Out Of Control Government II

Aaron Swartz hung himself Jan. 11 at his home in Brooklyn. He was 26.

Swartz was a widely regarded computer innovator and free speech activist. At 14, he helped develop the widely used Really Simple Syndication (RSS) software. A few years later he developed the software used by the popular Reddit website.

He later helped lead the fight to stop the stop the intrusive Stop Online Piracy Act

Two years ago he really screwed up. He sneaked into the basement wiring closet at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and hacked into a network allowing him to download files from JSTOR a digital library of academic papers. A subscription is required to access the papers. Swartz was upset that money from the subscription fees were going to publishers rather than authors.

Well, he was arrested by local authorities and charged with breaking and entering, and then the feds got involved.

"Stealing is stealing," U.S. Atorney Carmen Otiz, an Obama appointee,  said and using an expansive and innovative interpretation of the 1984 Computer Fraud and Abuse Act found enough charges to throw at Swartz to have him looking at 35 years.

Authur Bomar, it should be noted, served just 11 years for his first murder.

Swartz had trouble raising money for legal fees to fight the federal onslaught. The pressure appeared to much for the young man to take.

Hollywood's Les Miserables appears to be appropriate for this time and place in our society. Rare kudos to them.

JSTOR, by the way, settled things with Swartz a few months after the break-in after he returned the files. JSTOR declined to pursue civil litigation.

And for you Obama-supporting hipsters, try to comprehend under whose authority Ortiz was acting when she went full-bore against Swartz,  and who pointedly refused to considering taking the steps to apply a 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals that limited the scope of the 1984 law to Massachusetts.

Elections have consequences. Let's give up on the Constitution, right?


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  • 1/14/2013 11:37 PM anonymous wrote:
    On one of the military history channels they just said that the communists only gave 15 years to those caught smuggling people out of East Berlin.
    Reply to this
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