Internets own boy; Aaron Swartz

“He was a child of the new world, but the old world killed him”.

Questions from this documentary;

Q-1:  What did he do that got him into trouble?

He got into the FBI’s watch-light after downloading millions of documents from the courts records database. But the charges came after he used MIT’s network to download educational journals from a E-books provider.

Q-2:  What were the possible motives mentioned in the film for his so called “crime”?

The justice system believed that his intention was to post the educational journals to a public website to make the knowledge available to everyone. But at the time of the charges Aaron was only using them for his personal studies.

Q-3:  What does each motive imply from a MOREL and LEGAL point of view?

It is legally wrong to post the documents for free public access from the site he got them from. If he got them from the author and and had the right to allow public access then it isn’t. It would be both legally and morally wrong to charge people for the documents after downloading them.

Q-4:  Why were understanding his motives so important ?

It shows us what Aaron’s beliefs were towards an open world. He was never going to want money for the journals he just wanted everyone to be able to see the information that he could get a hold of. It also shows us how wrong the US government system and that someone in the FBI’s personal image matters more than correctly prosecuting someone.

Q-4.1: How many charges did this end up giving him?

Two counts of wire fraud and 11 violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

Q-5: What was wrong with the sopa bill?

It gives power to corporations and people to effectively take out there competition by filing copyright suits against other websites effectively stopping them from showing up online. Under the bill there will be no trial for the copyright suit giving no chance for people to fight the charge.

Q-6: Why did It look like the bill would be impossible to stop from passing?

Because even before it had gone into voting in the US government it already had a large margin of government people supporting it. Also there was a huge amount of money already invested in the bill so for the government to give it up would be hard.

Q-7:  What were some of the significant factors that helped raise awareness for dismissing the sopa bill?

There was Aaron’s part in getting the message to public but also Google, Reddit, Wikipedia’s and many others “blackout day” where they took there sites offline for a day. Other factors where sites that allowed partitions and that had the ability to call or email the government telling them to not pass the bill.

Q-7.1  Whats the important message about this victory to those of us in the “new world”

The biggest message would be that the peoples voice does count. The government wont pass something that such a huge amount of people oppose. Also that there are large companies and corporations that don’t always support the government and are also willing to stand against them.

Q-8:  “Bringing public access to the public domain”  “books are our cultural legacy”.  What are these statements have to do with his passion … (37:25)

Aaron was a person that thought that all information should be shared. He didn’t care where you were from, your age, your race or your wealth he wanted anyone to be able to access the documents. He hated the fact that students at the most prestigious university’s world were the only ones that could see the books without having to pay a small fortune to see them.

Q-9:  What does q8 have to do with Jack Andraka

Research for his test for pancreatic cancer came from documents that Aaron had been able to make available to the public. Without Aaron’s work Jack would of never had the information to further his test for the cancer.

Q-10:  Whats the most important question on this list. Why?

I think question 7 is. It shows us that no matter how small we think we are, if we share the same view and come together, we can make a stand against the few that think they have all the power to change the world to become a better place.

One thought on “Internets own boy; Aaron Swartz

  1. Pingback: ICT501 in 2015 | Digital Insaniti

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