Posts tagged suicide
Good News: Judge Orders U.S. to Release Aaron Swartz’s Secret Service File
What is so disturbing about this aspect of the Aaron Swartz tragedy is the fact that the Secret Service had thousands of pages on Aaron Swartz to begin with. Considering he was known to all as a kind and gentle soul, what was the Secret Service so worried about?
Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is now inescapably clear. When the U.S. government refers to “national security,” what it actually means is the wealth and power of the status quo, the 0.01%. That is why a genius such as Aaron Swartz was considered an enemy of the state, and why the government amassed thousands of pages on him and drove him to his death. His genius and kindness was a threat to the corrupt establishment. As I’ve noted before: All My Heroes Have FBI Files. From Wired:
A federal judge in Washington, D.C. on Friday ordered the government to promptly start releasing thousands of pages of Secret Service documents about the late activist and coder Aaron Swartz, following months of roadblocks and delays.
The order was issued in my ongoing FOIA lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security – the Secret Service’s parent agency.
It was Secret Service agents who, in 2011, investigated Swartz’ bulk downloads from the JSTOR academic database, leading to the computer hacking and wire fraud case that loomed over Swartz at the time he committed suicide in January.
That criminal case was formally dismissed after Swartz’s death. Yet in February, the Secret Service denied in full my request for any files it held on Swartz, citing a FOIA exemption that covers sensitive law enforcement records that are part of an ongoing proceeding.
Judge Kollar-Kotelly is giving the government until August 5 to answer the lawsuit and produce a timetable for releasing all the responsive documents. In the meantime, the government has to start releasing the files it’s already processed. You’ll see them here when I get them.
Full article here.
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The co-founder of social news website Reddit committed suicide in New York City on Friday. Aaron Swartz was facing a controversial trial over the alleged violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. He faced decades in prison and a $1 million fine.
“The tragic and heartbreaking information you received is, regrettably, true,” Swartz’ attorney, Elliot R. Peters, said in an email to The Tech.
The 26-year-old was the co-founder of Reddit and executive director of Demand Progress, a website that focuses on policy changes for civil liberties, civil rights, and government reform in the US.
Swartz was also a renowned programmer. By the age of 13, he created his first web application which was essentially the same idea as Wikipedia, according to his website.
In 2011, Swartz was charged with allegedly stealing more than four million academic journals from JSTOR, an archive of scientific journals and academic papers, via an open connection at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
He faced 13 felony charges, including breaching site terms and intending to share downloaded files through peer-to-peer networks, computer fraud, wire fraud, obtaining information from a protected computer, and criminal forfeiture. He was also accused of evading MIT’s attempts to kick his laptop off the network while downloading millions of documents from JSTOR.
Many say the lawsuit is unfounded because MIT allows guests access to JSTOR – and Swartz, who was undertaking a fellowship at Harvard’s Safra Center for Ethics at the time of downloading, was a guest.
The case has also been deemed highly controversial because it wasn’t JSTOR – the alleged victim in the case – which referred Swartz to the federal government, according to the company’s vice president of Marketing and Communications, Heidi McGregor. She says JSTOR was content once it reclaimed the works from Swartz.
“We stopped this downloading activity, and the individual responsible, Mr. Swartz, was identified. We secured from Mr. Swartz the content that was taken, and received confirmation that the content was not and would not be used, copied, transferred, or distributed,” the company said in its statement on the prosecution.
The statement went on to say that the investigation was directed by the United States Attorney’s Office.
And while the US government was threatening Swartz with decades in prison and a hefty fine, some say the move was entirely unfounded.
“This makes no sense. It’s like trying to put someone in jail for allegedly checking too many books out of the library,” Demand Progress Executive Director David Segar said in a statement, as quoted by Wired magazine.
“It’s even more strange because the alleged victim has settled any claims against Aaron, explained they’ve suffered no loss or damage, and asked the government not to prosecute,” Segal said.
By Lori Stacey
The real sequence of events leading up to the Rand Paul announcement
Make no mistake about it, the pundits claiming that Rand Paul’s endorsement of Mitt Romney would be good for his political future in the long-run are absolutely wrong. In my opinion, Rand Paul just committed political suicide and we may never know all the reasons behind his decision or the timing of this disastrous announcement. Rumors had been widely circulating that there were serious death threats upon his father, Ron Paul. There has also long-been claims that many on Ron’s paid campaign staff have been undermining his campaign, all along. At this point, we do not know whether Rand came to this decision as a result of bad people around him giving him terrible advice or if he was the sacrificial lamb trying to take the heat off of his father.
It was somewhat interesting that Rand made a point to mention that his conversation with Romney occurred in Washington. Could this have been his way of confirming four witnesses’ claims of seeing Mitt Romney at the Bilderberg Group’s secretive meeting in nearby Virginia? He also knows that the social conservative base has been hard for his father to win over. Mentioning about how much the Romneys and Pauls have in common regarding family values was a bit odd considering the question but delivering it to a Sean Hannity audience was also quite interesting.
The real sequence of these events seems to have been misunderstood. Let us remember that Rand Paul met with Romney days before Ron Paul sent out an email claiming that he will not have enough delegates to win the nomination. I believe the email was actually an attempt to try to soften the blow of his son’s endorsement that Ron would have to be politically savvy enough to realize would be a huge mistake. As a statesman that has fought his entire career to promote the original principles of our constitution and the individual freedom and liberty of the American people, it would be expected that he probably gives his son the individual respect to make his own decisions as an adult. He probably tried to talk him out of it, but we may never know that part of the story. Regardless, the email may likely have been an attempt to lessen the blow of his son’s decision giving the pundits the reasoning that he did not officially endorse Romney until after his father’s email. Although the public announcement was made after the email, the decision to endorse Mitt Romney was probably made before it.
US Military Issues Warning to Ron Paul Supporters – But They’ll Never Stop us. March on!
Uploaded by AdamKokesh on Feb 16, 2012
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