Sunday, January 13, 2013

My take on the Aaron Swartz tragedy: MIT & MA US Attorney can go to Hell

As a lawyer who's spent a lot of time trying to defend people from the Corporatocracy's iron grip on our judicial system, I am saddened but not in the least surprised over the assassination suicide of Aaron Swartz.

Here was an idealistic young man who essentially committed what was at worst a prank, for the purpose of making a statement on the importance of sharing -- as opposed to hoarding -- important research. He returned all of the data, and the organization which was supposedly 'victimized' dropped its charges, and expressed regret that it had ever been drawn into a criminal prosecution in the first place.

There is a special place in Hell for the a**holes at MIT who insisted on pursuing this matter, and for the heartless clones in the US Attorney's Office who insisted on seeking 30 years imprisonment.

That's what happens in a facist society, where big business owns the government and the universities.

Those at MIT and in the US Attorney's office responsible for the persecution prosecution of Aaron Swartz are a disgrace to their families, and have caused a black mark on their respective institutions which will never, ever be erased.

I call upon anyone who is the recipient of a request from MIT for money or anything else to tell them to go to Hell, and to tell them why.

Bookmark and Share
Ray Beckerman, PC


Unknown said...

I strongly agree with you sir. It's a shame when intelligent people like Aaron are persecuted for what they believe, and do. I suppose that's part of humanity though. Until we can act, as a whole, by the principles we have set for ourselves, we are still acting like beasts. Understanding breeds compassion. Until humans are taught to try to understand, rather than retaliate, Tragedies like this will keep occuring.

Unknown said...

Here, here... Absurdly unjust given JSTOR dropped all charges. We can only hope the over zealous examine their true intentions and try to understand the essence of Aaron's passion and reasoning in this matter.

"Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul. If either your sails or your rudder be broken, you can but toss and drift, or else be held at a standstill in mid-seas."
-Kahlil Gibran

raybeckerman said...

Thanks, Blaine. There are a lot of heartless clones running around in positions of power, who give no thought to anything other than their own career advancement. Although I haven't met those who pushed the over-aggressive prosecution, I can picture the vipers... I know their type.

Anonymous said...

I don't think JSTOR should be let off the hook so easily. They are the ones who identified Swartz and worked with MIT to catch him. The month before he was arrested, JSTOR settled their case with him. So why did the Feds suddenly get involved?

JSTOR's position, in a press release from the time of the arrest, was that it was "not their decision" to pursue felony charges. This sounds rather weasel-y to me; they chose their words carefully. You don't have to "press charges" to get the ball rolling on a case. I would not be surprised to learn that JSTOR, the publishers JSTOR works with, or MIT had something to do with the Feds getting involved.

Is there any way to find out?

raybeckerman said...

I don't know, Anonymous. If you get any hard information, let me know.

Crosbie Fitch said...

But, let's not forget that our 18th century privilege of copyright and the idea that the distribution and dissemination of knowledge should be controlled for the benefit of the state (at the expense of enriching the press), remain essentially good.

TokyoTom said...

Ray, see this for an interesting take on responsibility:

'the Internet/PC/Info shd be free crowd (yes Larry,Tim & Cory I mean you)' used #Aaron #Swartz &left him hanging: …

TokyoTom said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
raybeckerman said...

Sorry, Tokyo Tom. I couldn't approve your comment because the comment to which it was linked was (a) offensive, and (b) unfounded.