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Just Bob
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Spring Hill, FL

1 edit

Re: Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz found dead.

NM



scelli
Native New Yorker
Premium
join:1999-08-07
FLOT/FEBA
kudos:1

2 edits

I'm a member and financial supporter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention as well as the American Association of Suicidology and have numerous books on the subject in my own personal library.

Unfortunately, I'm also a member of a club nobody wants to join: The suicide survivor club. That does not mean I attempted suicide and survived, but instead means I've had an individual in my life who did indeed kill themselves. As a direct result of such a heartbreaking event, I (along with many, many others similarly affected) are left trying to pick up the pieces years and sometimes decades later. In my particular case, the needless death was a beautiful and compassionate 26-year old nurse in May of 1975, almost 38 years ago. This may sound trite, but there isn't a day I don't think of her. Back then, mental health issues were almost always swept underneath the carpet as an embarrassment and so was stigma of death by suicide. I was 7,000 miles away in the service when this tragedy occurred, but can personally vouch for the fact that after she took a fatal overdose of the prescription drugs Tofranil and Doriden (the first an antidepressant and the second a sleeping aid not even approved by the FDA any more) and was found sprawled across her bed hours later, my life was never the same. In fact my life was almost destroyed. It also would take decades before I could actually verify the real manner of her death as the stigma of a daughter committing suicide was simply too much for the family to go public with.

However: She made the conscious decision to do it, as much as it genuinely hurts me to admit that. Sometimes the pain of staying around is far greater then the pain of leaving, if you understand what is meant by that. I didn't know anything about Aaron Swartz and no matter what the reason why he tragically did what he did, the plain hard fact is that Aaron himself ended his own life. While there most certainly may have been mitigating circumstances involved, it still doesn't negate the fact he and he alone made the final decision.
--
The maximum effective range of an excuse is ZERO meters!



FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5
reply to Just Bob

said by Just Bob:

He was facing 35 years for a TOS violation.

No he wasn't. He had a deal on the table for 6 months. All the press reports about long prison sentences were overblown.
»betabeat.com/2013/01/tom-dolan-d···twitter/
--
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasury.

PX Eliezer7
Premium
join:2008-08-09
Hutt River
kudos:13
Reviews:
·callwithus
·voip.ms

1 recommendation

Aaron Swartz Case 'Snowballed Out Of MIT's Hands,' Source Says

....Privately, several MIT officials expressed concerns that prosecutors were "overreaching" by charging Swartz with federal crimes that carried a sentence of up to 35 years in prison, according to a MIT employee familiar with the investigation.

But by then, it was too late. "By the time this thing snowballed out of MIT's hands, it was gone," said the employee, who asked not to be named because he still works at the university. "When the federal government chooses to prosecute, you dont get to say no."

....MIT employees also captured network traffic from Swartz's laptop and turned that data over to the Secret Service without requiring a warrant or subpoena. MIT disclosed that data to law enforcement with permission from the university's general counsels office, Swartz's attorney wrote in an October court filing.

....Some say the university could have handled Swartz's case internally. "The lesson learned is MIT needs a clear policy on when to talk to outside law enforcement because the case became a fiasco," the MIT source said. "Once federal prosecutors were on the case, there was no going back."

»www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/1···627.html

Just Bob
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Spring Hill, FL

1 edit
reply to FFH

Has it come to your attention that Aaron Swartz isn't the first young man this prosecutor has driven to suicide? Has it come to you attention that Aaron burned through the money from the reddit sale defending himself and was financially ruined?

As to your description of the plea bargain, you fail to mention that he would have been required to plead guilty to 13 felonies. How would you know the total content of the plea offer? Wasn't there something about a $1,000,000 fine and restitution? How would 13 felony convictions affect his life?

The US Attorney's office has refused to comment "out of respect for the family." Isn't it strange that you're using the same words used by the husband of the same US Attorney, who apparently doesn't share his wife's "respect for the family?"
--
"...an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics." Plutarch
Judging other people is easy. Understanding them can break your heart.

Expand your moderator at work

Just Bob
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Spring Hill, FL
reply to FFH

Re: Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz found dead.

said by FFH:

said by Just Bob:

He was facing 35 years for a TOS violation.

No he wasn't. He had a deal on the table for 6 months. All the press reports about long prison sentences were overblown.
»betabeat.com/2013/01/tom-dolan-d···twitter/

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren is introducing an amendment to CFAA to prevent this from happening again. She's calling it Aaron's Law.

»www.reddit.com/r/technology/comm···/c7xmd94
As we mourn Aaron Swartz’s tragic death, many of us are deeply troubled as we learn more about the government’s actions against him. His family’s statement about this speaks volumes about the inappropriate efforts undertaken by the U.S. government. There’s no way to reverse the tragedy of Aaron’s death, but we can work to prevent a repeat of the abuses of power he experienced.

We should prevent what happened to Aaron from happening to other Internet users. The government was able to bring such disproportionate charges against Aaron because of the broad scope of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and the wire fraud statute. It looks like the government used the vague wording of those laws to claim that violating an online service’s user agreement or terms of service is a violation of the CFAA and the wire fraud statute.

Using the law in this way could criminalize many everyday activities and allow for outlandishly severe penalties.
More at the link.
--
"...an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics." Plutarch
Judging other people is easy. Understanding them can break your heart.

Just Bob
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Spring Hill, FL

The amendment is short and simply. You can find the rough draft here:
»www.lofgren.house.gov/images/sto···1513.pdf



MsTerra
Callipygian
Premium
join:2002-08-20
Nerdvana
kudos:1
reply to PX Eliezer7

said by PX Eliezer7:

Aaron Swartz Case 'Snowballed Out Of MIT's Hands,' Source Says

....Privately, several MIT officials expressed concerns that prosecutors were "overreaching" by charging Swartz with federal crimes that carried a sentence of up to 35 years in prison, according to a MIT employee familiar with the investigation.

But by then, it was too late. "By the time this thing snowballed out of MIT's hands, it was gone," said the employee, who asked not to be named because he still works at the university. "When the federal government chooses to prosecute, you dont get to say no."

....MIT employees also captured network traffic from Swartz's laptop and turned that data over to the Secret Service without requiring a warrant or subpoena. MIT disclosed that data to law enforcement with permission from the university's general counsels office, Swartz's attorney wrote in an October court filing.

....Some say the university could have handled Swartz's case internally. "The lesson learned is MIT needs a clear policy on when to talk to outside law enforcement because the case became a fiasco," the MIT source said. "Once federal prosecutors were on the case, there was no going back."

»www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/1···627.html

I wonder how MIT was supposed to have handled the case internally when Swartz wasn't officially affiliated with MIT.

Also, this

At the time of his alleged offenses, Swartz was a fellow at Harvard University, not a student at MIT, but his lawyers argued that MIT's Internet policy allowed unfettered use of its network. Unlike other universities, MIT did not require a password or any affiliation with the school to access servers and digital libraries, Swartz's lawyers said in court filings.

is bullshit. Like other universities, MIT has publicly-accessible content available, and other content that requires authorization. At the time this happened, access to JSTOR required authentication via valid MIT certificates.
--
"Strive to change the world in such a way that there's no further need to be a dissident." Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Just Bob
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Spring Hill, FL

1 edit

»tech.mit.edu/V132/N46/swartz/swa···ess1.pdf

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
________________________
)
UNITED STATES ))
v. ) No. 11-10260-NMG
)
AARON SWARTZ )
________________________)
MOTION TO SUPPRESS ALL FRUITS OF INTERCEPTIONS AND DISCLOSURES OF
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS AND OTHER INFORMATION BY MIT
PERSONNEL IN VIOLATION OF THE FOURTH AMENDMENT AND THE STORED
COMMUNICATIONS ACT AND INCORPORATED MEMORANDUM OF LAW
(MOTION TO SUPPRESS NO. 1)
Exhibit 4. Unlike other institutions which require passwords to access their servers and require
additional layers of authentication to access digital libraries such as JSTOR, MIT required neither a password, a formal affiliation with the school, or any form of identification for any visitor to
become an authorized guest enjoying access to the MIT electronic communication service which was
the equal of that afforded to MIT students and professors.
Swartz was validly signed on to the MIT network as a guest, as the MIT guest policy
permitted him to be, as verified by an October 14, 2010, email from Ellen Duranceau, MIT Program
Manager of Scholarly Publishing and Licensing, to Brian Larsen at JSTOR, informing him that
“[o]ur investigations here point to the same guest that was involved in the 9/27 incident. We don’t
have enough information to follow the trail completely, but the signs suggest that the same guest
user was responsible for this latest activity. . . . all of this excessive use was caused by a guest visitor
at MIT,” Exhibit 5 (emphasis added), and then by an October 18, 2010, email from Ms. Duranceau
to Tim McGovern, MIT Manager of Network Security & Support Services:
Tim and Mike:
Would it be accurate for me to answer [JSTOR’s] query this way:
“We offer guests access to the MIT network, and this practice will continue. However, once
we [in the future] institute our additional authorization layer for JSTOR, this route will be
closed to guests. So we will have closed the pathway used.”
* * * *
Mike, I will be asking JSTOR about your mod_rewrite idea once I check in with Rich
Wenger in the Libraries and once JSTOR has shifted more clearly into implementing the new
method rather than still working on resolving the excessive use issue.
--
"...an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics." Plutarch
Judging other people is easy. Understanding them can break your heart.


MsTerra
Callipygian
Premium
join:2002-08-20
Nerdvana
kudos:1

That's what his lawyers were alleging. It doesn't quite square with my experience as an employee of the Institute. The claim of "unfettered use" is just wrong. We have fewer fetters than most places, but there are definitely some fetters - and more of them every time someone abuses the network like this.
--
"Strive to change the world in such a way that there's no further need to be a dissident." Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Just Bob
Premium
join:2000-08-13
Spring Hill, FL

That doesn't square with what was written by Ellen Duranceau, MIT Program
Manager of Scholarly Publishing and Licensing

I'm certain any question about that policy will be clarified by MIT's internal investigation.
--
"...an imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics." Plutarch
Judging other people is easy. Understanding them can break your heart.