmet to hide his face, broke into a computer closet at MIT and downloaded millions of academic articles from JSTOR, liberating information from the subscription service that usually charges $19 per article.

He made his point. He got arrested. He was awaiting trial at the time of his death, having rejected a plea offer from Ortiz that would have had him serve only six months under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) for crimes that can carry a maximum penalty of more than 30 years in prison.

I don't agree with the extremes that those who advocate the "information must be free" movement, and that feel bradly manning is some sort of hero. But I respect those who have a reasonable belief (even when I disagree with it) and who make the decision to take a stand to draw attention to it, and to thus advocate for their position.

Right on to him for doing that. I respect that. It takes a certain conviction of your beliefs and a resolute character. I may not agree with his viewpoint on the issue, but I certainly respect someone who is willing to engage in a level of civil disobedience to advocate for change they rationally believe in.

But as the quote I pasted above says, those gestures have a price, and you must be willing and able to pay that price. He knew he was breaking the law. And I don't mean about downloading the documents. I mean about entering a place he was not authorized to enter (and he knew that by the way he hid his face and did it in secret) and permanently attaching a computer to a network he was not authorized to. When you break the law, even for a cause, you must be ready to pay the penalty. The Civil Rights leaders did, they were often arrested, the Puerto Rican independence activists have done the same more recently.

Like most all laws, malicious intent is not required to be in violation. If I am speeding, the law isn't going to care that I did it unknowingly. I should have been paying attention. That he didn't intend to do what he did for profit, or to hurt someone, is immaterial.

He broke the law. He did it knowingly. And he should have been prepared to face the consequences.

And he was offered a 6 month sentence, a slap on the wrist really. He turned it down, wanting his day in court. Federal sentencing guidelines meant he'd likely not get more than 1 year anyway, so he really had little to lose, and having a trial would give him a much bigger stage from which to advocate his cause.

I do not believe he killed himself because of anything relating to this case. There is long documented evidence of his mental illness, and depression. This was a man who lived in a state of mental anguish. I can relate to that. I've definitely been there, and like him, I believe our society ignores its responsibility with regard to mental illness, taking a "lock them up" approach. Aaron once noted on his blow that CBT therapy has a 50% short term success rating in treating depression, and yet is rarely available to most people in our society. I can vouch for this, fortunately for me, when I was struggling with my own mental illness, I qualified for public mental health services, and my local community had a CBT/Cognitive Behavior Therapy program that helped me tremendously, in teaching me skills to help me compensate for a biological/chemical disposition for depression, and eventually led to my no longer needing medication treatment for my depression.

Respect the man for what he did, and what he stood up for, but when all of you people make this out to be him killing himself because of the court case, you belittle this man and what he did, and make him out to be a much lesser person.

I've lived through the suicide of a family member. I don't blame his family at all for what they have said and done, because when you're full of grief, and experiencing the nearly overwhelming pain they are of having a loved one take their life, you get a free pass for almost whatever you need to do and say to help you deal with it.

But the rest of you have no excuse. And I still say he was a selfish coward for putting his family through this. HE DID THIS to them, when he certainly could have gotten help for himself. He grew up in a privileged world, and had the means to get the help he needed.

posted by ET loverSuperman (2013-02-04 12:30:24)
tonymengela avatarI think I know exactly how the systems works, lol first hand I know. One way or another they pushed that man! Over exaggerated what I say about him!!! no man I sure did not! Like the other person I have to question just why your here at all. I dont have to do this big huge story to get my point across, I like to keep it simple, I call shenanigans on you SHADOWEBS!!!

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