Aaron Swartz: Suicide or Murder?
Bet on foul play to silence him.
by Stephen Lendman
Advocates of online openness and freedom lost a committed champion. The Economist said to call him "gifted would be to miss the point. As far as the internet was concerned, he was the gift."
The Electronic Frontier Foundation called him an "Internet freedom rock star."
An official family statement called him "(o)ur beloved brother, son, friend, and partner".We are in shock, and have not yet come terms with his passing."
His "insatiable curiosity, creativity, and brilliance; his reflexive empathy and capacity for selfless, boundless love; his refusal to accept injustice as inevitable - these gifts made the world, and our lives, far brighter."
"Aaron's commitment to social justice was profound, and defined his life. He was instrumental to the defeat of an Internet censorship bill; he fought for a more democratic, open, and accountable political system; and he helped to create, build, and preserve a dizzying range of scholarly projects that extended the scope and accessibility of human knowledge."
"He used his prodigious skills as a programmer and technologist not to enrich himself but to make the Internet and the world a fairer, better place."
"His deeply humane writing touched minds and hearts across generations and continents. He earned the friendship of thousands and the respect and support of millions more."
"Aaron's death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach."
"Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts US Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney's office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims."
"Meanwhile, unlike JSTOR, MIT refused to stand up for Aaron and its own community's most cherished principles."
"Today, we grieve for the extraordinary and irreplaceable man that we have lost."
Lawrence Lessig is an academic, political activist, online freedom proponent, former University of Chicago/Harvard Law School Professor, and current Professor of Law at Stanford. He founded the school's Center for Internet and Society.