At the age of 14, Aaron Swartz helped to develop RSS and created a company that later became known as the website Reddit. The Internet genius was found dead on Friday after he allegedly committed suicide and it is believed his alleged involvement in a hacking incident with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology pushed him over the edge. Swartz was seen as an online Robin Hood, but his legal troubles and his ongoing battle with depression lead him to end his life at the age of 26. RT’s Kristine Frazao remembers the Internet activist.
In Canada, a movement known as Idle No More has been getting a lot of attention. The effort calls on people to protect the resources of the indigenous societies from proposed bill C-45 and has sparked protests across the country. Aura Bogado, blogger for The Nation, joins us with more on the efforts of the Canadian Parliament and why it’s important protect the indigenous.
DemocracyNow.org – Today we remember the pioneering computer programmer and cyberactivist Aaron Swartz, who took his own life Friday at the age of 26. As a teenager, Swartz helped develop RSS, revolutionizing how people use the internet, going on to co-own Reddit, now one of the world’s most popular sites. He was also a key architect of Creative Commons and an organizer of the grassroots movement to defeat the controversial House internet censorship bill, The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), and the Senate bill, The PROTECT IP Act (PIPA).
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Swartz hanged himself just weeks before the start of a controversial trial. He was facing up to 35 years in prison sneaking into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and downloading millions of articles provided by the subscription-based academic research service JSTOR. We hear Swartz in his own words and speak to Harvard Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig, a longtime mentor and friend. “There are a thousand things we could have done, and we have to do because Aaron Swartz is now an icon, an ideal,” Lessig says. “He’s what we will be fighting for, all of us, for the rest of our lives.” Lessig also echoes the claims of Swartz’s parents that decisions made by prosecutors and MIT contributed to his death, saying: “This was somebody who was pushed to the edge by what I think of as kind of a bullying by our government.”
DemocracyNow.org – Cyberactivist and computer programmer Aaron Swartz took his life on Friday at the age of 26. We air an address of Swartz’s from last May where he speaks about the battle to defeat The Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA — a campaign he helped lead. “[SOPA] will have yet another name, and maybe a different excuse, and probably do its damage in a different way, but make no mistake, the enemies of the freedom to connect have not disappeared,” Swartz said. “… Next time, they might just win. Let’s not let that happen.”
The family of American web wizard and information activist Aaron Swartz says he may have been driven to suicide by the ferocious prosecution process against him. Aged 26, the internet crusader faced decades in jail for downloading millions of academic papers, which he believed should be available to everyone. Rick Falkvinge, an IT entrepreneur and founder of the Swedish Pirate Party says the majority of all information should be free to whoever wants it.
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