MIT has released an internal review of their handling of Aaron Swartz, a programmer and Internet activist who committed suicide in January after being charged with hacking into the institute’s computers and downloading millions of articles from the digital academic database JSTOR.
The information activist was “doomed to be just Aaron,” recalls a friend. But a prosecutor was “hellbent on destroying his life.”
A survey of MIT professors conducted in 2011 reveals conflicted support for Swartz’s ideals and his raid of the JSTOR online archive of academic documents. “I am sympathetic to his goals, but disgusted by his methods.”
Tom Dolan blasts Aaron Swartz’s family for pointing a finger at his wife, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz. Dolan, an IBM executive, offers the first defense from the prosecution side as Swartz’s defenders demand Ortiz’s firing. UPDATE: Dolan has deleted his Twitter account.
Prosecutor Stephen Heymann has been blamed for contributing to Swartz’s suicide. Back in 2008, young hacker Jonathan James killed himself in the midst of a federal investigation led by the same prosecutor.
Stunning, from 2001. Social media, the semantic web, and pragmatism about artificial intelligence.
Extremists on the Internet have cottoned on to the idea that the Obama administration had Aaron Swartz killed. There is no evidence for this.
Years prior to his death, Swartz, the co-author of the first RSS specification, addressed his sexuality head on in an essay titled “Why I Am Not Gay.”
Swartz was the co-author of the first RSS specification, an instrumental part in creating Reddit, and co-founder of the Advocacy group Demand Progress. He was 26.