Government Crime of the highest kind against unlawful labeling of Reddit

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WORLD NEWS TOMORROW – USA – The family of a Reddit co-founder who committed suicide in New York weeks before he was to go on trial on charges that he stole millions of scholarly articles is blaming prosecutors for his death. Aaron Swartz killed himself in his Brooklyn apartment on Friday night, his family and authorities said.

The 26-year-old had fought to make online content free to the public and as a teenager helped create RSS, a family of web feed formats used to gather updates from blogs, news headlines, audio and video for users. In 2011, he was charged with stealing millions of scientific journals from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in an attempt to make them freely available.

He had pleaded not guilty, and his federal trial was to begin next month. If convicted, he faced decades in prison and a fortune in fines.In a statement released on Saturday, Swartz’s family in Chicago expressed not only grief over his death but also bitterness toward federal prosecutors pursuing the case in Massachusetts against him.

“Aaron’s death is not simply a personal tragedy. It is the product of a criminal justice system rife with intimidation and prosecutorial overreach. Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts US Attorney’s office and at MIT contributed to his death,” they said.

US Attorney Carmen Ortiz in Boston couldn’t be reached for comment., HeHe, of-course not ! She previously has said that “stealing is stealing, “so where was the stealing then ? “ whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars,” The New York Times reported. Swartz co-founded the social news website Reddit, which was later sold to Conde Nast, as well as the political action group Demand Progress, which campaigns against internet censorship.

He also apparently struggled at times with depression, writing in a 2007 blog post: “Surely there have been times when you’ve been sad. Perhaps a loved one has abandoned you or a plan has gone horribly awry. … You feel worthless. … depressed mood is like that, only it doesn’t come for any reason and it doesn’t go for any either.”

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, faculty director for Safra Center for Ethics where Swartz was once a fellow, wrote: “We need a better sense of justice. … The question this government needs to answer is why it was so necessary that Aaron Swartz be labeled a ‘felon’.”

The federal government accused Swartz of using MIT’s computer network to steal nearly five million academic articles. The indictment alleged Swartz stole the documents from JSTOR, a subscription service used by MIT that offers digitised copies of articles from more than 1000 academic journals.

JSTOR didn’t press charges once it reclaimed the articles from Swartz, and some legal experts considered the case unfounded, saying MIT allows guests access to the articles and Swartz, a fellow at Harvard’s Safra Center for Ethics, was a guest. JSTOR announced last week it would make “more than 4.5 million articles” publicly available for free. Perhaps its time prosecute the prosecutors !

SO WHAT WAS THE CRIME COMMITTED THEN ?

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Posted on January 19, 2013, in Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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