A Year Ago Today We Lost Aaron Swartz – R.I.P.

A Year Ago Today We Lost Aaron Swartz – R.I.P. (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Jan 11, 2014):

Exactly one year ago today, the world lost a kind, brilliant and courageous human being. Aaron Swartz, who had already accomplished so much in his short time with us, was driven to suicide by an out of control, unenlightened and increasingly fascistic government, determined to prosecute this gentle genius.

In remembrance of Aarron, I am reposting in full, the post I wrote about him and his story shortly after his death one year ago titled: Remembering Internet Prodigy and Activist Aaron Swartz (1986-2013): Your Life is an Inspiration.

Rest in Peace.

Remembering Internet Prodigy and Activist Aaron Swartz (1986-2013): Your Life is an Inspiration

It takes a person like Aaron Swartz to remind you how little you are actually doing to bring forth social, political and economic justice in this increasingly insane and sick world.  I’m not exaggerating when I say his life was an inspiration.   At 14 years old he helped start the RSS feed system, which so many now use to read content online.  He also co-founded Reddit, and its sale to Conde Nast is what afforded him the resources to dedicate his life to the defense of a free and open internet.  His most remarkable success in this regard was the creation of the organization Demand Progress, which was instrumental in defeating the internet censorship bill know as SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act).

Read moreA Year Ago Today We Lost Aaron Swartz – R.I.P.

Rolling Stone Profiles Barrett Brown: Journalist, Activist And American Political Prisoner

Rolling Stone Profiles Barrett Brown: Journalist, Activist and American Political Prisoner (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Sep 7, 2013):

“I mean Texans and indictments…it’s like a Texas Bar Mitzvah.  My dad was indicted, you know, I have friends that have been indicted, have gone to prison…it happens.
– Barret Brown during an RT Interview, a year before being raided by the FBI and subsequently incarcerated.

Barrett Brown is one of those figures that immediately captured my attention after first learning about him while watching the Anonymous documentary We are Legion. I soon realized that he had been incarcerated a mere three months prior to me serendipitously stumbling upon the film. It wasn’t difficult to see that he must have been onto something very, very big for the Feds to go after him so aggressively. You don’t charge a person with 105 years in prison merely as revenge for a youtube video in which you threaten an FBI agent. No, there was something much deeper going on here.

Read moreRolling Stone Profiles Barrett Brown: Journalist, Activist And American Political Prisoner

STRONGBOX: Aaron Swartz’s Last Project

Introducing Strongbox: Aaron Swartz’s Last Project (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 19, 2013):

I remain haunted by the death of Aaron Swartz.  In fact, his passing is still one of the first things I mention to people when I want to provide an example of how out of control and drunk on power the government is.  The incredible accomplishments he achieved in his short life are nothing short of extraordinary, and the fact the feds mercilessly attacked him and drove him to suicide epitomizes the unfortunate rapid decline of our culture and civilization. Amazingly, Aaron continues to bless the world with gifts from his brilliant mind even after his passing.  In this case I am referring to Strongbox, an encrypted and more secure way of providing information to journalists.  It was a project Aaron was working on with Kevin Poulsen before his death and was launched by the New Yorker a few days ago.

From Techdirt:

Aaron Swartz’s Last Project: Open Source System To Securely & Anonymously Submit Documents To The Press (Techdirt, May 16, 2013):

The New Yorker has announced a new anonymous document sharing system called Strongbox, that will allow people to anonymously and securely submit documents to reporters from the New Yorker. Other publications have tried to set up something like this — often inspired by Wikileaks — but for the most part, they’ve been full of security holes, sometimes big and serious ones. What may be more interesting than the fact that this system is being set up is the story behind it. It’s based on DeadDrop, an open source system that was put together by Aaron Swartz and Kevin Poulsen.

Read moreSTRONGBOX: Aaron Swartz’s Last Project

Anonymous Claims It Hacked Fed, Releases Confidential Banker Information

Anonymous Claims It Hacked Fed, Releases Confidential Banker Information (ZeroHedge, Feb 4, 2013):

A year and a half ago, when the hacker group Anonymous launched its anti-Bernanke, anti-Fed campaign dubbed Operation Empire State Rebellion (or OpESR), we stated, rhetorically and jokingly, that “perhaps in the aftermath of the IMF “very major breach” by anonymous hackers, it is really time to make sure all external access points to FedWire and FedLine are truly safe and sound. It will be very sad if it is uncovered that this source of externally accessible portal to hundreds of billions in emergency Fed funding has been somehow compromised. Just imagine the loss of confidence in the system… Why, a global distributed attack would really stretch the Fed’s 1,200-strong police force quite thin.” It appears that either FedWire or FedLine may not have been “truly safe and sound” after all.

Read moreAnonymous Claims It Hacked Fed, Releases Confidential Banker Information

Veterans Today’s Gordon Duff: Rogue CIA Elements Responsible For Aaron Swartz Death

Rogue CIA elements responsible for Swartz death: Gordon Duff (PressTV, Jan 20, 2013):

An American analyst says the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is responsible for the recent murder of the American dissident blogger Aaron Swartz, Press TV reports.

“There is no coverage in the mainstream media at all and we have found no possible excuse to this death…. We believe rogue elements within the Central Intelligence Agency are responsible,” Gordon Duff said in an interview with Press TV on Saturday.

Read moreVeterans Today’s Gordon Duff: Rogue CIA Elements Responsible For Aaron Swartz Death

Aaron Swartz’s Prosecutor Linked To Another Hacker’s Death

Internet Activist’s Prosecutor Linked To Another Hacker’s Death (BuzzFeed, Jan 15, 2013):

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.

One of the prosecutors in the case of the online pioneer who killed himself this weekend, Aaron Swartz, was accused in 2008 of driving another hacker to suicide.

Some of Swartz’s friends have accused Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Heymann of contributing to Swartz’s suicide, with his unwillingness to compromise on the prosecution of Swartz in a case involving scholarly journal articles.

Back in 2008, another young hacker, Jonathan James, killed himself after being named a suspect in another Heymann case.

Read moreAaron Swartz’s Prosecutor Linked To Another Hacker’s Death

Father Of Aaron Swartz: ‘Aaron Was Killed By The Government’

Related info:

Aaron Swartz’s Prosecutor Linked To Another Hacker’s Death

Flashback: Suicided Aaron Swartz Keynote – ‘How We Stopped SOPA’ (Video)

Obama’s ‘Kill List’ Critic Found Dead In New York City

Aaron Swartz, Co-Founder Of Reddit, Commits Suicide

‘Aaron was killed by the government’ – Robert Swartz on his son’s death (RT, Jan 16, 2013):

The father of information activist Aaron Swartz blames US prosecutors for his son’s death, RT’s Andrew Blake reports from an emotional Tuesday morning funeral outside of Chicago.

Aaron Swartz, 26, was found dead on Friday of a reported suicide. Swartz had been instrumental in designing software that aimed to make the Internet easy and open for everyone, and also co-founded both Reddit.com and Demand Progress — one of the most visited sites on the Web and an highly touted activism organization, respectively.

But while friends, family and loved ones recalled Swartz’ compassion for technology and his utter selflessness during Tuesday’s service, those in attendance did not shy away from acknowledging the tremendous legal trouble that plagued the activist in recent years.

In 2011, federal prosecutors charged Swartz with a series of counts under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, crimes that could have sent him away to prison for upwards of 35 years if convicted. Swartz, said the government, entered a building at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and downloaded millions of academic and scholarly papers from the service JSTOR with presumably the intent of distributing them for free.

“Aaron did not commit suicide but was killed by the government,” Robert Swartz said during Tuesday’s service at the Central Avenue Synagogue in Highland Park, Illinois. “Someone who made the world a better place was pushed to his death by the government.”

Read moreFather Of Aaron Swartz: ‘Aaron Was Killed By The Government’