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Aaron Swartz's Estate Seeks Release of Documents

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the redacted-redacted-redacted dept.

Crime 131

theodp writes "The Boston Globe reports that the estate of Aaron Swartz filed a motion in federal court in Boston Friday to allow the release of documents in the case that has generated national controversy over the U.S. attorney's aggressive pursuit of a stiff sentence. The Court filing (PDF) suggests that the U.S. attorney's office is still up for jerking Aaron around a little posthumously, seeking what his lawyers termed overbroad redactions, including names and titles that are already publicly known. Swartz's family also seeks the return of his seized property (PDF). Last week, Swartz's girlfriend accused MIT of dragging its feet on investigating his suicide. Meanwhile, Slate's Justin Peters asks if the Justice Department learned anything from the Aaron Swartz case, noting that Matthew Keys, who faces 25 years in prison for crimes that include aiding-and-abetting the display of humorously false content, could replace Swartz as the poster boy for prosecutorial overreach."

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Keys will take a plea deal (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212115)

Just like Aaron would have. The suicide means there were other, deeper problems.

Re:Keys will take a plea deal (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212459)

Because it wasn't over-reach by the government? Hid suicide does not mean the government wasn't over zealous.

Re:Keys will take a plea deal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212625)

It's just for show and to keep the real sentence around a year. 30 years was never a real possibility.

Re:Keys will take a plea deal (1)

fazey (2806709) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215063)

they offered 6 months if he pled guilty. But it still would have fucked up his career, he would have been kicked out of school, had problems finding housing, etc. Oh and the title of Felon.

Re:Keys will take a plea deal (1)

fazey (2806709) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215073)

er that was intended for the comment below yours.

Re:Keys will take a plea deal (5, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215161)

If so, it's an unethical show. Consider:

I walk in to a liquor store with a loaded AK-47 and say "please give me all of your money". Naturally, the shop owner complies. Later, in court if I say the AK was 'just for show' and I thought the guy was just generous, do we all have a laugh and go home or am I still on trial for armed robbery?

In other words, if they're threatening him with 30 years to induce him to plead guilty and take a deal, it is NOT just for show, it is a very real threat.

Re:Keys will take a plea deal (2)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43214863)

What "plea deal" was the government offering to Aaron Swartz? It's my understanding that they would not accept anything less than a lengthy prison term.

JD learnt nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212121)

but the American people learnt to watch what they do or say online without proxy chaining, onion routing and burner accounts

Investigation....? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212143)

Lol @ his "girlfriend" being mad at MIT for dragging it's feet....

He killed himself because he couldn't face the consequences of his actions. No one else killed him. He did it himself.

Sheesh.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

ameen.ross (2498000) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212239)

Oh yeah sure. Don't even mention the possibility of those consequences being completely over the top.

You know many people contemplate suicide when they're being tortured, and I would consider what they did to Aaron torture and not due punishment.

Re:Investigation....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212281)

Aaron has had documented depression problems before this happened. People keep saying this is what killed him...it may have been the last small push, but it was not the only factor. He would have gotten a plea deal and it would have been tough, but only for a short while.

Re:Investigation....? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212375)

Small push? It's more like he was in a cabin on a mountain, then he was forced to go the the tip of the mountain in strong wind while wearing slippery shoes. But yeah, sure, he was already on the mountain.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212475)

Somebody works for the DOJ.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212981)

Can't tell from the news that anyone works there. It looks more like a private club, with a bunch of bozos sitting around, hoping for their big opportunity. Justice? Who has time for justice?

Re:Investigation....? (5, Interesting)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212287)

Comments that draw attention to the political angle of this story (and it's all political) are moded as "overrated [slashdot.org] ", there are people who don't like this simple truth: the government is attacking dissidents, Aaron Swartz, Bradley Manning are dissidents. There are many others as well.

Here is an excerpt FTFA

The estate of Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who was charged with hacking by the federal government and later committed suicide

- see, the very first sentence. What is the tone of TFA?

1. Aaron was an Internet hacker.
2. He committed suicide.

That's the first sentence. That's the tone. That's the soundbite.

Here is what is not the tone and it should be:

1. Aaron was standing up against illegal grab of power by Congress.

2. Aaron was attacked by the government, lost all of his money that he made from his businesses in that legal battle and was facing what could amount to life in prison (really, 30 years is life AFAIC) and that's what gave him this depression. He was not paranoid, they were after him, he became the enemy of the state.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212777)

I get that the government abused their role here, but was Swartz not an 'Internet activist who was charged with hacking by the federal government and later committed suicide'?

Also, being attacked by the government did NOT 'give him depression'.

So your tone is disingenuous as well.

Re:Investigation....? (3, Insightful)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212809)

Also, being attacked by the government did NOT 'give him depression'.

- so are you saying that a guy, who spent his savings (a million or so) in court because government wouldn't stop with false claims, which by the way had no reason to be brought up even. JSTOR didn't want to press charges, the company that the documents were lifted off.

He was forced into poverty and he was facing something that would amount to life in prison (30 years) in the eyes of a 26 year old.

Yes, I am not a doctor, but I would have been depressed under such circumstances as well.

Re:Investigation....? (2)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213041)

Apparently, you don't know the facts of the case.

He was diagnosed with depression before any of this ever happened.

Thus, it was NOT the government who caused his depression.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213065)

So? Everybody has problems, again, are you telling me that having government go after you, cause you to lose all of your savings and promise to jail you for your entire foreseeable future does not cause depression? Sure, the guy might have been depressed before as well, so what? He didn't kill himself previously.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213817)

Hey Mr. Not-A-Doctor,

'having problems' != clinical depression.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43214159)

So? Again, he didn't kill himself before the government bankrupted him and actively worked to throw him to jail for most of the rest of his life.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

fazey (2806709) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215165)

No, instead they scared him into thinking he was going to get raped by a terrorist for the foreseeable future...

Re:Investigation....? (1)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215427)

he was going to get raped by a terrorist

- and he would be right to be worried about it, people do get raped in US prisons, which are nowhere near being "correctional" facilities. The only thing those facilities correct is the trust in the justice system.

Of-course the supposed 'terrorists' in US prisons also do get raped [wikipedia.org] and the people doing the rape are the government representatives, sometimes [washingtonpost.com] proxy government representatives [commondreams.org] .

Re:Investigation....? (1)

fazey (2806709) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215141)

PRISON != jail

Re:Investigation....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213463)

He was diagnosed with depression before any of this ever happened.

Thus, it was NOT the government who caused his depression.

Okay, it was not the Government who gave him depression, but they sure as hell didnt help it. In fact they probably sent him on a downward spiral in to the pit where he felt like the only way anyone will know what is going on and the only way out is in fact to not play their game anymore, thus the suicide. So in a way the Government didnt help him, but they did hurt him.

Re:Investigation....? (3, Interesting)

sjames (1099) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215221)

According to the egg shell skull doctrine, you are responsible even if your victim was unusually vulnerable.

Re:Investigation....? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213093)

He wasn't facing 30 years in prison, stop the bullshit. He could have saved all his money and spent little to no time in jail by just admitting to what he did but noooooo he wanted to work at the White House and continue to get cushy ivy league fellowships while also being a widely admired "activist."

Re:Investigation....? (1)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43214955)

"He could have saved all his money and spent little to no time in jail"

Wrong. The government would not accept a plea deal that didn't carry a lengthy jail sentence.

Re:Investigation....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212845)

Here is an excerpt FTFA
The estate of Aaron Swartz, the Internet activist who was charged with hacking by the federal government and later committed suicide
- see, the very first sentence. What is the tone of TFA?
1. Aaron was an Internet hacker.
2. He committed suicide.

No, that's what YOU wanted the tone to be, so you intentionally misread it.

Here is what is not the tone and it should be:
1. Aaron was standing up against illegal grab of power by Congress.

No. That's a statement of opinion.

2. Aaron was attacked by the government,

No. Use of the word "attack" is editorially slanted, not neutral.

and that's what gave him this depression.

No. He had a history of depression and at least one previous instance where he was suicidal.

Did this "push him over the edge"? Well I suppose it may have. A better statement would be "throwing fuel on a fire". I'm not excusing what the government did because it was indeed over the top. But a mentally stable person, especially someone who was an Activist like he was, would have found ways to turn this to his advantage. Take Rosa Parks as an example- she was not an Activist prior to her little "stunt" on the bus... but instead of offing herself in a jail cell she used the situation to support Civil Rights Activism.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213133)

A touch of honesty is due here.

For every Rosa Parks, there are thousands of raped victims that no one ever pays attention to. Without those thousands of victims, Rosa would have been just an uppity old N****r broad, who didn't know her place. BECAUSE OF those victims, Ms Rosa Parks earned her place in history.

Lest anyone misunderstand - my aim is NOT to detract from what Rosa did.

Aaron did some pretty damned good things, and he was awesome in his own way, but obviously he didn't have that something special that gave Rosa her strength. I, for one, won't kick the guy for failing to be great. Or, failing to be as great as an historical figure like Ms Parks.

Re:Investigation....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213167)

Then again, you are not necessarily a government paid shill on this site, it's full of them.

Re:Investigation....? (5, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213529)

For every Rosa Parks, there are thousands of raped victims that no one ever pays attention to. Without those thousands of victims, Rosa would have been just an uppity old N****r broad, who didn't know her place. BECAUSE OF those victims, Ms Rosa Parks earned her place in history.

Actually, Rosa Parks earned her place in history with the help of a concentrated effort by the NAACP in Montgomery to bust the city's discrimination. American school textbooks tend to present her as a solitary hero because of an institutionalized disapproval of collective civil rights struggles, but in fact she was working in tandem with a number of other activists. Herbert R. Kohl's Should We Burn Babar? , which critiques US elementary school teaching, dedicates an entire chapter to the Rosa Parks myth and reality.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212921)

Come on. Think of the poor federal prosecutors. Doesn't anyone think of their feelings?
Unable (or unwilling) to take down the big, obvious crooks on wall street they're forced to take out their frustration on young, mentally unstable activists!

Those poor, poor federal prosecutors.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213027)

Oh good grief. Why do you hold Manning up beside Swartz? I'm sympathetic toward Swartz. The man was guilty of little, if anything. Manning is guilty of a whole list of crimes, that in another age would have meant his execution. Probably a very painful and lingering execution. Swartz was a civilian, Manning a soldier. Vastly different worlds. Swartz acted honorably. Manning dishonored himself and his uniform.

The article is about Swartz. Don't drag Manning into discussions about Swartz, please.

Re:Investigation....? (2)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213105)

Manning a soldier. Vastly different worlds. Swartz acted honorably. Manning dishonored himself and his uniform.

- no, the uniform that he wore was already dishonored by the actions of the organization that issued it and the organization that controlled the organization that issued it. Manning finally returned some semblance of honor to his uniform by doing what he swore to do: protect and defend the Constitution. Not the organization that issued his uniform. Not the organization that controls the organization that issued his uniform. Both of those have violated the conditions and the oath that they were supposed to uphold.

They are similar situations, both cases have to do with people fighting the system, where the system is in the wrong in all of these cases and the system then crushed the people fighting it.

Re:Investigation....? (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213279)

Supposing that your first statement is more or less true - one doesn't redeem a dishonored uniform by heaping more dishonor on it.

Manning dishonored himself, and his uniform.

Re:Investigation....? (3, Informative)

udachny (2454394) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213453)

No he did not, he finally returned some honor to his uniform by showing that there are still people that actually take the oath to defend and protect the Constitution seriously as opposed to those, who only pretend that they are there to do it.

Re:Investigation....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43214563)

Manning didn't defend the Constitution. He stole and distributed classified information because he wanted to embarrass the Military / Government. He didn't do anything for the purpose of making anything better (other than his own celebrity). Nothing he did changed anything, or made anything better in terms of how war is conducted. I think he should be executed, but I guess rotting away in a cell for the rest of your life is like being dead.

Re:Investigation....? (3, Insightful)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215065)

You think he leaked those documents for the sake of personal fame?

The government and military SHOULD be embarrassed for their egregious war crimes and blatant misrepresentation of facts to the American people. I think this leak was hugely significant.
We should give Manning a medal and prosecute the war criminals, starting with Cheney and Bush.

Amen! (1)

Weezul (52464) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213069)

You're much too soft on the DOJ though. They're the ones asking for laws like the CFAA.

We need a detailed list of every federal prosecutor that has ever brought a CFAA indictment so that we can make sure none get judgeships or political gigs.

Re:Investigation....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212317)

I'm sure my three-year-old considers it torture when he has to go to bed an hour early, but that doesn't make it so. I'm sympathetic to Aaron, but because of his evident mental illness. The real crime against his memory is that the Slashdot scofflaws -- who, when you get down to it, don't seem to recognize any kind of legitimate authorty -- want to convert him into some kind of martyr.

Re:Investigation....? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212435)

If "legitimate authority" means carte blanche to do whatever you want including the events in this case then no, no reasonable person would recognize legitimate authority in any situation short of duress. If legitimate authority means freedom from criticism, then of course that's not acceptable either. It's not clear what you even mean when you say that Slashdotters "don't seem to recognize any kind of legitimate authority". I would say it's a compliment, but I don't even know what you mean - there seems to be nothing reasonable you could mean if it's possible to go against it simply by voicing disagreement online.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212487)

It seems like ass-holes who don't understand the facts of the case want to come out an exonerate the DOJ for over reaching.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213301)

Cory Doctorow wrote about this stuff in his last book,

Something called Persona management software. also known as a turnkey astroturfing system. One person can do the entire work of a microsoft social marketing division with just a slick piece of software. That is why I honestly think half the shills and trolls on the internet are but bots, and as chatbots continue to improve, half the internet will be populated by sock puppets. And captcha is useless as OCR has improved by leaps and bounds.
Gov and business have figured out their counter to an anonymous internet, by making the SNR ratio way too high to be useful.

S/(S+N) ratio (1)

ka9dgx (72702) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213859)

making the SNR ratio way too high to be useful.

I'm picking a nit here... I admit it...

SNR = Signal / (Signal + Noise)

You want good numbers, like 30db or more.. higher SNR is better.

The spammers, sock puppets and shills are LOWERING the S(S+N) ratio asymptotically to zero.

The way to combat this is with well designed and run forums, and other computer mediated systems.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

tqk (413719) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212807)

The real crime against his memory is that the DoJ scofflaws -- who, when you get down to it, don't seem to recognize any kind of legitimate authorty -- want to convert him into some kind of mentally ill, deluded arch-criminal.

FTFY.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213217)

I count myself among the ranks of the "scofflaws" that you refer to. Funny thing is - I'm an authoritarian. If/when I consider you to be a legitimate authority, and to actually have the authority to give me orders, there is little that I won't do for you.

Overstep your authority one iota, and I'm suddenly your worst nightmare.

And, that is the case we see with copyright and patent law. Corporations are grabbing power, using it in place of authority, and robbing the public. Government is in collusion with those corporations, passing laws and writing treaties that they have no authority to write.

Key words in your post are "legitimate authority".

While I'm less sympathetic toward Swartz than some others here - he IS a martyr. He didn't go about it in quite the proper way, but he is a martyr, just the same.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213621)

Aaron Swartz's death, and the subsequent outcry, do appear to be bringing about some of the social changes [whitehouse.gov] he hoped for. Since his cause was public access to information, he was persecuted for this cause and died as a result it seems to meet the definition of martyr [wikipedia.org] .

The hero's death is commemorated. People may label the hero explicitly as a martyr. Other people may in turn be inspired to pursue the same cause.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

symbolset (646467) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213423)

You mean like that hive of anarchy, the American Library Association [districtdispatch.org] ?

Re:Investigation....? (1)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212471)

Nice one troll.

Re:Investigation....? (1)

Sporkinum (655143) | about a year and a half ago | (#43214593)

I would guess MIT is angry at her for dragging her feet and not noticing he had suicidal tendencies. All he wanted was a Pepsi, just one Pepsi, and she wouldn't give it to him.

Jerky Boys from Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212221)

Too bad Justice doesn't stand for the rule of law, only subverting. see Disparate Impact.

Political attack (5, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212243)

As I said in the previous story [slashdot.org] about CISPA, the relationship between you and your government is not what you were brought up to believe it is.

Aaron Swartz wasn't attacked because of that nonsense copyright infringement charge, he was attacked because he was very instrumental in the fight against SOPA.

Bradley Manning was not attacked just because of the leaks of some documents, governments leak selective documents all the time. He was attacked because he showed part of the true face, part of the true cost to the military invasion - the US government is involved in destroying individuals, freedoms of individuals around the world.

These people are political dissidents in USA, the system is set to destroy them because they attacked the system.

Re:Political attack (4, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212355)

That's also why the authorities don't really mind when decorated war veterans are killed by police at political protests (as happened in Oakland a couple of years ago). They tend to be cheering when cops beat and pepper-spray and arrest people who's sole crime is standing on a sidewalk holding a sign.

You should also mention Julian Assange, who has never stepped foot in the United States and has never been subject to its laws. The reason that Assange isn't going to Sweden to face the "sex-by-surprise" charges is that he could not get a guarantee that the Swedes would not immediately turn him over to the US, and he also couldn't get a guarantee from the US that he would receive anything remotely similar to a fair trial.

And I should mention that roman_mir and I have very different political leanings. But we can both agree that this kind of thing is wrong and illegal.

Re:Political attack (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212427)

Rare cases, in an age of omnipresent cameras, are not the norm.

Re:Political attack (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212753)

So exactly why is re-extradition an issue? After all the US could just go after extradition from Britain.

Not only that but the European Convention on Extradition places rather strict limits on what it permitted on re-extradition to 3rd parties.

Article 15 â" Re-extradition to a third state

Except as provided for in Article 14, paragraph 1.b, the requesting Party shall not, without the consent of the requested Party, surrender to another Party or to a third State a person surrendered to the requesting Party and sought by the said other Party or third State in respect of offences committed before his surrender. The requested Party may request the production of the documents mentioned in Article 12, paragraph 2.

Then of course there is the fact that Assange has not been charged with anything in the US.

Re:Political attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213059)

And yet, they couldn't get the Swedish government to say "no, we will not turn him over to the US".

When the government refuse to even pretend to follow a specific law, you have to be criminally naive to believe that they are going to follow said law.

Re:Political attack (3, Informative)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212859)

You should also mention Julian Assange, who has never stepped foot in the United States and has never been subject to its laws.

FWIW, he was on the Colbert Report (filmed in NYC) in 2010.

Re:Political attack (2)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213363)

You should also mention Julian Assange, who has never stepped foot in the United States and has never been subject to its laws. The reason that Assange isn't going to Sweden to face the "sex-by-surprise" charges is that he could not get a guarantee that the Swedes would not immediately turn him over to the US, and he also couldn't get a guarantee from the US that he would receive anything remotely similar to a fair trial.

What trial? Assange hasn't even been indicted or charged in the US.

But indeed: in principle, you can in fact violate the laws of a country you have never set foot in. Many countries have such laws, not just the US.

Re:Political attack (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213847)

Nor was Al Alwaki, accused of exercising his free speech rights in ways the Feds didn't like. Or his son, accused of being his son. They're dead at the hands of the Feds.

Re:Political attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43214395)

Giving aid and comfort to the enemy is kind of a treasonable offense.

Re:Political attack (2)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43214733)

There is no evidence Al Alwaki gave aid or comfort. None at all. There is conjecture and accusation, but only a total idiot would consider that to be "evidence". Here's an example:

I accuse you of being a child molester.

There. You are a child molester because I accused you of it. QED.

As for the son, the Obama administration's position was that he should have had a better dad. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/24/robert-gibbs-anwar-al-awlaki_n_2012438.html [huffingtonpost.com]

Re:Political attack (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215011)

You're right, it is. And the Constitution lays out exactly what you're supposed to do with someone like that: Indict, arrest, and give them a jury trial, with free access to a lawyer to advise them on the best possible defense. And the only evidence allowed in that jury trial is stuff legally obtained, and the presumed traitor has the right to confront all the evidence against him.

What actually happened was a combination of a propaganda campaign, secret evidence, and an illegal kill order. The propaganda campaign is what makes people like you think the kill order was in any way OK.

Re:Political attack (1)

blueg3 (192743) | about a year and a half ago | (#43214523)

You should also mention Julian Assange, who has never stepped foot in the United States and has never been subject to its laws. The reason that Assange isn't going to Sweden to face the "sex-by-surprise" charges is that he could not get a guarantee that the Swedes would not immediately turn him over to the US, and he also couldn't get a guarantee from the US that he would receive anything remotely similar to a fair trial.

That's certainly his claim. Maybe he even believes it. But if he does, hiding out in the UK was a pretty odd strategy. It's not like the UK has some history of refusing to extradite suspects on request by the US; he's no safer there than in Sweden.

Of course Sweden doesn't want to promise they won't extradite him to the US. He's asking for an unconditional, perpetual guarantee that he won't be extradited. There's no way they're going to make that kind of guarantee, because the US could request extradition some time in the future.

Re:Political attack (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215077)

But if he does, hiding out in the UK was a pretty odd strategy.

He's not hiding out in the UK, he's hiding out in the sovereign territory of Ecuador, namely their embassy. The reason that he's still there is that the UK has made it clear that if he tries to leave the embassy and go to Ecuador they will violate whatever diplomatic rights Ecuador's embassy vehicles have in order to capture Assange.

So you're right, hiding in the UK was a bad strategy.

Re:Political attack (1, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213235)

Put down the crack pipe, Manning and Swartz couldn't be more different.

Manning wanted to embarrass the United States and he made that very clear in his statement in his court martial. He didn't care about bystanders, international relationships or innocents that could be hurt in his wide spread dump of well over 100,000 documents. Swartz wanted to free information that was otherwise publicly available, had no bystanders to worry about, wasn't going to hurt international relationships and wasn't trying to embarrass anyone.

Putting Swartz on the same stand as a traitor like Manning is a dis-service to Swartz and taints his memory. If you think political dissidents in this country are routinely destroyed than you are as naive as can be. If you want to see real government destruction of dissidents that I invite you to look at country's like Venezuela, Tibet, Russia, Iran or North Korea. Swartz was the victim of an overzealous prosecutor out to make a name for herself, not a Illuminati style conspiracy.

Re:Political attack (3, Informative)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213429)

Put down the crack pipe

- never.

Manning wanted to embarrass the United States and he made that very clear in his statement in his court martial.

- wrong, either you are misinformed or lying on purpose.

full transcript [guardian.co.uk]

excerpts:

Up to this point,during the deployment, I had issues I struggled with and difficulty at work. Of the documents release, the cables were the only one I was not absolutely certain couldn't harm the United States. I conducted research on the cables published on the Net Centric Diplomacy, as well as how Department of State cables worked in general.

...

The more I read the cables, the more I came to the conclusion that this was the type of information that should become public. I once read a and used a quote on open diplomacy written after the First World War and how the world would be a better place if states would avoid making secret pacts and deals with and against each other.

I thought these cables were a prime example of a need for a more open diplomacy. Given all of the Department of State cables that I read, the fact that most of the cables were unclassified, and that all the cables have a SIPDIS caption.

...

I did not see anything in the 15-6 report or its annexes that gave away sensitive information. Rather, the investigation and its conclusions were and what those involved should have done, and how to avoid an event like this from occurring again.

...

The only place that you could possibly be referring to would be this part:

I believe that the public release of these cables would not damage the United States, however, I did believe that the cables might be embarrassing, since they represented very honest opinions and statements behind the backs of other nations and organizations.
In many ways these cables are a catalogue of cliques and gossip. I believed exposing this information might make some within the Department of State and other government entities unhappy. On 22 March 2010, I began downloading a copy of the SIPDIS cables using the program Wget, described above.

Yes, releasing very honest opinions behind the backs might be embarrassing to some organisations, you are however implying that it was his motive, which is false or a lie. It was not his motive, his motive was to ensure that the public knew what was done in its name:

The more I read, the more I was fascinated with the way that we dealt with other nations and organizations. I also began to think the documented backdoor deals and seemingly criminal activity that didn't seem characteristic of the de facto leader of the free world.

...

It detailed corruption within the cabinet of al-Maliki's government and the financial impact of his corruption on the Iraqi people. After discovering this discrepancy between the Federal Police's report and the interpreter's transcript, I forwarded this discovery to the top OIC and the battle NCOIC. The top OIC and the overhearing battle captain informed me that they didn't need or want to know this information anymore. They told me to quote "drop it" unquote and to just assist them and the Federal Police in finding out, where more of these print shops creating quote "anti-Iraqi literature" unquote.

I couldn't believe what I heard and I returned to the T-SCIF and complained to the other analysts and my section NCOIC about what happened. Some were sympathetic, but no one wanted to do anything about it.

Re:Political attack (1)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215171)

"If you want to see real government destruction of dissidents that I invite you to look at country's like Venezuela, Tibet, Russia, Iran or North Korea."

That's the standard by which we should judge the behavior of the USA government? As long as they are better than those other countries, it's OK to engage in crackdowns on peaceful political dissidents?

Re:Political attack (2)

The Snowman (116231) | about a year and a half ago | (#43215459)

If you think political dissidents in this country are routinely destroyed than you are as naive as can be.

Perhaps you should read up on U.S. history. We have a long history of doing just that. Look as far back as Reconstruction, the civil rights movements in the 1960s, and other figures such as Malcolm X. I think our government has learned from these and are far more subtle now, though.

Governments have been corrupt for thousands of years, as long as we have had governments. Many other governments in this world are corrupt as well: what makes the U.S. so special? Absolute power corrupts absolutely. So the most powerful nation on the planet with regards to military and economy is somehow the land of peace and love? Where the government does not try to keep its hegemony on world influence? The diplomatic cable leaks serve only to prove that the U.S. government is corrupt and bends rules to get its way.

I am no conspiracy theorist. I just believe in human nature: people want more power and influence than the others around them. Put 535 people like that into Congress, another 2+cabinet into the White House, let them appoint their lackies to government jobs, what is going to happen? Shit like Swartz's case. This is why we need stronger restrictions on what government can and cannot do, and it has to be enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. Finally, we need someone willing to enforce those restrictions. I vote for Batman: his existence is just as likely as our government restricting its own power.

Re:Political attack (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213335)

Aaron Swartz wasn't attacked because of that nonsense copyright infringement charge,

Swartz wasn't charged with copyright infringement, he was charged with computer tampering, and he fulfilled the criteria.

These people are political dissidents in USA, the system is set to destroy them because they attacked the system.

Swartz pretty clearly broke a number of laws, and it was proper to charge him when this became known to the prosecutor. It would have been corrupt if he hadn't been charged because of his politics.

The law under which he was charged is a bad law and should be changed; not all federal cases of computer tampering should be felonies. And the vast expansion of the federal justice system is itself a grave concern. But you can't blame the prosecutor for that; blame the voters who keep wanting such laws and keep voting guys into office who push for them. The idea of "leave it to the states" seems to have become some kind of right-wing fringe ideology to many.

Re:Political attack (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213885)

I'm pretty liberal, voted for Jill Stein and all that. I would love to see a constitutional amendment that authorizes unilateral secession by the states because the Federal government is corrupt beyond repair and evil beyond reckoning. Yeah -- some states in the South would go Christian Taliban or whatever. Let 'em. They just suck up my tax dollars anyway.

Re:Political attack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43214803)

I would think the events of the past few years (SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, etc) would have proven to even the most skeptical that the will of "the people" of any particular nation has little to do with the legislation/treaties passed by their leaders. I don't necessarily buy the "the rich are coming to enslave us" line but there are definitely some in power (both political & monetary) who wish to ensure that their positions are safe and secure at the general public's expense. Some prosecutors wish to make sure their positions are secure by getting legislation passed that makes them immune from even the most egregious abuse of their prosecutorial power. Most Police unions push for ever expanding exceptions from criminal liability for officers caught abusing their authority to detain & investigate. And some corporations push for more civil & criminal measures that allow them to attack their competition.

quit dramatizing (0)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212297)

Keys quite literally gave away the keys to the store, pun intended. He did this to cause problems with a specific website of his former employer this is criminal activity end of story.

Re:quit dramatizing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212363)

I do not disagree with that, but his act is in no way deserving of a 25 year jail sentence.

That is ridiculous and it IS very definitely a politically motivated action- the US government wants Anonymous and sees him as a possible step towards that end, which moves the entire case from one intended to secure justice, as it should be, to one that is politically based.

I don't agree with dramatizing this stuff, but I also do not condone ignoring the realities.

Re:quit dramatizing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213839)

Keys also has a looooooong history of sociopathic behavior, including but not limited to malicious defamation, hard-core trolling, offline stalking, and provably false accusations against would-be. The guy really is a piece of shit through and through.

  There's a big difference between the kind of stuff he's engaged in and what Swartz did, which was a (naive) political statement.

Re:quit dramatizing (1)

emj (15659) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212581)

What would happen if I did the same thing with my keys to my office building, would I spend even a day in prison? People get so blind to this, it doesn't matter if we are talking about 10 years or 30, even days in prison is too much for this. How did we get to talking about years?

Re:quit dramatizing (1)

jittles (1613415) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213333)

What would happen if I did the same thing with my keys to my office building, would I spend even a day in prison? People get so blind to this, it doesn't matter if we are talking about 10 years or 30, even days in prison is too much for this. How did we get to talking about years?

It is not the same thing at all. Providing access to a physical location is not the same as providing access to the server infrastructure for a corporation. You don't know what keys he gave away, do you? Other than the fact that the LA TImes website was defaced, he may have given away far greater access than either he or the hacker knew. And if you gave away the keys of your office building so that your friend could rob the corporate safe of $250,000 then I am willing to bet that they would quite happily charge you with accessory to grand theft. Or if you gave away your keys to the office so that someone could be murdered then you would be an accessory to murder. Even if you did not know the person was going to commit these crimes, you would still be an accessory. Whether the penalty for the crime committed is just is one thing, but you are providing us with a false equivalency.

Also the damages to the LA Times may have been greater in this cyber vandalism than an actual physical vandalism would have been. Its possible (though I don't think anyone publicly knows this), that the Times spent tens of thousands of dollars trying to determine the cause of the breach, and the long term security implications. If you went and spray painted the lobby, they'd be out a can of paint and an hour or two of a security guard's time as he reviewed the video surveillance footage to determine the cause and extent of the trespass.

Justice System once again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212305)

Proves how flawed it is.

Amazing that justice can ever be had under our modern legal system and yet I hold out for the rare instances where it does, in fact, seem to be working. Such as the Prenda situation.

Of course the Prenda criminals will likely get off lightly for severe crimes while Swartz (who should have been charged with misdemeanors at most) and Keys (a bit more severe as he shared secure login info) get hammered.

Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212407)

If it were, then it would be responsible for any suicide for someone with an impending prosecution.

Justice is not responsible for Swartz illegally downloading millions of documents in the JSTOR case, nor for his similar behavior two years prior in the PACER case. His reaction in the former case is still posted: [aaronsw.com]

Wanted by the FBI

I got my FBI file today. (Request yours!) As I hoped, it’s truly delightful.

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (1)

Thrill Science (2845693) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212423)

Exxactly! We can't find some third party to blame any time someone commits suicide. I agree it's awful when a person takes his own life, but that doesn't make it someone else's fault.

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (1)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212763)

The law is generally based on the idea that multiple parties can be at fault. We frequently try the guy who drove the getaway car for murder when his buddy is the one who actually pulled the trigger on the bank guard. There are whole categories of crime where someone only did whatever they did after the original crime and we call it such things as conspiracy after the fact, yet we still find people guilty. In civil law, it's frequent to see a party declared 55% responsible, or 10%, or many variations on how much fault is shared in multiple ways. Here, you seem to be arguing that suicide is a felony, but there cannot be multiple parties contributing to that particular felony, or having multiple asignments of guilt, or even tortuous responsibility. That's actually an unusual position to hold, and there's a lot of common law against it. There is some law where you could openly add the clause "if the person is an agent of the state" and find matching precedents, but then, that's what most of us are debating, whether putting on a law enforcement hat makes persons immune from personal responsibilty.

            Driving a car with a passenger who has committed a robbery recently does not necessarily involve guilt. Lying to a suspect in an official capacity does not necessarily involve guilt. But, a driver can have guilty knowledge that the other persons in the car were committing an armed robbery before they got in, and an investigator can have guilty knowledge that he is not actually sticking to charges in line with the law if unreasonable charges can improve his conviction rate. We shouldn't find some third party responsible every time someone commits suicide, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't ever find anyone else at fault any time someone commits suicide.

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (2)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212505)

The downloads were not illegal. Nice one jackass. He exceeded the limit of article he could download. Exceeding the limit was not illegal.

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212551)

The downloads were not illegal. Nice one jackass. He exceeded the limit of article he could download. Exceeding the limit was not illegal.

OK then. Swartz had his day in court ahead of him and he was close to some pretty high powered lawyers like Lawrence Lessig. So you agree that he would've been acquitted, right?

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213109)

Only someone who trusts the justice system to actually deliver justice would believe that.

But any such person would also believe that the prosecutors would not try to get a man sent to jail for up to 30 years for basically nothing in the first place.

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (1)

dcollins117 (1267462) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213635)

I actually think Aaron would have been acquiited. What he did was very inconsiderate. I think he acted selfishly, and either didn't know or didn't care that by hogging resources he was inconveniencing others. But I can't find anything he did was actually against the law. That's all that should matter to a judge despite the fancy prosecutorial smoke and mirror show they would have undoubtably had to wade through.

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43214879)

MIT's network is for students, faculty, and guests which Swartz was none of. Using MIT's network without authorization is a crime. MIT pays for JSTOR access for its students, faculty, and guests, which Swartz was none of. Pretenting to be an MIT student/faculty/guest in order to get access to JSTOR is a crime. MIT and JSTOR erected blocks to stop Swartz specifically and he repeatedly went around them. Accessing JSTOR after fraudulently obtained access was revoked is a crime. Entering a wiring closet and directly connecting your computer to a network switch without authorization is a crime.

You may not like that these things are crimes but they are crimes nonetheless. Swartz knew they were crimes, that's why he made efforts to avoid getting caught, including purchasing a laptop specifically for the caper, hiding his face with his bike helmet, running from the cops when they caught up with him, etc...

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213373)

He was repeatedly going around blocks erected to stop him specifically from accessing JSTORs computers. That's unauthorized access of a protected computer, one of the charges he faced. He also fraudulently identified himself as MIT student/faculty in order to get download access in the first place. That's where the wire fraud charges come from.

He deliberately broke the law multiple times to pull off his stunt but people like you keep holding him out as some innocent guy who just downloaded a little bit too much.

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212675)

No, you asshole. Justice *is* responsible for overreach, and very much this.

Re:Justice is not responsible for Swartz's suicide (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212781)

No, you asshole.

Argument by name calling.

Swartz knew what he was doing, consulting expert legal counsel in advance who advised him not to do it, then did it anyway, while hiding in a closet at MIT. But since he was a smart kid with a popular blog and lots of friends at MIT and Harvard, then Justice really should make an exception in his case, that they wouldn't and shouldn't make for some high schooler prosecuted for sending millions of spam messages (that also arguably "didn't hurt anybody"). Care to stick up for the latter types of folks? They are people too.

the rich don't like that (5, Insightful)

mdw2 (122737) | about a year and a half ago | (#43212425)

Sadly the only lesson that the DOJ seems to want to teach anyone is "don't fuck with the rich"

Why are we still talking about this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43212615)

There are real threats to your freedom here in the states, this is not one of them.

Be concerned with big government, abuse of power and failure to abide by constitutional protections on natural rights. Deficit spending and excessive taxation is enslaving you and your children. What happened to this jerk may be distasteful, but he killed himself after making his own choices.

16T in debt was not a choice I made, but I am being forced to pay it off, as are all of you US citizens out there. Why aren't you pissed off about that?

Documents (2)

Sigvatr (1207234) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213099)

Uh, the last time documents related to this case were released didn't turn out so good.

still a tempest in a teapot (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year and a half ago | (#43213267)

Swartz committed suicide because he had depression. If it wasn't this, something else would have triggered it. If people had known he was suicidal, the correct response would have been to commit him and place him under suicide watch, not to drop charges; suicidal people are still adults.

And except for grandiose press releases, he actually faced a few months in prison, if he had been found guilty at all. Granted, the circus of a large public trial is something to be unhappy about, but Swartz was an Internet activist who had deliberately broken laws, not some bystander who accidentally got sucked into the justice system.

Re:still a tempest in a teapot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213457)

Except you are full of crap in every statement you make.

Depression contributed to Swartz' suicide, no doubt.
Being railroaded by the US (in)Justice Department is what caused him to see no way out.

It scares me how many US citizens seem to be ok with how this nation ever more rapidly approaches a Gestapo state.
We aren't quite there yet, but if this kind of thing is allowed to continue I am afraid we will get there.

Re:still a tempest in a teapot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43214015)

No way out, except he was offered multiple deals consisting of probation or at most 6 months in the clink. According to his family and friends, the sticking point was the felony conviction. To Aaron, a life without ivy league fellowships or opportunities to work at the White House was not a life worth living. That's pretty strong proof that he was very sick and needed help. It is very sad someone who was ostensibly a genius and loved by many, many people could not get that help.

Re:still a tempest in a teapot (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213929)

And except for grandiose press releases, he actually faced a few months in prison, if he had been found guilty at all. Granted, the circus of a large public trial is something to be unhappy about, but Swartz was an Internet activist who had deliberately broken laws, not some bystander who accidentally got sucked into the justice system.

Let's see, he copied documents that he actually had legal access to and the original prosecutor was going to,

According to attorney Harvey Silverglate, lawyers familiar with the case told him the Middlesex County District Attorney had planned to resolve Swartz’s trespassing case with a “stern warning” and “continuance without a finding.”[67][68] As he explained to CNET’s Declan McCullagh

Your right that does sound pretty spot on, what was I thinking.... oh wait,

“Tragedy intervened,” Silverglate wrote in Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, “when [United States Attorney Carmen] Ortiz’s office took over the case to send a message.’”

cough,

“[I]f convicted on these charges,” said Ortiz, “Swartz faces up to 35 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture and a fine of up to $1 million.”

Math must not be your strong suite, either that or 420 months = a few..., (i.e. Also know as ~1.3 Aaron-Swartz lifetimes) And apparently, one million dollars!, isn't even worth mentioning except perhaps to Dr Evil (and me). Admittedly, he probably would not have gotten the max penalty if he was found guilty at trial, but there is no way of actually knowing that until you go to trial and lose.

Outrage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213689)

The outrage wasn't just over "the U.S. attorney's aggressive pursuit of a stiff sentence"; it was the "aggressive pursuit of a stiff sentence" as a means to get a guilty plea. And pleading guilty and become a felon is something Aaron refused to do, eventually by taking his own life.

Anarchy is REAL democracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213777)

Take that government-loving ass-kissing libtard slashfags!

If Aaron Swartz is still alive (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43213901)

He would have stand by Rand Paul, a highly demonized figure here on /.

Defund DOJ (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | about a year and a half ago | (#43214143)

Defund DOJ until Eric Holder resigns for both Fast & Furious and Aaron Swartz incident. This lawless administration only understands money & force, because that is how they do things.

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