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Aaron H. Swartz: A Tribute To His Legacy

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Postby blackvault » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:53 pm

There is a lot of mystery surrounding his death, and people are starting to ask a lot of questions.

I already filed a PA Request for Aaron's FBI file to see what comes up.

Technorati wrote:Aaron H. Swartz: A Tribute To His Legacy

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On Friday, January 11, Aaron H. Swartz was found dead in his apartment in New York City after allegedly hanging himself, according to a Washington Post report.

But who was Aaron Swartz and why many people, especially a lot of netizens are now mourning for his death?

Swartz was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 8, 1986. He attended North Shore Country Day School in Winnetka, Illinois. When he was 13, he was the winner of ArsDigita prize, an innovative competition for young people who created "useful, educational, and collaborative" non-commercial websites. He later attended Stanford University, but left the school after just one year. He was also a member of Harvard University Center for Ethics in 2010.

Swartz was an American computer programmer, writer, archivist, political organizer, and Internet activist. He was credited for co-authoring the "RSS 1.0" specification of RSS, and built the Web site framework and the architecture for the Open Library. He also co-founded the online group Demand Progress — known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Swartz was also attributed as the founder of Infogami and the co-founder of Reddit. He co-launched Jottit in 1977. He also worked with U.S. and international activist groups Rootstrikers and Avaaz. His website is

Meanwhile, according to another report from, Swartz death also caught the attention of the group Anonymous who have shown a deep sympathy for his death by allegedly hacking the MIT website.

Here are some excerpts of their message, as reported by Techcrunch:

"Whether or not the government contributed to his suicide, the government's prosecution of Swartz was a grotesque miscarriage of justice, a distorted and perverse shadow of the justice that Aaron died fighting for — freeing the publicly-funded scientific literature from a publishing system that makes it inaccessible to most of those who paid for it — enabling the collective betterment of the world through the facilitation of sharing — an ideal that we should all support."

"Moreover, this situation Aaron found himself in highlights the injustice of U.S. computer crime laws, particularly their punishment regimes, and the highly-questionable justice of pre-trial bargaining. Aaron's act was undoubtedly political activism; it had tragic consequences."

"For in the end, we will not be judged according to what we give, but according to what we keep to ourselves." "Aaron, we will sorely miss your friendship, and your help in building a better world. May you read in peace."

Swartz funeral services were scheduled for January 15, 2013, at Central Avenue Synagogue in Highland Park, Illinois.

Swartz was charged with wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer and recklessly damaging a protected computer that could have landed him of up to 35 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines. He's supposedly going to face a court trial in April of this year.

Interestingly, after his death, federal prosecutors in Boston dismissed all the charges against him.

Source: ... ribute-to/
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Postby blackvault » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:57 pm

TruthOut wrote:Aaron Swartz's FOIA Requests Shed Light on His Struggle

It looked like Aaron Swartz was up to something.

Two months before his death, the high-profile Internet activist filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the US Mint and asked for copies of its 2005 survey results which claimed, "147 million adults continued to collect the 50 State Quarters ... the most successful coin program in the nation's history."

The 50 State Quarters Program report Swartz cited in his November 24 FOIA request said the US Mint "shipped 34.3 billion quarter-dollar coins to the Federal Reserve Banks (FRB), generating $8.6 billion in revenue and nearly $6.3 billion in seigniorage, which helps finance the national debt."

"The United States Mint estimated it shipped 16.3 billion more coins to the FRB than it would have in the absence of the Program. Consequently, the Agency attributes $4.1 billion in revenue and $3.0 billion in seigniorage solely to the 50 State Quarters Program," according to the report. "The sale of 50 State Quarters numismatic products generated another $470.1 million in revenue and $136.2 million in earnings and seigniorage."

It's unknown what Swartz had hoped to do with the information if and when he received the survey results. Swartz's request remains open, according to Muckrock, a transparency web site that streamlines the FOIA request process for journalists and the public. Swartz used Muckrock's service to request records under FOIA.
Michael Morisy, the founder of Muckrock, who met Swartz in 2010 after Morisy launched the site, told Truthout they spoke regularly about a number of Swartz's FOIA requests "but not that one in particular."

Perhaps the boy genius who founded a software company that merged with the popular social networking web site Reddit was hoping to come up with a solution to the country's financial woes and use the statistics in the government report to show why an idea to mint a platinum trillion-dollar coin as a means of dealing with the federal debt ceiling could be even bigger than the 50 State Quarters Program. Last week, he took to Twitter and urged his followers to "save the country" and "sign the platinum coin petition."

The idea was ultimately shot down on Saturday.

Swartz hanged himself with his belt in his Brooklyn, New York home on Friday. He was 26. He had battled depression and in years past had publicly written about thoughts of suicide. He did not leave a suicide note, according to police.

While his supporters, family and friends come to grips with the tragic loss of such a gifted young computer programmer, who at 14, developed an early version of Really Simple Syndication, or RSS, which allowed blogs and news web sites to easily share their content, a peek at the FOIA requests Swartz filed over the past two years sheds a little light on his struggles.

Although a majority of his FOIA requests were self-serving, it is also clear that the information he sought, particularly in areas of government surveillance, would have greatly benefited the public. However, his efforts to pry loose materials from a highly secretive administration were mostly unsuccessful.

Keep reading the article: ... -continues
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Postby magonia17 » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:25 pm

They have professional who remove problems......
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Postby blackvault » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:40 am

The Washington Times wrote:Top senator scolds Holder over Reddit founder's suicide

**FILE** Sen. John Cornyn, Texas Republican (Associated Press)
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Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, sent a letter Friday questioning whether federal prosecutors were overzealous in their prosecution of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist and co-founder of the website Reddit who took his own life last week.

"Was the prosecution of Mr. Swartz in any way retaliation for his exercise of his rights as a citizen under the Freedom of Information Act?" Mr. Cornyn said in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. "If so, I recommend that you refer the matter immediately to the Inspector General."

Mr. Swartz committed suicide last week at the age of 26. He was facing trial on charges of breaking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's computer system and downloading academic articles without a subscription. He could have faced up to 35 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

His family and friends have blamed the government for his death, saying they bullied him with their prosecution.

The federal prosecutor, Carmen M. Ortiz, who is the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts, defended the prosecution, saying it was reasonable. She also said the government had never vowed to seek the maximum penalties possible.

But Mr. Cornyn appeared to bristle at her claim that it was the punishments laid out by Congress that prompted the long list of charges. The Texas Republican demanded Mr. Holder answer whether prosecutors have discretion when charging people with crimes.

Source: : ... nders-sui/
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Postby blackvault » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:41 am

CBS wrote:Hackers take over gov't website to avenge Swartz

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WASHINGTON The hacker-activist group Anonymous says it hijacked the website of the U.S. Sentencing Commission to avenge the death of Aaron Swartz, an Internet activist who committed suicide.

The website of the commission, an independent agency of the judicial branch, was taken over early Saturday and replaced with a message warning that when Swartz killed himself two weeks ago "a line was crossed."

The message read in part:

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."
The hackers say they've infiltrated several government computer systems and copied secret information that they now threaten to make public.

Family and friends of Swartz, who helped create Reddit and RSS, say he killed himself after he was hounded by federal prosecutors.

Officials say he helped post millions of court documents for free online and that he illegally downloaded millions of academic articles from an online clearinghouse.

By mid-morning Saturday the website was offline.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: ... ge-swartz/
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