January 26, 2013

"With Aaron's death, we can wait no longer."

"This time there will be change or there will be chaos."

43 comments:

Palladian said...

Buy stock in Guy Fawkes-mask making companies.

edutcher said...

When they executed McVeigh, the death penalty protesters were conspicuous for their absence.

It's going to be interesting to see how fast these morons get nailed.

McTriumph said...

Now this is a national tragedy, it illustrates the Stasi like abuse by prosecutors in this country.

deborah said...

Was Swartz's main theme that MIT was a public school and the results should be open to the public?

David R. Graham said...

Modern-day Declaration of Abroath.

David R. Graham said...

Correction: Arbroath, Declaration of Arbroath.

Chef Mojo said...

What? Congress, who makes the laws, gets a pass?

I don't see how there's any "abuse" of the laws involved. The laws are there, as are the laws governing prosecutorial conduct and discretion. Show me where those laws, enacted by Congress and signed by the president, have been abused. Make that.

Aaron Schwartz was a weakling who chose self murder rather than face up to the consequences of his actions under the law. He knew he was breaking the law, but disassociated himself from the price the law would make him pay. I have absolutely no sympathy for him.

Anonymous will over play its hand. They're getting people real pissed off at them. Very powerful people. They may not like our laws. I don't much like them either, sometimes, especially when they're very selectively prosecuted according to status (David Gregory, anyone?). But the law allows prosecutors to do exactly that.

A lot of Anonymous "hacktivists" will end up being disappeared. Too bad. You want to play in the big leagues, prepare to play hurt.

Ann Althouse said...

"Was Swartz's main theme that MIT was a public school and the results should be open to the public?"

I'm not sure what Swartz in particular thought, but I've watched the linked Anonymous video, and they have a radical belief that the internet is a free public space and they seem to want to free up as much information as they can, regardless of copyright, privacy, or national security. This is the idea that if Swartz believed in freeing information and didn't seek personal profit, he either shouldn't have been prosecuted or should have been threatened only with a light sentence so that he couldn't have been pressured to avoid a jury trial the way he was. (He was charged in a way that threatened something like 30 years, but then offered something more like 4 years. He opted out by killing himself.)

Chef Mojo said...

Er, make that argument...

Christopher said...

The problem with "Anonymous" is that any legitimate points they may be making are usually overshadowed by the fact that about 3/4 of their group is composed of douche bags.

This little stunt of theirs is not going to play well with the public and will only result in future prosecutions.

jr565 said...

Althouse wrote:
I'm not sure what Swartz in particular thought, but I've watched the linked Anonymous video, and they have a radical belief that the internet is a free public space and they seem to want to free up as much information as they can, regardless of copyright, privacy, or national security.

Yes, and this is evil.

Christopher said...

Althouse,

The article says that he was offered a plea for 6 months.

jr565 said...

I'm not sure what Swartz in particular thought, but I've watched the linked Anonymous video, and they have a radical belief that the internet is a free public space and they seem to want to free up as much information as they can, regardless of copyright, privacy, or national security.


Also, ironies of ironies, is that they call themselves ANONYMOUS. If they really are for freeing up information shouldn't we know who they are? Isnt' that information? Yet they hide behind firewalls and computer tricks. the same way companies hide their information behind firewalls.
They are such hypocrites their very moniker reveals their ultimate hypocricy.
I want to know about anonymous. I want to know their names, their parents names, what schools they went to, their social security numbers their phone numbers their ip addresses, their banking information, their credit card informationand all the other information they aren't forthcoming with.
And if they don't reveal it they are underiming the very premise of their existence.
And what's with the Guy Fawkes mask? Isnt wearing a mask hiding your identity? I thought that was bad? Shouldn't we KNOW the face behind the mask?

jr565 said...

Anonymous make your classified material public. We demand it, in the name of openness!

jr565 said...

Christopher wrote:
The problem with "Anonymous" is that any legitimate points they may be making are usually overshadowed by the fact that about 3/4 of their group is composed of douche bags.


Actually the real problem with Anonyomous is that they have very few legitimate points to actually make.

deborah said...

Yes, eschewing privacy and national security is not so bright. His suicide was not about government overreach, but a troubled young man, perhaps reaching for a meaningful legacy.

Here is a Bloggingheads that they re-issued at his death:

http://bloggingheads.tv/
videos/1602

He also did one with Dean Baker.

Palladian said...

I fully support part of the premise expressed by "Anonymous" but I don't support their methods; they seem to advocate replacing out-of-control, capricious government with out-of-control, capricious thuggery. They promote a sort of revenge-based lawlessness that is just as dangerous to rights as revenge-based State control. I have no more reason to trust people in Guy Fawkes masks than I do to trust bad State actors.

Chip S. said...

Thank goodness all our medical records haven't been digitized.

Levi Starks said...



Things have turned out pretty well for Bill Ayers founder of the Weather underground. unlike Anonymous which uses information as a weapon, Bills organization liked to actually bomb things, you know like police stations and stuff...

jr565 said...

Palladian wrote:
I fully support part of the premise expressed by "Anonymous" but I don't support their methods; they seem to advocate replacing out-of-control, capricious government with out-of-control, capricious thuggery.

Well their very premise is an endorsement of thuggey. What do you call hacking into a companys' network to get data that doens't belong to them without the express permission of those they are trying to get data from?
What if the data was your personal information?

I would agree that if they control their own information that they can diseminate in through open source methods. It's their information.

jr565 said...

Thank goodness all our medical records haven't been digitized.


Good point. Also, good thing we haven't put any of our banking information online.

jr565 said...

I'd be perfectly ok if one of these guys were caught and then waterboarded till he gave up the remaining members of Anonymous, and then they were waterboarded simply for being assholes.
(not actually being literal here).

Howard said...

The tree of liberty... (Quotation)

"I do not know whether it is to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new constitution. I beg leave through you to place them where due. It will be yet three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There are very good articles in it: and very bad. I do not know which preponderate. What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in the chapter on the Stadtholder, would have sufficed to set me against a Chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been disposed towards one: and what we have always read of the elections of Polish kings should have forever excluded the idea of one continuable for life. Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it's motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion.[1] The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country ever existed a century and a half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it's liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it's natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusets: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order. I hope in god this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted." - Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, Paris, 13 Nov. 1787[2]

SOJO said...

This was the text Carl Malamud, one of the best speakers at Aaron's Memorial:
https://public.resource.org/aaron/army/


I don't think you've represented Aaron's POV accurately in this blog. He was an absurdly ethical person, and it got him in trouble. At the very least you should get that SOPA wasn't about copyright, but free speech; PACER was paid for by the public and the FBI found they had nothing to charge him with for that incident (not for lack of trying); JSTOR did not press charges and has since moved in Aaron's direction towards more open access; no one lost any earnings; MIT, known for its open access, regrets their actions.

Furthermore, it's very odd that the Secret Service was called in for something that minor. It is widely assumed it was the DOJ going after him for his earlier *legal* acts that they resented (beyond the now common practice of 'trial by prosecutor' rather than jury that many people have to deal with in a world with overloaded courts) very reminiscent of John Lennon and his 70s immigration problems, primarily due to the threat to his election Nixon thought he represented, rather than a UK weed charge.

Tim Berners Lee was at Davos talking about the broken computer laws and Aaron. Davos. Tim Berners Lee. Wake up, people. Stop pretending to be provincial twits with no capability of greater historical context. Or at least be *American, Spirit of 1776* provincial twits, which would be a welcome relief.


(Aaron bit starts around @10:35)

http://www.weforum.org/sessions/summary/insight-idea-tim-berners-lee

SOJO said...

As far as Anonymous's lastest, it reminds me of tales I've read of angry spirits - in the sense that they are intelligent, angry, have intent - and yet are finally disembodied, so there is only so much they can do. It has to be kept on a non-physical (online) level.

campy said...

Was Swartz's main theme that MIT was a public school and the results should be open

Since when is MIT a public school?

jr565 said...

The WWW is designed open in the sense that you have access to all sites. And if you so wish to have your sites be completely open you can certainly do so. But we run businesses on the Web. How could people possilby think that things that are suposed to be secure should be open to all?
We have an open society, but that doesn't mean that you have access to the door to my house, does it? Does the fact that my door is locked suddenly mean the society is no longer open?
The Aaron Swartz's of the world do not have access to my doors unless I give them access to it.
And in fact if you go any site on the internet and you have to create an account with a password, the assumption is that your information is in fact protected and YOUR information and not Aaron Swartz's.
I don't care how open Ebbers Lee designed the WWW way back when.If it were so open that people could have access to bank records or personal info, people would never feel comfortorable putting that info on the web.
Sharing requires the intent of the person doing the sharing, and the consent of the person whos' information he is sharing.

Zach said...

There's something about anonymity and the internet that turns people into power mad psychos.

Anonymous is making the same mistake that Swartz made in the first place. They confuse having a technical ability to do something with having the moral right to do it. Swartz wanted to steal academic articles; Anonymous wants to shut down a website and make private information public. And, like Swartz, there's a curious moral blindness to the fact that the things they are doing are illegal.

If the Mafia shut down a courthouse in revenge for prosecutions, they'd send in the National Guard.

Palladian said...

And, like Swartz, there's a curious moral blindness to the fact that the things they are doing are illegal.

The recent trajectory of government should be enough evidence that morality and legality aren't necessarily equivalent.

Chef Mojo said...

The recent trajectory of government should be enough evidence that morality and legality aren't necessarily equivalent.

They never have been. One need only look at the Fugitive Slave Act, for just one of countless examples. This country has a long, long history of morality and legality crashing up against one another.

deborah said...

@ Campy, "Incorporated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on April 10, 1861."

Just assuming, but I've been known to be wrong.

campy said...

Incorporated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

The MIT Corporation owns and operates the school. It's private.

Zach said...

The recent trajectory of government should be enough evidence that morality and legality aren't necessarily equivalent.

The things they're doing are immoral and illegal both, so they've got all their bases covered.

deborah said...

K

David R. Graham said...

"The problem with "Anonymous" is that any legitimate points they may be making are usually overshadowed by the fact that about 3/4 of their group is composed of douche bags."

1- How would you know?

2- That statement is the work of high-order professionals. I would guess IT, Legal and Military.

David R. Graham said...

"I'd be perfectly ok if one of these guys were caught and then waterboarded till he gave up the remaining members of Anonymous, and then they were waterboarded simply for being assholes.
(not actually being literal here)."

And how many screeching screeds did you float over "President Hitler Bush's Waterboarding Torture," mister anonymous commenter?

David R. Graham said...

"Tim Berners Lee was at Davos talking about the broken computer laws and Aaron. Davos. Tim Berners Lee. Wake up, people. Stop pretending to be provincial twits with no capability of greater historical context. Or at least be *American, Spirit of 1776* provincial twits, which would be a welcome relief. "

Exactly, thank you!

Reynolds is approaching this, with lawyerly dialectics so far, with his piece on due process in a context of everything is a crime - exactly the evil Anonymous is pointing out also in this declaration, but without the lawyerly "this side, that side" freeze on action I had hoped Althouse would grasp the "greater historical context," as you rightly put it.

David R. Graham said...

"And, like Swartz, there's a curious moral blindness to the fact that the things they are doing are illegal."

That's the heart of this, isn't it. The heart I thought Althouse would cognize and grasp.

One man's law is another man's inhumanity. We're facing mountains of "law" that are lances of inhumanity. Aquinas pointed out that an unjust "law," a "law" that does not protect humanity and common sense, is not a law but a species of violence. Gandhi made the same point.

This matter illustrates that point and reminds me of the self-immolation of the food vendor in Tunisia that set off the revolution in that and other countries in North Africa, a revolution co-opted by Arab/Pan-African imperialists.

If this doesn't do it here, something soon will. DOJ, DNC, WH and their propaganda operatives are pushing so hard to narrow the living space of Americans not paying them tribute in votes or money that they must drive an explosion sooner than later. They want to do that, think they can profit from it.

jr565 said...

David R. Graham wrote:
One man's law is another man's inhumanity. We're facing mountains of "law" that are lances of inhumanity. Aquinas pointed out that an unjust "law," a "law" that does not protect humanity and common sense, is not a law but a species of violence. Gandhi made the same point.

Except who is determining that a law doesn't protect humanity or is against common sense? Ultimately you may disagree with the law, but not every one will. Therefore, how is it a species of violence. And what does that entitle you to as far as your actoins go? To vioalate the law? Because essentially you think it's a species of violence? Which law? Any law you feel like violating?

It's like when the parent lay down the law and the kid thinks that the parents are the Gestapo and everything they do an affliction to him and an example of tyranny. Yet, so what if he doesn't like being sent to his room or punished beause he violated one of his parents rules?

This is not to say that parents are always right or laws are always right. But you take any law in existence and you'll find some people in the world who find that law to be one that should be broken.

jr565 said...

David R Graham:
Reynolds is approaching this, with lawyerly dialectics so far, with his piece on due process in a context of everything is a crime - exactly the evil Anonymous is pointing out also in this declaration, but without the lawyerly "this side, that side"

Take Reynolds with a grain of salt on this. He already has an issue with copyright law, and was against SOPA so finds much of what Swartz did to be justifiable.

The problem with his argument of everything is a crime, is that some things ARE crimes. And what Swartz did,and what Anonymous is doing now SHOULD be prosecuted AS a crime.

jr565 said...

David R. Graham wrote:
1- How would you know?

Um, because they are wearing Guy Fawkes masks and hacking into sites to take info that doesn't belong to them?

jr565 said...

Zach wrote:
Anonymous is making the same mistake that Swartz made in the first place. They confuse having a technical ability to do something with having the moral right to do it. Swartz wanted to steal academic articles; Anonymous wants to shut down a website and make private information public. And, like Swartz, there's a curious moral blindness to the fact that the things they are doing are illegal.

Tecnology allows us to track Anonymous without warrants. So, what's the problem libertarians?

jr565 said...

Palladian wrote:The recent trajectory of government should be enough evidence that morality and legality aren't necessarily equivalent.

SO, what's moral about Anonymouss actions, or Swartz's for that matter?