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Old 06-07-2013, 02:10 AM   #1
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LXer: Aaron Swartz’ Dad Wants Justice For His Son


Published at LXer:

It’s time for me to write a very few words about Aaron Swartz. When he died back in January, I didn’t write anything. I didn’t know him, but other writers did and they were busy grieving and sharing memories of him online and in print. I didn’t know much about him then. I know much more now.

Read More...
 
Old 06-08-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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He was not a hero. He didn't help the poor or the widows or the orphans. He didn't rush into a burning building.
He knew what he was doing and got caught. He didn't die, he killed himself. He was mentally unstable.

Funny, I got banned from one site for pointing that out.
 
Old 06-08-2013, 01:03 PM   #3
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He did help the poor by freeing prisoners from the information prisons. And even if he didn't take his life the unequal pending punishments for his crime compared to other much more harmful crimes would have made him as good as dead. He did nothing more than any government employee basically does if they left a government laptop at lunch and was unable to reaqcuire it.
 
Old 06-09-2013, 12:01 PM   #4
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If he hadn't killed himself, he might have beaten the rap. If he did get sentenced, he'd more likely to spend only a year in jail or maybe time served. People who murder in the US get out in 5 years. How could they expect to keep him in for very long?

His crime? He didn't try to use existing civilization's laws and rules to get the issue changed. The data he took was scanned at great expense, it was stored at great expense and while it was public data, it wasn't free and the people who worked at the place expected to be paid. I think if it as a toll road. I'd prefer all roads to be free, I prefer all public data to be free. Saying someone broke down the toll booths to get free access to a road would result in being charged.



I doubt the people who need food think much of him.
 
Old 06-09-2013, 05:07 PM   #5
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Should toll booths even exist? They exist on "public" land after all. Local traffic patterns are negatively impacted by them. And now it's all cameras and bill you later at 4x's the costs. Processed by a few computers out of state, so it's not even about jobs anymore.

Mitnick certainly didn't spend a year in jail, and he hadn't even been charged with anything while he did most of that time. Why would Aaron have any expectations of fairness? That's not what was in the case history of what he allegedly downloaded. Or any of the experiences of his peers.
 
Old 06-09-2013, 05:26 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
If he hadn't killed himself, he might have beaten the rap. If he did get sentenced, he'd more likely to spend only a year in jail or maybe time served. People who murder in the US get out in 5 years. How could they expect to keep him in for very long?
Are you an ex-con or just a blustering "hardman"?
I haven't read a single account of anyone who went to jail not suffering in some way and I've read and heard many people being abused. You may be quite happy to go to prison, perhaps you're a tough guy, but for many it's not a place they really want to be.
What the guy did hurt nobody but the prosecution were pushing for him to spend a decade or more being abused by murderers and rapists.
 
Old 06-09-2013, 09:24 PM   #7
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I doubt the statistics on suicide because of possibility of going to prison are very high. I'd guess they are almost non-existent.

Would you kill yourself if you faced prison time of a year?

The guy did steal from a real company that does have a workforce. How'd you feel if some guy stole from your workplace?

I respect your feelings and your opinions and help on this site. Pretty sure I could have not voiced my opinions. The guy wasn't some hero, just a twerp.
 
Old 06-10-2013, 06:39 AM   #8
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I am sorry, my point was that this was a young guy who was facing a prosecutor who wanted to throw him in a cage for 35 years to be raped and beaten* as well as having his income (such as it could be) garnished for the rest of his life. So, whilst I don't think of him as a hero, I think dismissing him as mentally ill so not deserving of empathy or sympathy is going far too far.
I think that the sentences waved about for these crimes and their affect on largely harmless individuals is a problem. IP theft and other computer crimes may cost money (how much is debatable) but it in no way impacts lives in the way that many violent or physical theft crimes do yet the sentences waved around are often longer for "hacking" offences.


*Yes, this characterisation of prison may be too extreme and incorrect but I've seen little evidence that it's completely fabricated. I know I wouldn't want to find out, would you?
 
Old 06-10-2013, 07:51 AM   #9
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Personally, I wonder if he actually did kill himself [/conspiracy theory].

If he did, then I agree with jefro.
 
Old 06-10-2013, 12:10 PM   #10
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I would suspect that a real hard core prison is a place very much the opposite of what I'd like to spend time at. When I was young, my first jobs were with construction companies. Many if not all of the workers had some light to heavy jail time. Like the comedian said, "Thank God for prisons." These guys were pretty unstable in the free world.

In the USA we do have a very odd prison system. Some of the white collar prisons look like a college dorm. No bars, no outward signs of being a place where criminals are sent. The guy would have never gotten 35 years since years mean months. So 35 years would be a few years at most. Time spent is counted usually. This all assume he would be convicted.

My issue here is he did know he was doing a crime. It was public information but that isn't the point. A company built a business collecting and providing and storing the data. It has always been very expensive to house data. Think 1985 dollars for a server and ways to scan. This is my point.

Oddly, I totally agree that public ought to mean public. The government doesn't need more overhead so they should be allowed to do that task. The 8 cents the company charged would have been a dollar. I have had to pay that much for a copy at the court house more than a few times.

I think his argument was similar to toll roads. We all know the false sales pitch for toll roads yet people love them.
 
Old 06-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #11
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I agree, so either he was mentally unstable or he was whacked. Otherwise, the suicide doesn't make sense.
 
Old 06-10-2013, 01:22 PM   #12
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Where's the evidence that the information downloaded was scanned in 1985? I still find it a bit perverse that a piece of information is more valuable than 35 years of an individuals life.
 
  


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